For the first time, ever, I have a completely wearable, long-sleeve (ish) cardigan.  But, I happen to have very bad luck when it comes to making any knit object larger than a scarf.  It just doesn’t go over very well with me.  I don’t know why.   My last cardigan experience was not the best one, and I still get a little sad when I think about it.

I chalk it all up to learning experiences.

My poor herringbone sweater was a lot of firsts for me (in no particular order):

-First time not following a pattern.

-First time knitting a long-sleeved sweater.

-First time steeking.

-First time knitting picot edgings

I had high hopes for it.  Really high hopes.  Turns out that the sweater was too tight.  I had used a sweater I like to wear as the basis for the measurements and completely disregarded the fact that the template sweater wasn’t made of worsted weight wool (in stranded colorwork) and the sweater I was trying to knit would be.  I tried to save it by steeking (which, by the way, is really really really really really fun), but it just didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to turn out.  I mean, the steeking part was fine — it was the making it up part that wasn’t.  Sad face.

So I learned some things:

(1) The kind of fabric determines how the garment will behave

(2) Stranded colorwork is not stretchy.

(3) If in doubt, go bigger.

(4) How to steek using a crocheted chain.

(5) Some things are fixable.  Others are not.

(6) Lionbrand Fisherman’s Wool is great for steeking.

This newest finished object (original pattern here) for which I harbor high hopes, too, could end very very very very very badly.  The yarn was given to me (and who am I to turn down free yarn?), and the color is revolting.  Or at least, I deem it revolting.  Which is all that really matters because it is MY SWEATER.  And I knit it because I wanted to knit it.  Thing is, I knit when I’m stressed, and this past month has been nothing if not stressful for me.  Stress + me = compulsive knitter.  Sometimes it ends well, sometimes not so much.  I’m not sure about this time around.

Pre-blocking, pre-mischief, it fits!  I grafted the arms together and I sewed up the underarms.  I have yet to weave in the ends, but that’s my least favorite part.  I have socks for which the cast on tail is still dangling about or tucked inside because I loathe weaving in ends almost as much as I loathe washing dishes.  It will get done, promise.

Well, here’s the thing: I don’t like the color and the color doesn’t like me back.  So, I want to dye it.  I lack a permanent residence and I currently live in remote tropical island.  My sweater is 100% wool.  All I have is Kool-Aid and a bucket.  I want to dye it.  Can I?  Should I?  I know dyeing is a fickle creature, but I am a compulsive monster.  The thought both delights me and scares me.  I don’t want to end up sad.

But, even if it does end up poorly, I have consolation in the fact that knitting up this cardigan has taught me a lot of things.  It was a learning experience, after all.  In no particular order, I learned:

(1) Why everyone loves short-rows.
(2) How to do short-rows.
(3) How to make button holes.
(4) How to graft garter stitch.
(5) I don’t have enough buttons.
(6) It is possible to knit an entire garment in a color which one does not like.
(7) How to spit join.
(8) How to do a crocheted provisional cast-on.

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