Sunday, October 4, 2009

T-shirt Sweater - Fix it or Frog it?

Happily, I now have a couple of finishing successes under my knitting/blogging belt, because here is where I tell you about one that not only went wrong, but one which I just kept knitting, even though it wasn't working.  I said I would clear this list of items from my queue one way or another before Stitches West.  Did I say I reserve the right to frog them as a way of clearing them from the list?

It started the previous summer, when I came home from a visit to Portland, Oregon with some beautiful Malabrigo Silky Merino.  Like the rest of the Malabrigo yarns it is soft and lovely, and I wanted to knit something simple with it so the rich color, and not a stitch pattern, would be the focus.  I thought I had the perfect pattern, as I had been wanting to make this T-Shirt Sweater(scroll down).  I loved this when I saw it, not so much the color and variegation of the yarn, but the style of the sweater.  It is just like a lot of my clothes that I throw on to do errands, etc.  I thought how nice it would be for an everyday kind of item to be made out of beautiful yarn so I would get more use and appreciation out of it.

I didn't have time to work on it right away, but along came a week during the winter, when for one reason or another I had some free time.  I must have been desperate to knit some plain ole' stockinette and watch some movies or something.  And there I was with a pattern I wanted to knit, and some yarn I wanted to knit.  I don't know what else I was thinking, probably not much thinking at all was going on in fact.  Unless it was just wishful thinking, because I cast on, and kept knitting, the entire sweater, without ever realizing that I was using DK weight yarn for a pattern that called for worsted weight yarn. 

The error of my ways did not stop there.  I followed the directions to knit the body of the sweater, and then I followed the directions to knit the sleeves.  Then, when I was knitting the sleeve caps, I decided, on the fly, to veer from the directions, and make the shoulders of the sweater a little roomier by lengthening the sleeve caps.  I didn't give a second thought to the fact that the sleeve caps have to match the armholes of the body of the sweater.  I didn't realize what I had done until I was almost done sewing the sweater together and figured out that the pieces weren't fitting together!  So, literally, with about 2% of the work on the sweater left to go, I realized that it probably wasn't a good idea from the start.

I am going easy on myself.  Even though it was a pretty big screw-up, at the time it was the first sweater pattern with set-in sleeves I had followed.  I am happy to be working through this list of items that need to be finished, and, even if it's a little late, learning the lessons they offer. 

What now?  The T-shirt Sweater is still sitting exactly in the state I left it, almost done but not working out.
I hadn't even blocked it before I started the seams.  So I think the first step, whether it is to be fixed or ripped out, is to undo the seams.  Then I will block part of it to make a final decision about whether or not the fabric, which was created with DK yarn, makes the sweater worth the trouble of fixing the sleeves.  If I like the fabric once it is washed and blocked, I will rip out the sleeve caps and reknit them.  If not, I will frog the whole thing and find something else to make with the yarn.

I kind of hope I can just fix it, but if not, I'll need motivation via other potential patterns for the silky merino.  Here are some items I found on Ravelry, for which knitters substituted silky merino in the pattern, also which either are free or which I already own:
   Shetland Triangle by Evelyn A. Clark (I liked knitting this before, but would I wear it?)
   Slinky Ribs by Wendy Bernard (I'm not sure I have enough for the long-sleeves, which I prefer, but I have been wanting to practice and learn on one of her top-down, set-in sleeves patterns.)
   Woodland Shawl by Nikol Lohr
   February Lady Sweater by Panela Wynne (Here's one that is even in the same color as my yarn.)
   Diminishing Rib Cardigan by Andrea Pomerantz

Any opinions out there?  Fix it or frog it?  If frogged, what should I knit next?


  1. Love the color and I'll bet I love the feel too! If the body fits you then I would fix it, if not then I would fix it and sell the finished product to me!

    (Was that an option?!?!)

    I like slinky ribs but also prefer the longer sleeves. I love the woodland shawl too!

  2. I agree with Angie... though maybe you can sell it to me... hmmm - maybe I can duke it out with her.