Monday, January 12, 2009

Breaking a sweater curse

2009: A year with big goals and real potential.

One such goal is knitting a sweater that fits. Yes, a simple goal, but one I have failed to achieve as of yet. How embarrassing to admit!

I've cast on and frogged dozens of sweaters in my life. There was always a Problem. Sometimes it was the yarn, sometimes the pattern. Often it was the knitting. The story is nearly the same every time.

It was two years ago I attempted to make a simple cardigan.

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 natural wool 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 alpha-male gorilla. I wore it around the house for 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.


It was The Stupid Sweater. I undid everything and returned the wool from beast to balls, which now live in a rubbermaid container in my basement. Recently I made leg warmers out of 2 of the balls:

Koolhaas Leg Warmers

Knitting the yarn into something new helped erase the memory of the ugly. But what about some new yarn, a new pattern, and a new start?

Pattern: Glee by Zephyr Style.

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Heavyweight in color Mossay.


Glee Sweater

I got pretty far on the medium size and then I tried it on... I'm knitting the small size now. What's a sweater without some frogging? I would have tried it on sooner but it's always too cold! To try on a sweater! O the irony!

In summary, this could be the sweater that breaks the curse. Then again, so much can still go wrong. I remain hopeful.


Clumsy Knitter said...

Nice pattern, pretty yarn, can do it! :)

Sara said...

Good luck with the curse breaking!

I love the idea of knitting a sweater, but even if I made it turn out right... I'd have a sweater. I don't like wearing sweaters.

Why can't I knit a hooded sweatshirt?

Anonymous said...

Good Luck! You can't go wrong with a Zeyphr Style pattern!

TricotChico said...

1) Your blog makes me LOL at work. No small feat, that!

2) One day I hope to join you in the brave world of sweater knitters. For now, I'll buy sweater-quantities of yarn and store them under my bed w/the promise "someday...".


Erin said...

I am trying to break a sweater curse as well, but instead I am making gifts for my family. Anyway, those leg warmers are adorable. The link seems to be off though