Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The last stitch

Rowan Lincoln Center Sweater Pattern  |  The last stitch on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.blogspot.com
Whenever I start a new piece I feel a rush of excitement—whether it's something easy, hard, or new, the idea of being on the brink of creating something tangible that didn't exist before seems to release endorphins into my system. True, those endorphins are tamped down a bit when I can't understand a pattern's directions or somehow my nice and neat ball of carefully-wound yarn requires 3 hours of intense unraveling because it hit a glitch.

But still.

This sweater I was making for R, though, has been a bit of a struggle—a struggle that quickly outlasted those ready-set-go endorphins. After many (many) redos, many frustrating grumbles at the pattern that seemed to be written in not only another language, but jumbled around like a freakishly obtuse Mad Libs puzzle, I hit a wall. I had just finished the front and back pieces, but still had two sleeves to go, plus blocking, ironing and seaming the whole thing together, and then adding the collar.

So when R suggested I just make it into a vest—since he already had one similarly-styled solid navy sweater plus another white knit cardigan (with navy logo), but a navy and white speckled vest? That would be filling a gap in his wardrobe.

Needless to say, I was sold.

And I convinced myself that I wasn't copping out or giving up—something a competitive gal like me (I really am Monica—see first two minutes of this video) would make myself feel guilty over. I mean, I had actually managed to memorize the pattern and understand how it worked so I wasn't glued to the instructions by the time I got around to knitting the front piece, which was in itself a major victory. But my impatient self was just eager and ready to move on to something else new, to feel that heady rush again.

Rowan Lincoln Center Sweater Pattern  |  The last stitch on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.blogspot.com

So, just shy of two months after starting, I finally (finally!) tied off my last bit of yarn on this project over the weekend. And, here's where the sad part comes in:

It doesn't fit him.

My 2-D dimensions were spot on, but somehow I messed up the 3-D bit and this barely covers his midsection. That, coupled with a slightly sloppy finishing on my part as I rushed to finish the damn thing, means that not only will R never wear this, but I can't give it to anyone else either. I'm too embarrassed by the (perhaps visible only to me) mistakes on the seams and neckline.

I think this means a few things: I should probably stick to accessories for R going forward—since he's 6'4" and a broad-shouldered kinda fellow, knitting garments takes quite a bit of time (not to mention silly me took on an overly complicated pattern that was written for super advanced knitters, not beginners). Much different from the easy little sleeveless, non-patterned tops I knit for myself, or those teensy bitty goodies for the babe.

Or, if I do make something for him, a top-down, raglan-sleeved knitted piece is the way to go. Top-down just means it starts at the neckline instead of the hem, and raglan-sleeved means the sleeves are knit as you go, which solves many problems for me all at once. Not only can he try it on while it's still in progress (so I know if there's a measurement issue), but there's no complicated seaming (which leads to wonkiness when I attempt it) and much less "knitter fatigue" because there aren't all these individual pieces to take on one at a time, and that are then floating about waiting to be put together.

And while before I've completely taken something apart to redo it when I wasn't satisfied with the final piece, I just can't do that to this one. Which is going to happen sometimes with handmade things. I just need to accept that and move on.

(At least now I can do so with a new cozy nightshirt for myself in the pajama drawer).

On to the next.

One year ago: Joining the EU & Carafes, castles and clans & Monday meanders: 3


  1. i got myself a ball of yarn and a needle last night. I will be attempting a scarf this weekend..

    1. !!!!

      I am SO excited for you! Since you said "a" needle, I'm assuming you're crocheting? Please share pics! Excellent winter hobby to pick up :).

  2. What a learning experience - and you got some super nice pajamas to boot! I don't consider this a fail at all! :-)

  3. I'm always so impressed by your knitting endeavors. Even if this one didn't work out as you had planned, it's still beautiful and will make for a very luxe nightshirt. xo


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