Monday, February 1, 2010

third time's a charm

As you may remember, one of my resolutions was to finally knit a sweater for myself. I decided that I needed a little help to keep me on task with this resolution, so I joined a group on Ravelry whose members had the goal of knitting one sweater per month in 2010. With a group like that, I figured odds were good that I would get at least one sweater done. I am nothing if not an overachiever in the crazy department.

So I continued to work on my Vine Lace Cardigan, which I did end up taking with me to New Orleans. Progress was good; I was all the way down the first sleeve; then I noticed that I was missing some stitches. I assumed that was the reason the sleeve was a little tight on my chubby muscular upper arm. Rats. I ripped back, added the necessary stitches, re-knit the sleeve, and tried it on. Still too small... and then it hit me. I pulled out a ruler to confirm it -- yep. My gauge was off. When I checked all the notes on Ravelry, I found that no one else had managed to get gauge with this sweater. (And NO, I had not done a gauge swatch, either.) In short, I, and by extension, the sweater, were screwed, because no matter what I did, this sweater was going to be too small.

Wanna know the fastest, easiest way to frog a sweater?

Use a ball winder. Fifteen or so hours of work were history in about five minutes.

That was January 19. On January 20, I decided that I would simply take a different tack, and switch to the cotton sweater that I had been working on over the summer. I won't need it for a few months yet, but at least it will be done!

I worked on that one for two days, before I realized that I didn't have enough yarn to finish the project, since I was knitting with a double strand to solve that gauge problem. The yarn has been discontinued; I did find someone willing to part with it, but she couldn't ship it until this week. Beggars with half-finished sweaters cannot be ungrateful complainers, so now that sweater was out.

I stewed for a few days. People on the sweater-a-month group urged me not to give up. I had pretty much put myself on the bi-monthly sweater plan.

Then a sweater pattern kept bubbling to the forefront of my attention. In various guises and ways, the Shalom Cardigan appeared over and over again. I took a second and third and fourth look; I read every modification made to the pattern BEFORE I started (as the original one was written for a six foot tall person with a 32" bust, a far cry from my own dimensions); and on January 26 I picked up the yarn I needed from my LYS and cast on. And knit and knit and knit for the next five days, hence the lack of blog posts. I didn't even list the project in my Ravelry notebook, for fear that I would jinx myself yet again.

But I finished on January 31. I was greatly assisted by the fact that this pattern does not have any seaming, or even sleeves for that matter, just buttons to sew on and ends to weave in.

DSCN2069 DSCN2070

I redid the bottom garter stitch band today to make it hang more evenly, and washed and blocked it. It's drying now; I'll post less blurry pictures once it's done. In the meantime, I am going to get some sleep, and think about my February sweater.


  1. Mom is currently making me the central park hoodie...also the third time she's attempted to make me a sweater :P

  2. She left out the part about the third time and just raved about the pattern for the Central Park Hoodie -- which is probably going to be my March sweater! I can't wait to see yours once it's done.

  3. I'm down to the last bit o' ribbing/trim on the side. Some huge, glaring errors, but will finish.....maybe.

    Love your sweater Kris! A sweater a month, that is impressive.