Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reality bites and it is not that bad after all - really.


The sun did manage to colour the sky beautiful pale yellow today. I could not feel but happy when looking at the sight. This dreadful warm winter is coming to an end in a few weeks and the blessed spring with light is on her way. Every time I managed to drag my eyes off the current work in progress, I felt delighted, but the moment my eyes found Winter Forest my feelings sank. I am not happy with the sweater. Not happy at all. I am slowly making myself to admit that it has to be ripped one more time and serious redesigning will be necessary or then maybe not.
This is me trying it on today.
The yoke is too big hence making the sleeve openings too wide. I really don’t like how the yoke looks; I should have done raglan sleeves because now the upper torso looks puffy and even though I know blocking would probably take care of that, I still dislike it very much. I don’t like the stitch pattern, instead of twisting the knits, I should have lifted them every other row, like in the old design. I have started the skirt part of the sweater too late, so the line falls a bit too down. I have wasted more than a month of knitting time – there is no denying. And yet the topmost thought on the pile of unhappy thoughts of this sweater is relief.

What should I do?

Do I rip this now and start over?

Do I postpone the ripping until later, let it linger for a while and quickly start something else pretending that this never happened? And then later, much later, rip it, because later it will be regarded as UFO and not as a failure and getting rid of it then would be easier?

Does this mean that since the very first knit of the year turned crap, all the rest of 2008 will end up the same way? If I start this over, does this mean that I could escape the curse?

Or does this mean that since the big failure is over and done now, the rest of the year 2008 will be smooth successful knitting? I think I will take this option.

Really there is something good in this fiasco and this I can say honestly. I have had a few hours to chew this and I am very happy about the state of things right now. The whole time while knitting Winter Forest I had a feeling of something being very wrong and off and it has been eating the knitting enjoyment a lot. Now that I am able to point my finger at it and say what is wrong, things seem to be a lot simpler and like a weight has been lifted off my chest. And I can now see clearly and breath easily.

Isn’t that the case in real life too? Once you realize what is eating up you, you can either get rid of it or start making a plan how to conquer it or if not quite conquer, at least come into terms with it, accept it.

Thank you for encouraging me to continue chain plying. And for the trick of untwisting the over twisted yarn by running it once again from one bobbin to the other in opposite direction. You wondered what I have done with my singles when I have knitted with the yarn. I think I have only once used singles for one little scarf and that time I think I set the twist by steam. This Satakieli yarn that you were thinking for mittens is smooth and strong and beautiful (not fuzzy at all) but I can’t see a reason why you should not try spinning that Finn lamb wool you have. The milk I bought from a yarn store… The picture really is of a skein of yarn that is spun of milk fibre. I have not yet knitted with it, but it is very soft and seems a bit heavy, not bulky but heavy.

Oh, and please, don’t feel sorry for the Winter Forest or me, this is not the end, actually this is a very good beginning.

Take care, be warm and be well,



  1. Don't you just love though that with knitting it is possible to start over? And anything that teaches you something is not a waste :-)

  2. Ah bless your cottons...may the sun continue to rise and warm your heart and soul for your knitting.

  3. Rachel H18:08

    My two cents? Rip and restart so the sweater you get will be the sweater you see in your mind.

    And the way I see it, you haven't wasted a month of knitting. You've just taken time to properly explore one design option to be able to properly evaluate whether it works for this sweater. Now you know it doesn't work for you, you can go down the other road without second thoughts. S'all good.

  4. OOOooooh, I love that you're sharing your drawings with us again!

  5. Your comments are timely. I "bit the bullet" and began unraveling an alpaca lace sweater that's been sitting for months and months. The experience was much the same as yours but dragged out over a longer period of time. It feels so much better to just admit that the project was ill conceived. Unraveling frees the yarn for its true calling....whatever that may be.

  6. I love the drawing! I especially like the cute bird and the amazing purple swirly background. Good luck with the sweater!

  7. Anonymous19:37

    You didn't give us the Finnish words! ;)

    Hello Bird! It's wonderful to see you again.

    While reading your thoughts and observations on the Winter Forest my thoughts were on how well you're able to analyze the design problems. Rip without remorse. You're honing your skills as a designer.

  8. I think once the decision to rip is made, it's like a weight is gone. You are no longer responsible for the project. Now you can redesign it or try something altogether different. I try to listen to my gut. If it feel wrong, it probably is.

  9. Rip it now and get the weight off your shoulders. Put it aside, make a pair of socks or mittens, and then come back refreshed. And remember the old saying, A bad dress rehearsal guarantees a good performance. . .

    --Elizabeth D

  10. Anonymous20:38

    Sometimes you just have to accept what the yarn is telling you instead of trying to impose YOUR will on it.

