Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thanks Winston

I want to personally thank Winston Churchill for giving me the courage to say, "I will never surrender." I realize that Churchill was vowing to never yield to invasion and occupation by the Nazis during World War II and I'm talking about not giving up on a project, but you get the picture.
The other day I lamented discovering that I didn't have enough yarn to finish my Tea Leaves Cardigan, at least not the way I had envisioned it. You all responded with much encouragement and a few suggestions. Several recommended that I consider making the cardigan short sleeved, an option I considered and decided to pursue. Luckily, despite how disheartened I felt by not getting to make exactly the cardigan I wanted I hadn't as yet ripped back my work. That was mostly because I had spit spliced my yarn together and I didn't want to have to deal with the mega ball of yarn that ripping back would produce.
Once I'd come to terms with short sleeves, I picked up where I left off and continued knitting the body of the sweater. The instructions called for 13" to be knitted in stockinette from the armhole and a final 18 rows of garter stitch as an edging. I did as I was told. I even added the left buttonhole band. And then I tried on the sweater. I liked the fit, but it was too long, at least for me. The bottom of the sweater hit well below my hip. I figured that once it was blocked it would be even longer. The length reminded me of those 70's sweaters with the matching knitted belts.
This time, though I was disappointed that I wasn't as close to finishing as I thought, I felt strangely energized by having to rip back and rework the sweater.

Dammit, I wasn't going to be defeated.

I marked the spot I wanted to rip back to so I could pick up the stitches and add the garter stitch band. I undid the cast off edge and began to unravel. Then, as I collected the yarn into a ball I realized something wonderful. All the yarn that was not going into the body of the sweater would now be available for another purpose-making longer sleeves. I can't promise long sleeves, but elbow length are almost guaranteed and 3/4 length is not outside the realm of possibilities. Maybe, just maybe, I'll have enough for long sleeves. No matter how much additional sleeve length I gain from shortening the body, this redo is most decidedly the silver lining to my struggle with this silver yarn.


Beth Laske-Miller said...

Yay! Kudos for not giving up! I'm nearing the hem on my current project and am ridiculously nervous about trying it on. I can do it!

stephie @ narrative self said...

You're very adaptable, which is a great sign of creativity! Can't wait to see how your jumper turns out - sounds like it won't be long.
I've ripped back a black, lacy mohair scarf about 5 times now - it's driving me INSANE!! But I am nothing if not tenacious and it WILL be a scarf, whether it wants to be or not!

Ravenhill said...

Persevere. I think it is great that you keep going even when it is not going just right.

海產 said...

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.............................................

Cindy said...

Gotta say, I feel inspired. I just finished a hat and a pair of socks (my first time) but can't imaginge knitting a whole sweater. I'd love to do it though.