It is a beautiful pattern, and I can see from the look of this WIP that it will turn out just like the pattern. But there is something about this project that sets my teeth on edge. It has sat on my WIP pile for several weeks now, untouched. I only have one sleeve to knit. It’s not even a full-length sleeve. It’s a bare three hours work or so, and it’s done.
All I want to do though is rip it out, bury the yarn back in my stash (or perhaps not), and do it again in another yarn. In a yarn I like better, and will feel better about giving away.
There are a couple of things I’m unhappy about. The first is the method of increase for the yoke – if you have a look, you’ll see the top-down construction involves increasing evenly across the yoke – but you can see all the increases in those horizontal lines across the yoke. It’s bothering me. I had a look at others’ notes on Ravelry, and some have changed the pattern to make it a raglan sleeve and incorporated the increases that way for this reason. I think I would have preferred to do that – it’s neater.
The more significant reason I’m unhappy with this project is that I think I chose the wrong yarn.
I keep thinking “crepe yarn” (no pun intended) with this cardigan. Or perhaps a lovely merino cashmere like Zealana’s Willow. Or something pretty and semi-variegated, maybe something like Madelintosh or Plucky Knitter (from what I’ve heard about it). Maybe even an alpaca yarn. Or possum. All I know is that it needs to be soft, and squooshy, but also durable.
The yarn I’ve used is not scratchy, but it is quite ‘hard’, as in firm. And I think it’s putting me off. I actually feel itchy (and not in a good way) just looking at it. I may also be suffering a small amount of trauma…
I had awful trouble with the bind-off for the hem – the bind-off ended up being worked three times. The first time, I thought I’d do a proper stretchy bind-off for once. Oooh. Yuck. The hem flared like a peplum, and I knew there was no way on the planet the yarn would block down. Rip. Rip. Rip. The second try, I decided to do my half-stretchy bind-off. It looked lovely, but it was too tight, and the cardigan would not meet in the middle. Hmm. Rip. Rip. Rip. The third try, I decided to do a variation of the stretchy bind-off, and make it a lacy one. I have no idea if this is a ‘proper’ method – “someone” was hogging the laptop at the time, and I was too impatient to wait to look up techniques.
I’m reasonably happy with the lacy stretchy bind-off. It goes something like this: Purl one, *YO, Purl one. Purl the last stitch and the YO together through the back loop, then bind the remaining stitch over it*. Repeat * to * to end. I purled the bind-off because it caused the bind-off edging to face inwards and you can’t see that tell-tale “hand knit” ugly row of bind-off stitches at the bottom. It also stretches just right! It looks a little bulky in the photo, but stretched out, it’s fine.
Then the lace edge of the sleeve decided to be uncooperative on the final row, and despite my efforts to fix it, I ended up ripping back all 12 rows of the lace repeat. I still haven’t found the quiet space and energy level I need to re-attempt this.
I really do not like knitting lace. It is gorgeous when it works out, but I must have too many things whirling around in my head to concentrate properly, because I make mistakes, and then it all turns to custard. Perhaps I’m just not a natural lace knitter. Cables, gansey patterns, colourwork, it’s all good. But get me further than a basic lace edging, eyelet or feather and fan, and I struggle. I find it painful to look at all the patterns for lace shawls that are so popular on Ravelry right now – they give me nightmares thinking about knitting them!
I suspect I would enjoy the knitting a lot better if I was enjoying the yarn. After all, knitting is as much about enjoying the tactile experience of yarn in hand as seeing the finished product.
So, what do you think I should do? Grit my teeth and finish the last sleeve? Or just frog it and start all over again?
I suspect it’s a frog. I don’t think I could proudly give this cardi away. After all, it’s meant to be a birthday present, and how can I do that if it is not satisfactory in my own eyes?