    Me? I would frog it back and start something new. Knitting always gives you the chance to start fresh!

    Thank goodness!

    I love your little bird.

  11. I actually took your words to mean a new beginning for you and Winter Forest :^)
    So delightful to see Bird again as well as your illustrations! and I'm very glad to hear the light is returning to your days.... a few weeks to Spring, it just doesn't seem quite right... as far as the season went... I remember your last Winter.

  12. Good luck with redesigning your sweater, Perhaps the winter being too warm didn't help? loved your drawing. Jane x

  13. I can't advise on the knitting, but even in the midst of your fretting about it you managed to produce a great picture - the artist is there and will find a way to express herself no matter what. Good luck, Lene!

  14. Linger, then rip.

  15. You definately have to rip and re-start with the knowledge you have gained from this try. It will then be perfect and how you want it! I love your drawings.

  16. I would let it sit a few days and then rip. That will give you time to make all the right decisions you need to make. Just like all of our other escapade's knitting is a learning experience. Keep it in perspective. I believe this year will be the best year yet!

  17. Anonymous08:23

    Oh, such a hard decision. If you don't rip it, it will always bother you that it's just not how you'd like; at least that's what happened to me a few times.

    I absolutely love your drawing! Did it take long for you to do it? Such talent!

  18. I love the drawing and the way you express your thought process. Very timely for me as I am struggling with a former cardigan.

  19. I would say leave it for a bit, do an instant gratification piece for a quick pick-me-up, then you can rip it with a lighter heart.

    I hope you're right about the spring coming so soon! I'm over this crappy winter.

    P.S. Just ordered a copy of piecework magazine with the Rovaniemi mitts in it...can't wait to get started! Wish me luck!

  20. deborah17:51

    I love your drawing. It's wonderful.

  21. whosadele18:56

    Take some measurements, so you know where it is wrong and by how much and then rip it.

  22. I am so happy to see your drawings again! They are such a delight, even when they're illustrating everything that went wrong with the project. ;-)

    If ripping and washing the wool (so that it looks fresh and clean and lovely again) will make you feel good, go on and do it! But leaving it on the needles until you are ready to start over might help you remember and plan all the changes you want to make. It's a tough call!

  23. Hi there!
    So sorry to hear about Winter Forest. It's so frustrating when that happens. Same thing happened to me last new year - I began to knit the jumper of my dreams and it too was too baggy, too saggy and plain wrong.

    It is still in my wardrobe and looks at me every time i go to fetch another jumper!

    I say rip - that way you won't be consumed by guilt every time you come across it by accident!

    Love your drawings by the way!

  24. I'm totally with Fiberjoy in agreeing that you're honing your designer skills. I often have the same frustrated feeling but how else did those top designers get their results? The only trouble is the length of time it takes. In a real designer's studio, one imagines that she would start the new brilliant idea, and then pass it on to an assistant to work on the long boring bits. Got any assistants handy? Can Kille knit?

  25. Well, you have inspired me to finish the sweater for my husband that I started three years ago. Something seems wrong, but I haven't been able to pinpoint the problem. I guess the time has come for me to deal with the situation rather than ignore it in the closet. Thanks.

  26. Lene, today on my blog I gave you the "You Make My Day Award" for blogging. Thanks so much for your posts. I truly enjoy them!

  27. I no longer think twice about ripping it back. I had a couple of sweaters that sat for years. I knew I wasn't going to finish them and they were terribly flawed. I have one sweater that I will redo that has already been completely reknit. I like the yarn but I still don't like the sweater. So I will try for design number three.

    The enjoyment should be in the process, not the completed garment. So why not just begin again? It does not jinx you for the rest of the year.

  28. I enjoy your blog so much that I just passed on a "You Make My Day" award. You can visit my blog to learn more....

  29. By the way, I have awarded you the "You Make My Day Award" You can check out my blog for details, and thanks for making my day!

  30. Anonymous04:12

    Lene, If you think I was excited at the Finnish Cheese display at the grocery store, you should have seen me at Barnes and Nobles magazine stand when I saw they finally had the latest edition of Piecework Magazine! A feature article at that! The history of the mittens is invaluable as is the carefully researched pattern for the fingerless mitts. Trying to make them would be a "stretch" for me. But, you know what, I just may try them....maybe big needles and 4-ply yarn first just to see how the pattern goes together, only. As for Winter Forest. Are you unhappy with all the the "parts" or maybe just some? My humble opinion would be to think about the sweater design until winter again. Maybe then an appropriate design will pop into your "winter-minded" thoughts. Love your self-drawing...the look in your eyes and line of your mouth says it all!!! Please keep drawing for us. Be safe. Jeanie

  31. Hey Lene, your blog always makes my day. You've been given a blog award. Check out my blog to see it.