Saturday, 25 July 2015

Knitting Procrastination and How I Finally Got a Lovely Cardigan Out of It. . .

I think there are a lot of reasons why knitting projects languish in the WIP pile for ages.  In the case of this cardigan, a look on ravelry reveals that I started it in March 2012.  I remember buying both the pattern book and the yarn on one of my early visits to the Liverpud (so it was probably the first yarn purchase I ever made in Liverpool)  and casting on right away.  The lace pattern on the bottom of the cardigan is fairly straight forward and then it was stockinette with a few decreases and I was off.  I knit the body and even blocked it.  And then put it in a bag.  And left it.  For months and months.  I remember packing it for my move to the UK and thinking, I MUST finish this someday.

Eventually I took the pattern out again and decided to knit the sleeves.   And the niggling voice at the back of my mind that said, "I think you are going to run out of yarn" became louder as I neared the end of the second sleeve.  I think this inner knitting devil is a big factor  in why we never finish some projects.  As it turned out, I did run out of yarn about two rows before the end of the sleeve, meaning one was now shorter than the other.  So I put the project away again in despair.  For months!

However, at the start of this year, I decided to challenge myself and see if I could knit 12 garments in 12 months and WIPs counted.  I have several WIPs in various stages of completion and it was always part of my plan to pull one out when it looked as if I were falling behind schedule.   I had nearly given this up for good though - in my head, those two shorter rows had built themselves up to be this huge insurmountable challenge. I'd have a totally wonky cardigan.  I'd never be able to match the sleeves correctly.  And how would I seam it all up without any more of the same yarn? I now didn't even like this cardigan and should I even bother since I really hate seaming set-in sleeves anyways?

Guess what?  Two rows of stockinette at the top of a sleeve is a pretty minuscule shortage, and easy enough to fudge.  And I found a yarn in my stash that was close enough to the magenta colour that it didn't show, especially as most of the sewing up was using mattress stitch. Yes it took time and all the way through the process, I was still grumbling that it would be all for nought.  Yes, I had to rip out the seaming of one sleeve and start again.  But it was so totally worth it and I love this cardigan now! 

The pattern is Wytham by Jeni Hewlett and the yarn is Fyberspates Scrumptious DK which is 55% merino and 45% silk, hence the gorgeous sheen.  It's a really intense colour and I have nothing else like it in my wardrobe. but I think it will look equally good over jeans or a black dress.

I am just so pleased that it's FINALLY done! The moral to this story is don't give up on your poor projects.  If you are still drawn to the pattern and yarn, there WILL be a way to make it work.  Above all, don't let the frustration of a problem fester in your head or WIP pile until it becomes a much bigger obstruction to finishing in the imagination than it is in reality.  I'll remember this lesson when it comes time to dig out another WIP which I've put on the back burner (again for years) because there's a tricky bit with sleeve caps in the pattern.  Which is silly.  There's a woman in my walking group who has knit it and she advised me to just read and follow the pattern carefully. I can do that.  I will do that!

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