I believe that I average at least one EPIC knitting failure a year. It’s ugly, the yarn is junk, the fit is horrible and it is soooooo bad that I can’t even pass it off to Goodwill. I have been known to have a martini or two and burn that failure in the fire-pit.
This year we have a burn ban in effect so the EPIC knitting failure has been staring at me for months. And because it has been staring at me I have been fiddling with it. So how can something so wonderful go so bad. Well let me begin……
It was a Churchmouse knit nite and there was a trunk show of finished sweaters ready for you to try on. A bunch of women that knit, yarn, and sweaters, let’s just say crazy happens. I tried on this sweater and immediately “fell in love”. I wanted to wear the sweater out of the store. But my only choice was to buy the pattern, the yarn, and knit the sweater. And so the downward cycle began.
I chose the size of the sample as it fit me to perfection. Did I say this is normally not my size. I bought the yarn in the exact amount listed on the label of the sweater. I went home and immediately did a large swatch, washed and blocked the swatch. This was going to be a perfect sweater. Nothing was going to go wrong.
I was off and running on knitting a beautiful sweater. It was not a simple pattern and there was really no easy way to try this one on as you went. But no problem as the sample fit me to perfection and my gauge swatch was spot on.
And then I ran out of one of the colors of yarn. Thank heavens there was still some of the dye lot at Churchmouse. I had to pickup and knit miles of ribbing that went on and on forever. Finally finished. I tried it on and it looked OK, but it wasn’t block and really needed that finishing or so I thought.
Into the water to soak and ready to carefully lift out and block. This sweater grew in the water so much so that it would have fit two of me. I desperately tried to get it to squish back into the size the pattern defined. I thought I had it. I matched the size on the pattern. I waited and waited as it dried.
Finally time to try it on. It was big on me. Sometimes that is not a problem in sweaters. Sometimes I like them if they are a little big. This one had a large V pattern on the back the V was supposed to be at your waist. The V on me was pointing, yup you got on, on my behind. Failure….failure…..failure.
OK so I am thinking I will soak this puppy one more time and then do a little felting and hope that works. Back into the water the ugly sweater goes. Towel roll and then to air dry a minute at a time in the dryer. Carefully I watched as it shrank to size. Or so I thought. Back to the blocking board to dry. And oops this time it was a little small. As I was pulling on it to see what I needed to adjust the yarn broke at the bottom bind off edge. That’s it I am done…..burn baby burn.
So it sat on my desk, staring at me for months as I waited for the burn ban to be lifted. It glared at me. Told me it deserved better. It reminded me that I really loved the pattern. No I was not going to knit it again. No the yarn was not able to be frogged. Really I love you little sweater….I HATE you little sweater.
And then I figured what have I got to lose I will take one more shot at this. Back into the water you go. I take the time to shape you into the smaller size on the pattern. The one I should have knit. And it dries. I try it on….better. The point is in a more appropriate location. The fit is better, but still needs a few more adjustments. I take and crochet a row inside along the pickup edge of the ribbing to pull the fit in a little closer to my body. Much better. I pull out some matching thread and carefully stitch the broken yarn. One more time back on my body. Not bad.
Not bad at all! I think this is wearable! So I have my first sweater ready to go for fall. Lessons learned……trust your pattern size not the size that is written on a sample. And never ever have fear to rip, shrink, re-block and if all else fails burn that ugly thing in the fire-pit.
I took a moment to read your blog on this sweater – loved it and your tenacious spirit! I hope to see you many more times on knit nights! I want to make your Nana’s handkerchief sweater when I get my other projects done!