Saturday, January 17, 2009

Margaret - the story continues and gets long

I knit the body until underarms. This was an easy part, just few increases thrown here and there and I was done. I knew that I should not have felt quite so lighthearted and reminded myself of the fact that when ever I think or rather say that something is easy, a disaster lurks around the corner. And I proceeded onto sleeves.

I cast on with tubular cast on (I just love how professional it looks). I centered the ribbing in the sleeves so that when it would continue on the shoulders, it would look symmetrical and congratulated myself for noticing that. I should have seen it coming then and there. It all started to feel a bit too easy.

Then I united the sleeves with the main body and kept on going. And finally the unavoidable happened.

This was late last night, or rather very early in the morning. I finished the upper part and tried it on the dress form and then on me. It was ok, barely ok, it was just about here and there
but it was far from good and I was not pleased with it.

I went to bed defeated and thinking that I had three alternatives:

1. Carry on as it is now, try to save it by good blocking, and have one more cardigan for the closet to wear - and frankly all my closets have enough wool to keep them happy and warm for years to come.

2. I could rip all of it, turn it into neat little yarn balls, and go fishing for another sweater design.

3. I could rip it as much as needed and then re-knit it, as simple as that.

I think that I am going with the option three. It was not an easy decision. But then I reasoned with myself that it is good to have a swatch of this size, now I know (I am on my steps here since I have been reminded again of the powers of the knitting universe, I am not taking anything for granted) how to improve it.

I am not happy with the saddles.
They are too wide.

I am not happy with the decrease stitches,
the stitch does not carry on beautifully from one shaping portion to another; this I knew all along but just pressed forward, just how stubborn and stupid I can be amazes me at times.

The shoulders are too wide, or the straps are too long,
so I will need to shorten them.

So this is what I will do. I will take it down to underarms and then will slowly and carefully knit it again. I would hate to give up now and this design is beautiful.
But it would be nice for once to knit something from start to finish without any difficulties or would it? I remember writing that I am looking forward for a challenge. Here I have it now, and since I wished for it (maybe not quite this way) I should be happy. I do not feel that joyful right now and I am not bearing this with a broad grin, but once I get past the ripping and have the stitches on the needle again, I know, I will forget the misery. I have not regretted the yarn choice and I like my 3 mm*s and the color is perfect so how bad could it be to spend just a little more time with them.

Be a persistent knitter, be careful and act on the mistakes right on the spot, be humble and never underestimate the powers of the knitting gods and feel too confident, take nothing for granted until the last stitch is done and the last end woven in.

I am trying to be all that. I am trying hard.


PS. I am happy that it is the upper part of the cardigan that needs to be redone; just imagine if it had been the skirt... Come to think of it, do you suppose the gods will be favorable to me now and let me knit the skirt only once? I will hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I guess that is the only way to go.

PS. Thank you Cornflower!


  1. You're welcome, Lene!

  2. Sherpa14:06

    I'm delurking to say I'm glad you're going to persevere. It will be beautiful once finished and you'll be all the more proud for a little hardship (and lessons learned) along the way. Your garments are always a delight and an inspiration.

  3. Hubris gets us *almost* every time, doesn't it? And the times it doesn't, create enough uncertainty that we think we can escape *next* time, then *whammo*!
    I think your philosophical approach is the only way to stay sane and continue knitting with enjoyment :)

  4. Lene, after admiring all of your beautiful creations, I have come to the conclusion that you never sleep!

  5. Anonymous18:47

    Just finished the Tangled Yoke cardigan from Fall 2007 Interweave--was the bane of my existence at several points. I relate to your irritation!


  6. Anonymous15:03

    Hi Lene
    I've decided lately that it's not worth keeping anything that isn't done well. Otherwise, it's just a waste of yarn and time. (of course the time to knit what's been ripped out counts as "learning" not "wasting"!) I applaud you and you will have a lovely sweater to wear. I'm planning to make a Margaret once I get a few more necessary projects out of the way.
    Cheers from snowy Maine! --Aldona

  7. I would love to visit your closet!

    Seriously, your decision to re-knit is inspiring to me. Thank you!

  8. I truely admire you for deciding on the do over. I usually throw it in a heap on the closet floor. There are projects there for years. 2 that I can think of right now. Someday I will have to make a decision on them. . .but not now. One of them is because of very ill matching hand painted yarn. Stories of disaster abound.

  9. Ruthie08:02

    You are such an inspiration to me! I have been working on a lap robe for an elderly woman in a wheel chair and even THAT has nearly brought me to my knees! I don't know how many times I have ripped out because of design problems. But you persevere with your challenging project so I surely can with my simple one. (Remind me of that when I want to throw the entire mess away, needles and all!)

  10. Wow. I feel your pain, and I am consoled by the fact that someone else finds problems in their knitting that makes them have to reknit. (Selfish, I know)
    I argue that everyone must, MUST, have to reknit a LOT before they are a really good and experienced knitter. Afterall, the lessons learned from such experiences are priceless and unforgetable.
    This post goes a long way to prove my theory. Especially considering the beauty of the Merry Sheep's Reel.
    Thank you for involuntarily participating in my study :)

  11. I know that feeling, and, hard as it is, I've not yet regretted ripping and reknitting. I'm behind on my reading, so I'll find out in a few minutes how it went for you!

    You mention knitting from start to finish without difficulties -- If that were the rule I could never make anything but dishcloths!

    It will feel good when this difficulty is conquered.