Saturday, March 13, 2010

Making spaghetti

Don't worry. This is not one of those knitting blogs that veers off into recipes because the blogger can't think of anything knitting-related to write about. I'm not talking about pasta today. Instead, I'm making spaghetti of my Handstrikket sleeve - again.

To recap: I decided a couple of months ago to remake this authentic, handknitted Norwegian cardigan my mother gave me 35 years ago. The label wording became my project name: Handstrikket. My plan is to keep the fair isle motifs but knit the garment in updated colors and in my current (much, much larger) size. My first thought was to use the Ditto cardigan I made last year as the basic pattern, but instead I re-created the cardigan using Sweater Wizard to ensure the finished garment's fit. After much whining, I completed the bottom of sweater, a huge (no pun intended) undertaking in stockinette stitch. I was thrilled to move on to the sleeves, but I've now knitted them twice, been incredibly disappointed both times, and unraveled them both with gusto and disgust (aka disgusto?). Hence, I present photographic evidence of the spaghetti that resulted from the sleeve being destroyed yet again.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again, right?

Guess so.  If you guys weren't watching me, this whole project would be in a plastic Safeway bag buried in the back of the closet. So thank you for making me feel like I have to work through this rather than abandon ship. Believe me, I'd rather be swimming in the Caribbean than trudging through this cardigan! Or knitting something - anything! - else.

But I'm dedicated to finishing what I started. This time I'm going to be exceptionally careful about counting rows and stitches. I'm also going to follow a great Jared Flood stranded knitting tip: use a size smaller needle for the fair isle portion to maintain consistent gauge. No matter how this next sleeve turns out, I'm keeping it - and then knitting the second one.

I believe strongly in perseverance. It has gotten me this far; it will get me through the rest. Onward, I knit.


  1. t first I thought it was the entire sleeve decrease that was configured incorrectly. I was wrong. From your post here I see that the problem is the fair isle part that is pulled in and the rest of the sleeve the is correct!
    Hopefully the JF pattern example will act as a guide now. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

  2. Well, that was the problem with the first sleeve. I corrected it in the second sleeve but it still didn't look right. Maybe third time's a charm? PRAY...

  3. First off POOR YOU! :( I HATE HATE HATE ripping out! I understand about feeling like you have to finish something. I've started a few sweaters for myself and ripped them out because I was worried about fit, gauge etc. So FINALLY about a week ago I decided to start writing in my long neglected blog about starting and FINISHING a sweater! (I must admit I'm stealing the idea from all the other knitting blogs I read!) And today after not understand the pattern I almost said SCREW it ... however even if my friend Jill is the only one reading it I still feel like i have to finish! So good luck and I hope that we muddle through together! :)

    This time I'm sure the sleeve will be PERFECT!!!!!!

  4. I agree completely with Julie Matthews: PRAY.... and I'll pray with you, I'm taking a week break from my "impossible" project and knitting an easy scarf. Then it's back to the coal mine!

  5. Irish, you go, girl! Glad to hear you're back at it and that you're not giving up. Please send me your blog. Jill and I can read it and encourage you along. :-)

  6. Anonymous, I'm praying with you and for you. I applaud your approach. I've done the same... sometimes when I'm really frustrated with a project, I take a break and knit a little something that gives me some instant gratification. I'm all into instant gratification, you know. Which is why finishing an entire ample-size pattern is so tough and rewarding.

  7. Hang on Julie, you can do this, I know you can. Why not recalculate the sleeve shaping first though? There's obviously something wrong with the sweater wizard's calculations.


    I love encouragement! :) Thanks!