all for naught

Posted on Posted in designing, projects

you probably already know that i’m a worry-wort (because you’re so smart, while i’m so transparent). and, as with all worry-worts my fears are proved right just often enough for us to continue to do it even when we shouldn’t.

because, well, what does worrying solve anyway?

my big worry of the weekend started after i finished my red cardigan on saturday night sunday morning.
when i finished the knitting, there was no problem at all.
i went to bed feeling pretty good about it. pret-ty, pret-ty good.

then, on sunday, i decided to block it. now, i am normally a big fan of steam blocking my sweaters, being loathe to handle heavy pieces of very wet, knitted fabric which are not yet stabilized in any way.

but i hadn’t wet-blocked anything in a long time, and tempted by juno’s posts on the subject (she’s a fan of wet-blocking), i decided to try it on these pieces.

a couple of hours later, i was on my knees weeping pitifully and wailing WHAT was i thinking??, as i struggled to push fabric into a shape that measured 22 inches in length and not 27.5. i would show you pictures if i could have held the camera steady.
i did not factor the qualities of superwash yarn into my decision to go with wet-blocking.

well, after a while the fabric started to dry a bit, and i was able to push the pieces into the shapes that my pattern dictated. as they dried, they drew in a little more and became the correct size . . . more or less. my nerves were in a state, but the pieces were the right size.

i may have been feeling a little bit hannibal lecter-ish toward the damn thing by then.
maybe my sweater romance had soured a tad. possibly.

on the other hand, it just lay there being sweet and quiet, and very Red. in a very pleasing way. and i began to notice other things i liked . . . nice texture lying in nice straight patterns

some really good overall yarn color . . . no pooling and no variation between skeins.
and nice detailing, like a tiny, curving shawl collar.

by the time i unpinned it i felt better, and forgave the sweater pieces. we were pals again; two peas in a pod.
until last night.

see, i was still a little worried about the sweater size; i think i mentioned that yesterday. it was definitely about 1/2-inch longer than i’d planned, maybe more, and all of that was in the upper torso area, where i am at my tiniest (freakishly so, in fact). now, often i let a little bit of extra length in there to sort-of mask my high-waistedness (i know. it doesn’t work, but i am compelled to try). but i don’t want so much extra length that i look like i am dripping sweater all over.

and i was beginning to have that feeling that it might be that way . . . just because i can squeeze 27.5 inches down to 22 doesn’t mean it will stay put.

then last night i put the sleeves in. it takes me hours to sew in cap sleeves; i am very careful and VERY picky about how they look.
they went in pretty easily and i was very excited about how they looked. i decided to leave the side and underarm seams til today. but i ran to the mirror and put the sweater on anyway; i just had to look.

that was about the dumbest thing i could’ve done.
it looked awful. the front hung on my shoulders, the neckline seemed to scream “chicken chest!! ahahahaha!”.
the sides hung halfway to my knees. oh no.

i took a deep breath and put it down. i decided to deal with it in the later.
then i spent the next hour trying to fall asleep and wondering if i could wash it and run it through the dryer. maybe the superwash just needed some prompting to be itself again.
i made a mental note to email chris in the morning and ask her advice.

but i didn’t. halfway to the coffeepot this morning i spied the sweater sitting there.
now, i have a lot to do in the mornings. i need to tend the garden, work, cook, answer email . . all that stuff. i do not have time to fix bad knitting in the morning.

but the sweater got the best of me.
i’ll just sew a few inches of seam while the coffee perks, i thought. hehe.

i love seaming, have i mentioned that before? (maybe not since i have been knitting a lot of shawls this year, and they don’t have seams)
but i do. i really love seaming (ok, and before everyone gets all excited and offers to let me seam all their UFOs, let me just add that i could NEVER be so selfishโ€” i think everyone would love seaming too, if they gave it half a chance, and i will NOT deprive anyone of that opportunity).

(seaming pieces with patterns is especially easy and entertaining, since every few rows you have the pattern to match.)

i gave it a final steaming to set the seams in place.

while i worked, the mail carrier knocked on the door and handed me a small package; my buttons had arrived. sarina is my hero. as soon as i had those seams pressed, i added the buttons (ok, by now i was dawdling . . i didn’t even want to know that it didn’t fit).

aren’t they beautiful? they match the yarn EXACTLY. i mean, the glass variations even match the yarn variations. they are perfect.

and they fit the buttonholes like they were made for ’em. (when in fact, i had to choose a buttonhole size as soon as i started; the buttonholes were knit right into the fronts.).
i put it on shakily.

it fit. it is a little bit long (maybe an inch?). i would probably like this sweater in a slightly tighter version that i could wear without any shirt underneath.

but . . i am extremely happy with this one. all that worrying for nothing. phew.

why do our knits put us through all this? why do we let them?
i wonder what sweater i’ll do next?

123 thoughts on “all for naught

  1. Really, really lovely. It looks great on you! And the yarn is fab! Congrats on such a good job and beautiful results.

  2. It really looks fantastic. And, if you ever decide it is just a tad too large, I think it would fit me. =:)

  3. Oh it’s beautiful! I do understand why you were worried though. And.. you love seaming? Whoa… spread some love my way. Mmkay?

  4. Oh my, that is simply lovely! The buttons are perfect, too. Definitely the right choice! I agree with you about seaming, too. I can’t understand why people go to such lengths to avoid hand-sewing. I think it’s magical, watching all those disparate pieces become one, seamless piece of clothing! (Did you write your sweater pattern? I’d love to get it!)

  5. The sweater is BEAUTIFUL!!! Everything went well together and all that worrying was unnecessary. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. That sweater is absolutely gorgeous. When will you be putting out the pattern so I can make one for myself? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Absolutely gorgeous sweater. I only came by your blog to check out a link for some mitts, but I was sucked in by the drama of the blocking.

    I don’t think it’s too long at all.

  8. I think it looks beautiful on you! I just adore everything about it, enough to make me try finishing some of my own things that are dawdling…

  9. What a drama! But in the end, a beautiful and flattering sweater. The red is just so gorgeous! I was dying laughing about the “chicken chest”, but I would say that is mostly in your head. You look perfectly proportioned and your new sweater loves you. Those buttons are nothing short of spot-on.

  10. superb title – as tricky as the blocking of the sweater.

    Did you notice the button has your reflection?

    The sweater is very lovely on you.

  11. I have just discovered your blog, and I have to say that you are a very professional knitter. Your red sweater looks beautiful, and perfect on you too.

  12. Been too busy lately to read, but am catching up. I think I like what you did with the black cherry Grandma’s Blessing even better than what I did with it!

    Chris is lucky to have such a talented designer on board.


Comments are closed.