To help Ellen feel better about frogging her lovely sweater, I will tell you about my sad sweater story. This sad sweater.
When I picked up knitting after a long absence, I was determined that it would not just be a scarf or some other rectangular object. I wanted to show right off the bat that I could do something more advanced, more befitting my ability. I wanted to knit a sweater. And it would be periwinkle blue. And it would be fun. And it would let me bare my shoulders a bit.
I chose the cover sweater from the Spring/Summer 2005 issue of Family Circle’s Easy Knitting magazine. Sure, the model was in her twenties, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t wear that sweater as long as I just pulled the sleeves up a bit so they didn’t go totally off the shoulder. And so what if it was trimmed in novelty yarn…that was just fun! And I didn’t know any LYSs, so I went to Michael’s and found some “nice” microfiber yarn that didn’t have a lot of give to it, but was so silky and such a pretty color.
I learned a lot from this sweater. I learned that yarns without give are not as forgiving when you are working out your natural tension. I learned that novelty yarn trim looks absolutely goofy on anyone above the age of 29 (and really, even the model on the cover looks a little goofy to me as I look at it now). I learned that it is helpful to understand the point of (and how to distinguish between) right and left hand decreases if you are making a raglan sleeve sweater. I learned that pattern measurements are distinctly different from personal measurements and that you should trust the size chart for recommended sizes and not go one size up to make sure the sweater is loose enough – that some sweaters are meant to have negative ease. I learned that you need to measure progress with the garment hanging – so gravity will have its way with the weight of the garment…at least this is true if you plan to wear it in an upright position. (Otherwise you can end up with a neck hole that stretches out so much you could pull it over your hips unless you whipstitch the edges to eliminate elasticity.) I learned that if you think it doesn’t look right on you, you should trust that instinct and not convince yourself that because your husband insists it looks fine, it can be worn in public…or private for that matter. Those instincts are sound — it can NOT be worn in public…or private for that matter.
So, after weeks of knitting I wore the sweater once and never again. I still have it…it is destined to be sewn into a pillow cover someday. I refuse to frog it — despite it’s many sad flaws, it is my first knitting project of any scale…and I still love the pretty color of the yarn and it’s silky feel. It will be a nice pillow cover. My dogs will love it.