I have been talking about and plotting a “My Original Design” colorwork sweater for close to a year now. I got serious late last year when my friend Kathy gave me a skein of gorgeous purply/pinky/grey handspun BFL/silk which naturally needed to be highlighted in a garment.
I had JUST the idea.
Poetry in Stitches is a gorgeous collection of colorwork sweaters by Solveig Hisdal. I went gaga over the sweaters when this book first came out in 2000 and have purchased yarn to make two of the sweaters (with one that has been on the needles since then — this is a WIP I get to ignore talking about since I have an even older colorwork WIP I can lament about — but that is another story).
Sounds pretty simple, right? After some minor manipulations for stitch count to account for my sweater, I had the pattern all set and a chart created in Excel. And, since I had taken a Top-Down Yoke sweater construction class @ Vogue Knitting Live this year, I would make this top down to sort of kill multiple birds with one stone. I had an approximate “look” of the sweater worked out, and did the calculations for knitting the sweater.
I cast on, and was chugging along on the sweater. I had the top, plain part of the sweater knitted. I HATED IT. It didn’t feel right, and I felt that the shoulders seemed a bit big. Did I care?
This is the point at which I should have ripped this sweater out, taken some serious measurements and started over.
Did I? Nope. I went on. I finished knitting the yoke, and divided for the sleeves. As I was about to start the colorwork portion of the sweater (I had already knit about 500 yards at this point), I started thinking about how I was going to “fix” this size issue. That is definitely a big red flag — if you are thinking about how you’re going to maybe throw the sweater in the dryer to shrink it a little,or thinking about where you are going to add shaping darts to shrink the garment that is sitting on your lap — it is time to have a serious look at the sweater.
I tried it on again, and decided that it was at least 1.5″ too wide at the shoulders. Part of the issue, I will admit, is that the cross chest measurement that I took on myself was off by at least 3/4 of an inch as I have learned recently, at a “Fit to Flatter” class taught by Amy Herzog.
Honestly? There was only one thing left to do. Rip rip. Start over. It is the one beauty of knitting. You can always start over.
I feel much better now. And, to make it easier on my psyche, I’ve re-started the sweater bottom up, with the intention of knitting the sleeves from the top down using short rows. It’s almost as if I have a different project on the needles.