Sunday, October 02, 2011

Square One

Some of you will read this post and recognize it as the larger metaphor it could be, and some of you will just enjoy a post about knitting. I can’t decide which camp I fall into at this point, but here it is.

I got some really beautiful yarn for Christmas this year, and I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to make a sweater for myself. I have made myself several vests, and made sweaters for other people, but have never made a real sweater with sleeves for myself. I spent hours on the interwebs trolling for patterns, and finally found one that I liked. (For those of you who are interested, it’s here on Ravelry, and here on Knitty…) I wanted to change the edging, substituting some nice ribbing for the scallops and the seed stitch, but that’s a modification I knew how to make. I printed out the pattern, and finally cast on in April of this year, shortly after finishing my dissertation defense. In a moment of what in retrospect seems like either psychic vision or self-fulfilling prophesy, I named it the “Someday Sweater.”

I knit a swatch, measured, ripped back, knit, measured, ripped back, knit, measured, and finally thought I had something that would work. I also measured several sweaters I already own that fit me well, and compared their measurements with the pattern schematic. I proceeded to knit through most of my trip to Colombia, and on through my M3 orientation. At the end of that long week of lectures, I had what was starting to look like a lovely sweater. Unfortunately, it was also starting to look like a big sweater, not in the absolute sense of the word, but compared to the desired measurements. I set it aside for a week, and then finally tried it on and confirmed that it was too large. I ripped back several inches, added a few decrease rows, and kept knitting. I made a brief pause to whip out a baby sweater, and to start some socks that currently seem never-ending, but mostly I knit on the sweater. It has been hibernating for a while in my bag because I was a little afraid that the modifications I made weren’t enough. The thought that the shoulders are actually too broad and the neckline too deep has been haunting me, and today, as I realized how lovely and cool it is getting and how nice it would be to have a sweater, I pulled it out of the bag. I carefully threaded a strand of cotton yarn through the live stitches and tried it on. It’s too big. My plan for tonight: rip it out and carefully rewind the yarn in preparation for casting it on anew.

Someday I’ll have a nice sweater to wear…

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