Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Death of a project

No one likes failure.  But I grit my teeth and admit defeat.  

I loved this project.  The Putney Aran Tunic.   

Putney Aran Tunic


*Large sigh*  I have spent so many hours on this thing.  Especially considering it has already been ripped back once before.  I considered just pressing on and finishing it.  I really want to knit a) a jumper featuring (some) cable detail, and b) I really want to knit that alpaca/wool yarn that I have in my stash.  It’s such a lovely charcoal colour, and it will be sooo cosy to wear this winter.   

But, I couldn’t work out why I had put it aside and wasn’t working on it any more.  As I allude to in my post about The Stansborough Tee, I started to bother me that the cabling had taken up almost the entire body.  And the more I have thought about it over the past few days, the more I have realised that I would not feel comfortable wearing a pullover that was mostly honeycomb cables.  Did I want to spend another 50 hours or so knitting something that had a high chance of not being worn, just because I’d started it? I knew I’d feel like I was wearing something out of Xena Princess Warrior.  That wasn’t what I wanted.  I wanted a jumper that looked exactly like the picture!  

I considered re-proportioning the pattern, and taking out a couple of honeycomb repeats and having more purl at the sides so that it looks more like the picture.  I may still do that.  But I don’t know.  I’m a bit disgruntled with the whole thing at the moment. 

Ah well.  

What I have learned:  

1)  note the proportions of the pattern in your size.  It might not end up looking like the pretty picture if your size is smaller or larger than what you see.  

2) cabling is wonderful, but it does add significantly to the overall weight and thickness of your project.  Especially large repeats of honeycomb.  Do you really want to wear something that thick?  

3) if the project is hinting at cotton, it might suggest that a yarn with more “body” might not be the right thing to use… even if it is the same knitting weight.  I had seen the call for DK weight cotton, or wool/cotton in the pattern, but seeing that my alpaca was still a DK, thought it would be fine.  But it has added to the more bulky feel that the project.  And I have now learned that alpaca is quite a dense fibre.  Still, that’s a minor detail.  It won’t have stopped the tunic looking like one big cable.  Which is my main beef.  

It’s annoying that I have had to stop, but I’m happy that I have learned a lot about: 

  • how alpaca behaves when knitted;
  • tension (gauge – not the stress kind, but I could say that might be an extra meaning in this particular situation!);
  • proportion, and 
  • the construction and effect of cables in a pattern.

So it’s not entirely wasted time, and by stopping now, I’m relieved I have not wasted more time on it. 

On to the next thing.  I shall have to continue combing my books and magazines to find that one lovely pattern match that isn’t just plain stocking stitch for my pretty alpaca.  It’s out there somewhere.  I know!


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

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