Monday, February 27, 2012

A137, take THAT

Have you ever spent more time fixing the sweater you're knitting than actually knitting the sweater?

This sweater was one of those.

Meet the poetically named A137. Pattern here, mine, below

(please ignore the soggy towel above it there, blocking was...a fiasco?)

I originally wanted to rework it, and put the sweater together top down. I should have. It would have saved a lot of fighting.

I finished the back, the neck looked a little small but I trudged on. I finished the front. The neck was DEFINITELY too small, but I pretended it wasn't, because hey, the sleeves might add some space right? It's a raglan, but they could definitely add some heads small!

I finished the sleeves, get them almost all sewn in. They are four inches too short. Rip sleeves out. Reknit, using markers, EXACTLY 4 inches longer.

Put sleeves back together, set them in, they are two inches too long. Swear, rip out. Reknit the cast off edge. Sleeves are now one inch too short. Try to smoosh them into place (I believe the technical term is easing but smooshing is more like what happened).

Sleeves still don't fit. Swear, throw the whole thing on the floor, stomp on it, kick it, have a glass of wine and swear never to finish sweater.

Twenty minutes later: reknit sleeves this time slipping stitches so the sweater is EXACTLY where the sleeves are. Realize the problem...They are supposed to be too short idiot, its a raglan. The top and front get sewn to the top of the sleeve caps...move on.

Try sweater on, neck doesn't fit on head. (wondering why I didn't see this coming).

Rip out front, back, sleeves back to normal sized head width. Reseam. Sweater now fits over head.

Time to put on the collar! This will be easy! Its just picking up stitches and knitting!

End up with huge boat neck cowl. Rip out. Throw down.

Ten minutes later, end up with slightly less huge boat neck cowl.

Reread instructions 9 times to figure out that it says "decrease at seams if necessary for collar to lie flat".

Reknit cowl collar. End up with slightly less huge cowl thing. Decide cowls are cute. Put sweater on. Look in mirror.

Rip off sweater, rip out cowl, throw it all on the floor and hope the dog eats it.

Have another glass of wine. Last whack at the collar. Finish collar, bind off. Gee it lays so nicely!

Try to put on, refuses to fit over head.

Swear, rip out cast off, spend 45 minutes googling "stretchy bind offs" for one that doesn't look too strange. Use this.

Put on, YAY IT FITS! time for sleep, 3 am.

Next morning: Sew in all ends, in the attempt to sew in collar, eliminate stretchy-ness of bind off. Rip out 3 times, loosely tack end to rest of collar, hope maybe blocking will fix stupid-looking ness.

For the next 3 days:sew in ends.

Dunk in tub full of water. Realize sweater is now circus tent, not sweater....

Throw in dryer. Pull out, realize all hair conditioner used to make wool less itchy has not been washed out.

Ignore for 3 days.

Think about swearing off knitting, but then what would I do with all that yarn...Stuff pillows?

Redunk sweater, end up again, with circus tent, but at least now its not elephant-appropriate. Remove from tub, realize still greasy, redunk sweater, repeat.

2 days of dunking sweater later, throw in dryer again. Leave in dryer too long. Color changes have felted, GAH!

Turn sweater inside out, stretch color changes mercilessly. Cut some strings, stretch some more. Pull on head, start sticking things into sleeves to help stretch out some. Feel like idiot. Redunk. Problem solved.

Leave in kitchen floor to dry. Come home to find a new dog-kibble hiding place inside the sweater.

Remove kibbles, flip over, place in bedroom floor. Come home to find new dog bed has been made, on sweater.

Remove dog hair, shake out, still damp, so place in bathtub, which dog fears. Go 2 days without showering (its okay it was the weekend, no one saw me mom).

TA DAA!!! Finished sweater.

If you feel you must must must have one? I highly recommend doing this sweater as a top down raglan. Consult Ann Budd's handy book of sweater patterns if you have no clue what I'm talking about.

Good luck.


  1. Yay for the sweater being done! I always try to learn from my sweater-related tribulations. For instance: make sure the sweater is going to be long enough. Really long enough, not "I think it'll block to be long enough." That kind of thinking just leads to tears and anger.

  2. Maybe this is why I live vicariously through all y'all's knitting. On a similar note my grandmother asked about the needle set I got for Christmas. I had to admit that I wanted them to learn how to knit and consequently am waiting mostly for a lesson with Lily...