Been far far too long since I blogged and here’s one of the reason: this sweater. I thought this would be a fairly easy sweater (especially since it’s called “Simple Knitted Bodice”) and for the most part it was. The problem was the contrasting yarn. I just hadn’t bought enough of it and it was so expensive, I chose to spend more time unraveling and reknitting than spend another $33. Yes, this means my time is less precious to me than money. Hey, I work for the state. They feel the same way.
Here’s how I remember this one going together:
- I start out with the top. It begins with a few stitches and keeps growing, so I am flying through the rows. I become deluded into thinking this sweater will be done in a weekend. As I get to the armpits, I realize it’s going to take much longer than that.
- Finally, I reach the fun trim part. Now I’ve made Stitch Diva sweaters before, and they are always a little short (even if I’m swatched), so I’m going up a size on this one. I dig into the contrasting band, and when I’m near the end I realize that it now looks like I have a spare tire around my waist. Oh and knitting with beads? Kind of a pain in the ass. You end up spending a lot of time pushing them through the other side. Now I’ve got to unravel all this and start over.
- I decrease the stitches down to the smaller size and restitch the middle band. Again, I spend a lot of time pushing the beads through. This is a big mistake. Wait until you’re finished. For one thing, if you have to unravel it again, you’re going to have a devil of a time with all those beads you spent a long time pushing through to the other side. Not only are you mad you wasted your time, it’s harder to unravel. Real salt in the wound.
- I try it on and the spare tire look is gone and it fits much better. I then zing my way through the bottom of the sweater with ease. Much easier than that “fun trim” I had been working on.
- On to the sleeves. The first one goes very easily and I wisely keep track of the stitches I’m doing so I can replicate it on the other sleeve.
- I start the second sleeve. As I do that “fun’ band again, I realize I’m going to run out of that super-expensive yarn. I’m faced with two choices: bite the bullet and buy more, when I’ll end up using maybe 20% of the yarn to finish the sweater. Or … I can unravel EVERYTHING and save myself the money on the yarn. That’s correct: I choose to unravel everything.
- The unraveling can be tough to do when you are doing it through tears. (I’m kidding. I did it while watching Daily Show and did it as quickly as I could, like a band-aid, before I changed my mind about it.)
- Now I’m adjusting the pattern. Instead of 5.5 repeats of the chevron lace, I’m doing 4. And instead of two rows of knit between the three purl rows, I’m doing 1. And, I’m holding my breath that this will do the trick, because if it doesn’t, I might have to just set fire to the damn thing.
- Starting with reknitting the sleeves, so I can best judge how far I can push this small amount of very expensive yarn. The first band goes quickly and on to the sleeve. I’m adjusting here. Instead of every 5 rows, it’s every 7 to increase. And, when I get to the trim, I’m doing 2 rows of purl and 1 of knit instead of 3 to 2.
- On to the second sleeve. This one goes much slower. More red tick marks as the rows go by. The second sleeve is knitted to Victor/Victoria. What a great movie. I too am wondering how much more I can go on with this damn sweater. It doesn’t help that my husband prefers TV viewing in the dark and this sweater is black.
- OK I can’t take it any more. I have to complete something or I’m going to commit hara-kiri with my knitting needles. I stop and knit a pair of fingerless gloves for the office, when it’s 96 outside and 54 inside.
- Whoops, freelance break. The next two weeks are spent working on my embroidery magazine project. I’ve tried embroidery. Kudos to you ladies that do it. It makes knitting look very fast.
- Boy chevron lace flies when you do that middle band three times. Now I have to adjust for the 12 rows I’ve lost in the middle band. Instead of increasing every 5 rows, I’m increasing every 7 rows. I’ve got pages of tick marks everywhere. Now I’m color coding them. Using red for the second set, because I’m really in debt on this sweater. And, it looks like my yarn is going to hold out. Whew.
- Wow, I have more yarn than I thought. You know, that bottom trim on the sleeves looks skimpy. I’m going to do 3 rows of purls and 1 knit instead of the original 3/2 pattern. The sleeves will be fine with the lesser trim, right? No one will notice?
- Shit, the difference really needs to be adjusted. Plus, I have yarn left. I’m not going to let that go to waste, am I? Really? Let’s finish the neckline first, see what I’ve got left.
- Neckline goes fast, primarily because this might be the only part of the sweater that I will knit once. I still have beaded yarn left. What do to about that skimpy sleeve trim …
- Unraveling the trim on the sleeves. Sigh. Really, Christine, you’ve come this far. It’s 4 rows. Are you really going to be defeated by 4 rows? (Well, 8 if you count each sleeve.)
- OK, two nights later and an another hour’s work and that was probably smart. I can’t wait to show it off! Wait, the high tomorrow is 80? Crap. Plus, I have some beaded yarn left now. What will I do with it?