Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Every once in a while a project goes awry.  It happens less and less as you get better at knowing your body, pairing the right yarn with a pattern, and being able to tweak patterns so they'll fit you as good as possible, but let me assure you it does still happen.  Case in point: this recent finished object:  The Orange Sweater that Hates Me.

Let me start by saying this: I know that this project isn't an epic fail along the lines of being unwearable or too ugly to be seen in.  It's fine and I wouldn't get arrested for indecency if I dared to wear it in public.  But the finished sweater isn't what I was going for, and that's the problem with this project.

Copyright: Aleciaplum
It all began almost a year ago, February 2013.  I cast on to make the pattern "Ease".  The pattern is written with two options for the neck, and I opted to go for the more open neckline.  

What I found was that when I made the neckline this open with the amount of ease contained in this design, I couldn't keep the sweater on my shoulders.  

So I frogged it, did a little tweaking (subtracted a few stitches from the back and front cast-ons to make the neckline slightly narrower) and reknit the entire sweater a second time.

This time, I have no idea what went wrong.  Once blocked, the sweater was a giant monstrosity even though I was using the same needle size as I did on my first attempt.  Apparently my gauge was WAY relaxed on the second time through.

So I thought, "Surely, I can get this right on the third try."  I decided the neckline would not only have a few less stitches in the initial row, but I would add a ribbed band to make it even more likely it would stay on my shoulders.  And now that I had an entire sweater to use as a swatch, I was sure I had my gauge measured correctly.

So I knit the entire sweater a third time.  And it's….fine.  But it's no longer the sweater I wanted to make, and I just don't see myself wearing this one.  The neckline, which was one of the main things that attracted me to the Ease pattern, no longer resembles the pattern in any way.

I'll probably let this project hang out in my closet for a few months just to see if I have the occasion to wear it, and if it doesn't get any love by spring, it's back to the drawing board for my Dream in Color Classy yarn.  

Just to be clear, I don't think the Ease pattern is a bad one.  It would be far easier to modify the pattern if a schematic had been included, but the pattern itself is clearly written.  I wish I could put my finger on exactly what went wrong here.  My yarn was very comparable to the yarn recommended in the pattern, so I don't think it was a bad yarn/pattern pairing.  If anything, my yarn is slightly thinner than the ones recommended, but the sweater's fabric, knit at the gauge the pattern suggests, is too dense for my taste.

I would say I'm pretty "medium" as far as my size and bone structure - I was even right in the middle of one of the bust sizes (this pattern gives sizes as 32-34", 36-38", etc), so I really have no explanation as to why the original neckline wouldn't work for me.

Now that I look at the original photo from the pattern page again, I'm tempted to tear this sweater out and go for it a fourth time.  I just need to figure out how to balance the neckline not being too big with having a little positive ease in the sweater.  A look through the project pages tells me that this dilemma has been experienced by quite a few other knitters on this pattern.  If you do attempt this pattern, I found helpful notes (which I, of course, didn't look for until I had knit this project three times!) on how to make the open neckline work better here and here.  

I originally wrote this post about a month ago.  Since then, I've taken this sweater off the shelf and put it on twice, but immediately decided to wear something else.  So I think it's safe to say this one isn't going to make it into my actual wardrobe.

Wah.  Sweater fail.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry it wasn't a success in your eyes. I do admire your determination!