Sunday, February 26, 2006

Here's where I'm at. It's not as bad as it looks.

As I figure it, I have knitted a sweater.

The only problem is, I ripped it out enough from this sweater that the sweater isn't actually finished. As you may recall, I first ripped it out to start it again on a larger needle. It was to be my Olympic project.

And so I began it again. It was working well. I could see that I would not be able to finish a whole sweater in 2 1/2 weeks, but my goal became to get two sleeves finished.

I had one done by Friday night and figured that I would easily be able to do the second by Sunday. And then I noticed it: The sleeve was too wide at the bottom. Way too wide.

I went through the usual knitter's stages for an unrepairable mistake: Denial ("I think it'll be okay--kind of cute, like a Kimono sleeve"), Anger ("The pattern must be wrong!"), Bargaining ("I will try doing another sleeve just like it, and if I don't like them, I can sew them to make them thinner"), Acceptance ("The sleeve is too big, and the steeking would probably be too hard on delicate merino fibers--I need to rip"), and finally, Frogging ("Rip-it, Rip-it").

I had said that if I had the sleeves to do over, I would knit them back and forth rather than in the round. Guess what? I had them to do over. I have been knitting them back and forth. It's going well--to the point where it's almost as fast to knit two sleeves bank and forth as it had been to knit the first one in the round. So once again, ripping was no big loss.

I'm at the point where the first sleeve is reknit, I have about half of the second sleeve to go, and then I'll start in on the body in the round. It's not too bad. I'm going to wait to knit the cuffs until I'm sure that the two sleeves match in length and width (or are at least pretty darned close).

Another knitter and I agreed the other day that we have learned a lot about ourselves by doing this project. If it hadn't been for the knitting Olympics, I never would have gotten so far on this sweater. First, I wouldn't have started it over yet, and it would have continued staring at me every time I looked at my project shelf. Second, I might have stopped at several points along the way--but I couldn't, because I had vowed to work on just this project. It's all been worth it.

I said before that the biggest lesson I have learned from all of this is that I am going to pick a project each week to knit, and work on only that project. I think I'll have to modify that slightly, to pick one of my own projects plus one project I'm doing for the shop. It's felt good to concentrate. This week, since my head is here, I'm going to stay with this sweater. I'll also work on my entrelac bag for the entrelac class I'm teaching later in the week--but not much. The sweater has priority.

Wish me luck on the sleeves.

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