Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Demon Sweater

A few years ago I tried to switch from knit to crochet. It was my habit to make each of the kids and grandkids something for Christmas, and I aimed for some kind of clothing, like a sweater or vest.

My daughter is very fussy and didn’t like the look of crochet, hence the change to knitting.

I found a great pattern for a cardigan, one of those heavy car coat, change of season sweaters. I thought she’d like, and bought some yarn in a pretty purple heather, her favourite colour.

The sweater had a band up the front that became the collar, raglan sleeves and front pockets.

I made the back with little difficulty and started on the front. Ribbing, a different stitch on the front edge, add the pocket and then I came to the hard part. The pattern called for decreases along the sleeve side, the raglan, and at the same time, but at a different rate, increases along the front edge to form the collar.

I got it done, though it required a rewrite of the pattern that I could cross off as I went. Now the other front piece, trickier because button holes had to be made, equally spaced as I knit, before starting the collar and sleeve shaping.

I managed to do it, with the help of my notes, completed the sleeves and was ready to assemble my sweater. I was feeling a bit cocky, proud that I had managed this intricate (for me) pattern.

As I sorted out the pieces I found this knit square and wondered where it had come from. Bad, I know, but I never complete the whole test square for checking gauge, so I knew this was not a gauge sample. So, what was it?

Then I knew. I had been so engrossed in front edging patterns and button holes I had forgotten to add the pocket. I was thoroughly deflated. Did I rip back all those rows to where I could add the pocket? Did she really need two pockets?

Unable to face ripping out all that work I set the whole project aside, as it was March and Christmas was months away. I decided I would make the decision after the summer, for right then I needed a break…from knitting, from purple heather, from pockets.

End of story, I never took it apart, but finished it as is and gave it to my daughter, with the one pocket. She loved it, and not being a craft person, never knew the sweater was designed to have two pockets.

And the story doesn’t end there. 

For some reason, when she washed it, that cursed front piece stretched miserably out of shape. I thought it looked like the bottom button was maybe caught under the wringer and it was pulled during the wash, and put in the dryer with the damage unnoticed.

At any rate, the sweater was ruined. I took it back and took it apart, not an easy task, and used the yarn to make a sweater for my granddaughter.

My daughter and I have an unspoken agreement not to talk about it.

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