There is a difference between “looking” and truly “seeing”. What appears in your head as a translation of an image you are looking at may not necessarily be the reality of the situation.
When I started Olga, I saw a bulky sweater, with turtle neck and raglan sleeves. There was a pretty cable bridging the raglan seam. I saw that the sleeves were quite baggy on the model, but to me it looked like a case of small model in sweater too big for her.
Tonight, to my immense disappointment, I realised that I saw, but I did not see. Halfway through the shaping for the armholes/bodice, I started to finger the rapidly reducing ball worriedly. I looked at the length of the bodice, and wondered if I could really fit in another 40 rows of knitting…
I tried it on.
Hmm. There is cause for concern.
It started when I was knitting the sleeves. After I’d finished, I pulled the sleeve on to try, and realised that it was very wide. Quite flappy under the arm actually.
However, logic told me that as the body was more fitting than it was meant to be, surely the sleeves would be right? I decided to trust the pattern and press on. Despite having to knit an extra 4″ of length on to the sleeves so that they were the right length.
However, the moment I put the sweater on, I knew something was not quite right. There was no way I could knit another 40 rows of decreasing given the length of the bodice was almost already complete.
I decided I’d do a rapid decrease at this point, and K1, K2tog all the way round and see if that fixed things. To a certain extent, it did. But those sleeves. They were really.quite.huge and looked totally wrong in proportion to the rest of the sweater. There was nothing I could do to fix it save to rip all the knitting out. You can see how baggy the sleeves were in the photo. My son giggled “Mum, you could put pockets in there!” Nothing like the sting of truth to make one see reason!
I look a deep breath, poured myself a large glass of wine, and pulled.
How could things have gone so wrong? Why was the pattern not working out?
I went back to the photo of the pattern. If you look closely, you will see that the sleeves are incredibly baggy, and start somewhere near the waist.
To my knitter’s eye, this did not compute. Sleeves do not start at the waist. Sleeves are never that baggy. Also, I looked at the number of cables on the sweater – I can see about six twists. The cables are twisted every six rows. Six cables x every six rows = only 36 rows. To my mind’s eye, this was meant to be a normal raglan sleeve. Not some flappy, 80’ish version… Hence the conclusion of sweater being too big for model. The schematic didn’t really help to clarify things either.
If you read the instructions though, and knit exactly as stated, it seems to me that you will end up with a sweater that is essentially batwing in construction. This is where the missing 4″ went from the body and sleeves – it was all knit into the bodice! Only I’ve been fiddling it all along to make it look the way I thought it was meant to look and ending up with the wrong proportions.
I’m rather annoyed with myself. I wanted a normal chunky sweater with normal (aka 2012’ish) sleeves and a decent body length. I just happened to choose the wrong pattern.
I’m going to go ahead and reknit this to suit me. I love the yarn, I love the colour, and I still like the picture in my head. But it’s not going to be at all like what you see in the pattern!