Saturday, August 12, 2006

Today's sweater story

Look! I recycled some yarn from an ugly sweater!

Let me think, where did I get the sweater... thinking... oh yeah! I knitted it myself last year! That's right. I remember now. I wanted a raglan style cardigan that I could fall in love with. A sweater that I would end up wearing every day. A simple, natural, old fashioned, plain and tall hand knit cardigan. Alas! It was not meant to be.

If I could pinpoint where the sweater went wrong I would say it was in the expectations phase. I wanted the sweater to be what it could never be. I was looking for the stuff only dreams are made of... cozy, soft, perfect, timeless, classic, flattering, etc. I may as well been hoping to knit a unicorn. That was the first problem.

I had enough undyed yarn to make the project, but there were many questions. Could a girl my size, shape and complexion look okay in a bulky knit shapeless, colorless sweater? Probably not. Was my gauge consistent? Not especially. Did I knit the whole thing anyway, including seaming and weaving in the loose ends perfectly? Of course. I'm no amateur.

Put kindly, the sweater could have fit a small horse. More honestly, it would have fit a full grown male gorilla. I wore it around the house a day or two, in denial. I kept checking the mirror to see if it looked okay, and it never did. I posed like they do in knitting magazines when the shaping on a garment is bad. I hugged myself, I reached for an apple in an imaginary tree, and I twirled around, laughing. It helped a little, but the sweater was hopeless.

I put the sweater in my closet and forgot about it. That is, until the other day. I looked at it on the shelf and a wave of memories came back to me. What sweater is this? (pause) Oh yeah. The stupid sweater.

How is today different from the day I put it in my closet last year? I'll tell you. I now own a ball winder. This makes it SO easy to pretend that the bad sweater never happened. Just plug in one end and turn the crank. The monster unraveled into nothingness.

This is the story of an unfortunate sweater that has potential now that it is reduced to it's original state: yarn. Yarn can be anything. And if I put the yarn back in my stash the memory of the stupid sweater will wear away from it over time. Or is it that I am supposed to knit it into something else to erase it's memory?

What on earth can I make with 1200 yards of bulky weight superwash undyed wool? I got it! A classic, raglan style cardigan!


Brewer said...

my kids are right... ball winders rock! sorry to read about the stupid sweater but now the potential... Good luck finding it's new life's calling

Wendy Stackhouse said...

It's so nice to have a crafty hobby where the materials can go back to their original state if it doesn't work out (unless you steek, I suppose).

Speaking of raglan sweaters, my FIL has 1) completely forgotten that he wanted a sweater like DS's; 2) but does in fact want a sweater; and 3) doesn't want anything like DS's sweater.

So I'll be measuring him and a sweater that he likes today and having a serious discussion with him, since he will NOT be able to change his mind after this.

I'm determined to make a top down raglan, though, probably cardigan, definitely worsted weight. The question will be, to steek or not to steek, as I would really like to knit it in the round. More research is in order!

I will be online regularly again as of tomorrow afternoon, thank god! This is excruciating!

Hope all is going well! Wonder how we did...judging was August 1...