Activities · Fiber Craft

A Long Road to Knit

Remember this sweater?

Oh hello again.

Last time we talked about it, I just had to rip out a full TWELVE inches of knitting because I missed including a color in the right place. Some people would have let it go, but alas, I had a plan and gosh darnit I was going to follow that plan.

However, the frogging of a whole foot of sweater did have repercussions: I then put the sweater at the bottom of the to-knit pile for a couple months to think about what it had done. Or made me do. Whatever.

When I finally pick it up, I manage to find my rhythm of changing yarn skeins every two rows and continue along my merry way. Once it’s time to split the fabric into quarters and start the neck and shoulder shaping, due to an overabundance of paranoia caution, I go through the trouble of weighing the next colors so that the gradients on all four quadrants will match up. This means dividing the remaining yarn into 5 equal-weighted balls; one for each quadrant plus one extra to do the ribbing on the cuffs and the neckline. This is tedious, but you know what is extra tedious? FROGGING.

You thought I was kidding, didn’t ya?

With all of my little duckling balls in a row, I do one quadrant at a time, and then seam each shoulder. And then I ignore it, again. For, I don’t know… months? But why, Jacquelyn? You were so close!

There is reason behind the procrasti-madness, I swear! In order to do the cuffs and neckline, I would have to PICK UP STITCHES. And normally this isn’t an issue, but the problem was that I had to pick up a very specific number of stitches in each quadrant, and this number did NOT match the number of rows. It’s like the knitting equivalent of gathering in sewing; and I loathe gathering. It’s so… imprecise. Ugh.

I eventually gird my loins and begin the process; only to find out that somehow, I still don’t know how, I managed to make one quadrant smaller than the rest. In a spectacular feat of teenager-level of denial, I ignore it and joke with the Crafty Council that I will just have a super fashionable slant to my sweater. The 1980s are fashionable again, right?

Ahh, so close, just a little bit to do then all finished!

I finish the last of the cuffs and neckline with a little bit of the next color in the gradient and then weave in all the ends. Most knitters dislike this step, but I’m odd and I find it fun. I don’t know why, either. The next and final step: blocking and trimming all the woven-in ends.

Buuuuuuuut I don’t. Well, not for a while anyway, like months. Why change my pattern now?

But then I’m tidying the attic and find myself holding this 98% done sweater asking myself the same question (still, the answer is “dunno”) and decide I will block it. Oh and it smells slightly of cat pee, as it was collateral damage in the recent “expression” of my old cat’s disgruntlement about …something. We never actually know what it is he’s mad about, but I don’t know that he always knows either.

Here’s to hoping Soak cures all ills, especially cat pee.

So I dunk the sweater in some Soak and a little bit of Nature’s Miracle, and hope for the best. Once I (gently) wring it out, I set up my blocking mats and grab my T-pins to do a proper blocking job. Eh, mostly proper, because at this point I just want to be done and pinning every inch or so is just too fussy. And then I wait.

I should have known better than to do this on the living room table.

It seems like geologic age before the sweater is finally dry – mostly because the entire time it was blocking, I had to defend its honor and integrity against kitten, child, and husband alike. No, we do not take out the pins. No, this is not a great place to take a nap. NO PLEASE DO NOT PUT GROCERIES ON THE SWEATER.


Finally, the sweater is dry to the touch, and I’m excited and mildly terrified of putting it on for the first time. What if it looks terrible? What if I see an error? What if, horror of horrors, the gradation is off?

It fits! I made a thing and it doesn’t look awful! *uproarious applause*

I don the sweater, and while it’s not perfect, it’s pretty darn awesome. This sweater was a spectacular PITA, but will I try something similar again? You bet your ball of yarn I will.

One thought on “A Long Road to Knit

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