A knitting disaster

It figures, of course, that as soon as I publicly announce that a knitting project is on the verge of completion, something goes horribly wrong. I finished the second sleeve that same day and set out to seam the whole thing together. “I’m nearly done with this!” I thought. “I’ll actually get to wear this sweater this winter!” And then the gods who like to tamper with the lives of knitters decided to strike me down for my hubris.

p1149045sweater.jpgSee how big the armhole is here? See how narrow the sleeve is? No amount of tugging or fudging will make the two line up.

How did this happen? Well, I started this sweater three years ago. I didn’t use the yarn the pattern called for (it’s from the first Yarn Girls book—and all of their patterns call for outrageously expensive boutique yarns that result in $200 sweaters) but I thought I had the gauge right. Apparently I didn’t.

I also didn’t keep good notes (or any notes, actually) about what measurements I was aiming for or what changes I’d made to the pattern. And I also didn’t check my knitting as I went along, blindly assuming that everything would fit together just right.

My friend Katie happened to stop by as I surveyed the disaster, and she and my husband both endeavored to convince me that the sweater is salvageable. But even if I rip back to the bottom of the armhole and reknit from there, the body of the sweater will still be far too wide for me. I want something that’s good for layering, not for disappearing in.

So I’m going to frog the whole thing. Honestly, though, I’m not terribly heartbroken about it. I’ve learned a lot about knitting in the past three years, and I think I can make a much better sweater now. Also, this is bulky yarn knit up on 10.5 needles, so it won’t take too terribly long to knit up again.

Now I just have to decide what to knit with all this yarn. (And I have another two skeins of this stuff beyond the five or so I used for the sweater.) Suggestions, anyone?

8 Responses to “A knitting disaster”

  1. Imperatrixon 15 Jan 2008 at 8:40 am

    I’m sorry! I only had one experience of putting knitting aside for a while and then coming back to it, and I found that the two socks were two incredibly different sizes. Even though I used the same needles, the same yarn (needless to say) and the same hands (obviously!).

    I decided at that point that I would never let a project languish for months unfinished. It just creates disappointment.

  2. Chrison 15 Jan 2008 at 11:36 am

    Alas!! But I guess better to discover it at this point then to get it all together and realize you were drowing in it. How about one of the Knitting Pure & Simple patterns? They’re top-down, one piece, and well written.

  3. Katie Jon 15 Jan 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Yeah, the first big piece (and the only) I knit for myself turned out pretty badly. I’m bummed about your frogging, but I’m sure you’ll make something fabulous out of it. What about a sweater in the Interweave Knits pattern book?

  4. Jennuon 16 Jan 2008 at 9:09 am

    When I had to frog my Somewhat Cowl (I just reknitted it into the same sweater, just a smaller size), my now-husband offered these words of wisdom–Oh, good. That means more knitting. You like knitting!

  5. Ginaon 16 Jan 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Hey! Wait! Maybe you can just re-knit the sleeves?? What if you measured the circumference of the arm hole opening and then cast on as many stitches that the yarn you are using calls for to give you that measurement and then go from there?

    Or maybe you can pick up and knit the sleeve down from the arom hole?

    Just a couple of suggestions! I always feel bad seeing a lot of time and work getting frogged.

  6. Marshaon 16 Jan 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks for the condolences, everyone!

    Imperatrix:That’s a really good idea. I decided a few weeks ago that I really want to avoid having UFOs about. Not that I’ve had a problem with that, but it’s just so nice to finish something up, so I might as well do that. So aside from a sock (which is extremely portable), I’m trying to have no more than one project going at a time.

    Chris and Katie: Thanks for those suggestions! I do have Ann Budd’s sweater book (the one with sweaters in a gazillion gauges and sizes and styles), so I should take a look at it.

    Jennu: Your husband is a brilliant man. :)

    Gina: I thought about doing that. But the armholes really are far too large (they go about halfway down my sides). And the sleeves are set in, to picking up stitches around the armhole and knitting the sleeve down (a technique that I love, by the way) just won’t work here. Oh well!

  7. JDon 17 Jan 2008 at 4:16 am

    Being there myself (but with much smaller objects: socks, hat, mitts), I say frog away any and all projects that you are not satisfied with! Though it seems a waste of time, it’s a bigger waste if the finished project is never worn, no? How about a Twinkle sweater? Here’s a link to a free pattern:

  8. Marshaon 21 Jan 2008 at 9:37 pm

    JD: Thanks so much for that link! I just may give that pattern a try!