Somebody Get Guinness on the Line

The other day, after mostly finishing all the pieces of The Sweater, I laid everything out to see how the sleeves would work with the body, and…they don’t. Not even a little bit.*

I messed up so spectacularly, I set a record that Guinness should know about.

At first I didn’t believe it, so I spent about half an hour trying to figure out how it couldn’t be wrong. That didn’t work, so I tried to figure out how to minimize the damage, hoping I could maybe just redo the sleeve caps, but I can’t because it’s that completely bleeped up.

So after about another half hour of looking at my options, I finally came to terms with the fact that I have to rip hours of work and redo all four pieces from the underarm up. For my non-knitting friends, on the body of a sweater, that area is called the yoke; on a sleeve, it’s called the sleeve cap. Combined, that represents about one-third of the sweater.†

The only way I can salvage the work I’ve done is to knit raglan sleeves, but even that won’t save it completely. From the very start of this design, as I chose the cables and their placement, I was working toward a particular type of sleeve, which means that raglan sleeves will cut into a couple of cables in a way I hadn’t intended or planned for.

Explaining, in writing, how I arrived at this point would give me carpal tunnel syndrome, so you’ll have to imagine your own worst screw up.

And then triple it.

On the bright side:

  • I wanted raglan sleeves in the first place.
  • Redesigning should be easy.
  • Guinness doesn’t have a category for knitwear design flubs.

*You might be wondering why I waited until all four pieces were done before I tested my design. I’m wondering the same thing.

†Remember that this is a heavily cabled sweater, so one-third of the sweater is equivalent to three-fourths of my sanity.

p.s. There are no photos in this post because I’m hoping lots of readers will skip it, thereby minimizing the number of people who think less of me.

To Ponder: Ideas must be put to the test. That’s why we make things, otherwise they would be no more than ideas. There is often a huge difference between an idea and its realization. |Andy Goldsworthy|

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4 comments

  1. It must be so hard to be a professional/perfectionist. I can barely imagine. Yes, I know that you have to create a pattern that others can follow, but it sorta makes me giggle to think of other committed knitters carefully following your flawed pattern only to end up in the place you are now, but thinking that THEY must have gotten something wrong. (Yes, I have an evil genius streak.)

    1. I prefer to think of myself as a precisionist rather than a perfectionist. :-) Either way, it’s hard, but also rewarding. This sweater will be worth the effort—and the pattern will be as precise as I can make it. (My evil genius comes out when I teach yoga.)

  2. Reading this post doesn’t make me think less of you. Surely most of us have knit a sock that we can’t get onto our foot. You’re designing a sweater. If it were easy, more people would do it. I just knit other ppl’s patterns, so I have to admire it and I can’t wait to see the finished project.

    When you said Guinness, I thought you were needing a beer. :)

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