Friday, 11 September 2009

The Cardy Saga

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I kept thinking, “oh, I’ll wait until I get the next bit done and I have something more interesting to say”. I think this is called procrastination with a tinge of denial. Although I did book blog in the meantime, so I’m not that bad.

I’ve been working on my Drops Knitted Cardy. All in all, it should have been fairly straight forward, and really it was. After agonizing about the size and gauge, as per usual, I finally picked one, ordered my yarn and started knitting. The back went well, the sleeves went well, the first front went well, then things went down hill. I have to admit not all of it had to do with gauge, knitting ability etc. Unfortunately my older Dane, T, was diagnosed with bone cancer last week. Being upset, I thought I’d go home and knit to calm me down, only I should have chosen to knit a plain sock and not the cardigan. I think I must have knit the same 20 rows about 4 times. It was a complicated bit with decreases in two places, a double knit row at the edge a button hole and cables and I’d either forget one or the other, or then think I forgot one or the other and rip out only to notice I’d done it right the first time. It was a bit of a mess. Never knit complicated stuff when you’re upset. I should have known this. Now I just wonder if I’ve learned my lesson. Maybe I should just knit garter stitch scarves for the next few months and save myself the bother.

Anyway, after finally getting through the second front bit and wondering why all was going so swimmingly, I notice that I forgot to make the stitch before the edge stitches on the other front piece garter stitch. Fortunately I was able to just open up the cast off, frog one row, drop the stitch down to where I should have started the garter and pick them up properly. This went surprisingly well. I still can’t get over not having to frog the whole bit. After that, I sewed the pieces together – again this went deceptively well – only to find that despite having gone that extra mile with my swatch and having chosen a size that should have just barely fit me because I knew the cotton yarn would get wider, it was still too big. Much too big. In the immortal words of a co-worker,

“You could be 35 months pregnant and still fit into this sweater”.

For some reason, my gauge had gotten much tighter as I knit, leaving the bottom quite wide. The middle part of the sweater was roomy, but acceptably so. It looked a bit like a bell bottomed sweater. I’m sure a model would have pulled it off as a fashion statement, but it just made me look like a pregnant hippo with a conical baby.

Funnily enough, I wasn’t devastated (my devastation has all gone into the dog). I just looked for a way to fix it. We discussed this at work - with my boss looking on and shaking his head as four women stared at a sweater and hemmed and hawed for about half an hour - and finally decided I should just try pulling the sides apart and hemming them in a bit (since I can’t do steeks). Sooooo, I went home that night, pulled the sides out – for all of my fear that my ends will come out and the sweater will unravel, it took me three times as long to pull the seams apart as it did to sew them up. I re-sewed them, gradually increasing the intake and thus making the sweater narrower and straighter. The hem looks great outside although a bit wonky inside. However, I’m betting very few people will be asking me to take it off so they can inspect the inside seam. I will probably whip stitch that bit down too, so it doesn’t roll inside the sweater and make it even bulkier, so even if they did, it will at least look tidy.

It’s still quite roomy, but I can live with that. I actually wanted it that way. It was generally agreed by my co-workers and moi-même that it’s really pretty and nice and soft and lovely and now I can’t wait for it to get colder so I can wear it. I love this sweater, despite its roominess. Love it. The only down side is that if I ever manage to loose any weight, I might still have to look for that pregnant hippo to pass it along to.

For those wondering about the dog, T is still fine at the moment. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain at all, he just has a tumour on his leg. I will eventually have to start giving him pain killers, but at the moment, he’s still fine without them. Well enough even to pilfer and devour a half a kilo of dried tripe while I was at work one day this week. The sympathy factor served him well that day. Any other time I would have throttled him.


  1. Sorry to hear about your dog, but the cardigan is beautiful (and the store of it's creation darn funny) I love those cables

  2. Sorry about your dog -- puts the sweater in perspective, doesn't it? You don't do steeks?? Next time I'm in Switzerland we'll sit down together and I'll get you steeking your little heart out Sweater does look lovely.

  3. You definitely did a fab job adjusting the fit of the sweater--I can't see where it needed the attention. Give T a big hug for me. And, seriously, tripe? *shudders* Remind me to introduce you to my uncle in Argentina. :D

  4. Poor doggy. So sorry.

    The sweater looks great and very comfy. I would much rather have a roomy cardigan than a tight one.

  5. I am really, really sorry about T. His compatriot in eating things he's not meant to, Porter, also sends love.

    The sweater looks lovely and as long as you're comfortable wearing it, it doesn't matter what size it came out to be.