Sweater dissection

Look what I found hiding in the depths of my closet:

Isn’t it gorgeous? All that lace and cable goodness in one sweater. When I saw this pattern, I was obsessed with it. At the time, I had never tried lace and wasn’t too proficient on cabling. It was the first time I followed a chart, and I couldn’t believe it when the fabric on my needles looked like the photo in the book. Because I was such a rookie at charts, it took me absolutely forever. I spent well over a year on this labor of love, with a lot of breaks to deal with my frustration, and I was overjoyed when I finished.

It just has one teensy problem.

It doesn’t fit. At all.

Granted, E is modeling for me and no, the sweater is not quite that big on me, but it’s pretty horrible.

I think this crappy picture (taken with my phone) best sums up where a great sweater that took a year of my life went wrong.

In short, this sweater, as knit above, would really only fit a creature with massive football-player shoulders and orangutan arms, who probably wouldn’t appreciate the lace and cable pattern anyway.

I tried to “make it work” by rolling up the sleeves, but in truth, I was a little brokenhearted that this was not the sweater of my dreams. The one that would make me look thinner, more sophisticated, casually elegant but with a sporty whimsical flair. Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either.

Today, it’s coming undone. It has sat in my closet long enough, making me feel guilty that such pretty yarn isn’t being worn as an even prettier sweater. So I’m taking control. I’m going to rip it apart even though it’s going to hurt me to undo all those hours.

Here’s the first cut which, as we all know from the song, is the deepest.

Then we approached the “how the heck did I put this crazy thing together” stage.

And then the scissors came out to tame the beast it had become.

I’ve still got another sleeve and then entire back to unravel. I didn’t think it would take this long, but I’ve realized that I can sew together the seams on a sweater such that they never, ever intend to come apart. I’ve also come to grips with the fact that I weave in ends like no other person I know. Let’s just say there’s been a fair amount of chocolate consumption going on to keep me from losing my mind over the unraveling.

All this reclaimed yarn is going to end up as The Daily Sweater (Ravelry link) from Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne’s wonderful knitting book, Mason-Dixon Knitting: Outside the Lines. I need something warm to throw on to walk the dog and to cuddle up in when it’s frigid outside, and this pattern looks like just the ticket.

I tried to focus on that as I tore all this work apart. If it kept hiding in my closet, I’d continue to hate the very sight of it because it never lived up to its potential to be my fabulous sweater.

Now, at least, it has a chance to become something new. It’s all about the process, right?

About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
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7 Responses to Sweater dissection

  1. Oh. My. That is NOT how I thought your post was going to end. I can only imagine the feeling you must have had as you were unraveling all of your work. It really was lovely and I applaud you giving it a chance to become something new. I can’t wait to see what is bound to be an even-BETTER-perfectly-sized sweater!!

    • Yeah, did I sound bitter at first? 🙂 It’s a huge bummer to like every aspect of the sweater I’ve knit, only to realize that even an animated Pixar character doesn’t have the right proportions to wear the silly thing.

      It’s been banished in the closet for a good long time-out. I love that yarn and its happy springy green color way too much to toss it. And I can’t wait to see how a different sweater turns out. Reduce, reuse, recycle — even in knitting!

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Katie B says:

    I wish I had your patience and your abilities. Fiber crafts are just not my forte. Looking forward to seeing the yarn in it’s new form. BTW mentioned this post on Google+

  3. Maggie says:

    Brave and oh, so sensible decision, good for you!

  4. susanbahr says:

    wonderful post and I couldn’t believe how much I relate to your predicament! I searched my closet recently and found three sweaters of my own creation, not one of which I’m able wear… and the fourth is no longer in the house – that is, I gave it away. Very funny, very smart post. Loved it. Just to continue the torment a bit longer (for us underachiever knitters) – I wonder if you’ve seen Pauline’s blog (paulineknits.wordpress.com) – she’s a quiet Dubliner with crazy knitting skills. Her photos of Ireland are beautiful, her lace is astounding. It’s worth a visit…

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the heads up on Pauline knits. I’m clicking there next…

      What kills me a little is that I was so enraptured of this sweater’s pattern that I didn’t really pay attention to its fit as I made the separate pieces. Once I finally got past unravelling the first few rows, I felt better about reworking the whole project. Makes me think top-down will work out better for me (although, honestly, it couldn’t be worse than this, could it?).

      • susanbahr says:

        It could go very bad – like when I was able to give my sweater away to a young girl (a pre-teen) who LOVED it! Sigh. Just what was I thinking? Yes, so you guessed, I’m older than a pre-teen.

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