Skip to content

All that waiting…

December 10, 2014

I have had a project on the needles for about a year and a half now, which may or may not seem like a long time. This project was in hibernation for a good long while, in part because I forgot about the thing and then because I wasn’t really sure I wanted to finish it. With the move back in June my knitting and my stash have gone through a hefty (and much-needed) audit. I gave a lot of my early stashing efforts (i.e. acrylics and cottons) away and frogged quite a few projects that needed to meet their end. This one project, neglected and forgotten eventually came up for judgement and it was given a pass to stay on the needles. It may have been forgotten about for a little while there back in August and September, but recently I decided to pick the thing back up and try to finish it.

The project? The wonderful $5 in Paris sweater by Anna Maliszewski. I chose to knit this sweater out of acrylic for a few reasons.

1) my stash at the time was occupied by a majority of acrylic yarns

2) the original pattern was knit out of acrylic yarn (the same ones I used)

3) I was a bit impulsive and wanted to cast on the sweater then and there.

So I cast the thing on and worked for a little while knitting the yoke and the raglan increases. I had decided on a different set of stripes, reasoning that I would not look as good in the bold and wide stripes, due in part to my own let’s just say wideness. I opted for a small two-row stripe of a bright (neon almost) green, with a black base. The sweater went pretty well I managed to knit past the arms, rejoining the yarn and continuing down the body. It was around this time that I decided to take a lesson from others (without the actual fore-planning and you know actual understanding of the idea) and decrease a bit for some body shaping. I knew enough to decrease on both sides and manged not to bring it in too much. After the decreases I knit for a few rows and then promptly abandoned the project in favor of something vastly more interesting. Because come on all of that stockinette is going to wear on anyone. So flash forward to probably a few months (or a little more than a few, but who’s counting, am I right?) I picked the sweater back up (probably out of some self imposed guilt) and knit another couple inches, placing the stripes as needed and trying to figure out just how long it would take to finish (longer than I was hoping for.) The sweater then went back into hibernation were it was out of sight and out of mind for the better part of a year. Flash forward to this past October and I finally decided it was time to work on the thing. Mind you it was around this point I also realized that if I decreased the sweater at the narrowest part of me, I should probably increase at the wider parts. So I did the increases, reasoning that I must be getting close to being finished (the astute among you may notice that at no point in this entire process have I actually tried the damn thing on) I stopped the increases where I thought the should end and knit the last few inches before starting the ribbing. Monday night I worked the ribbing and worked the ribbing and worked the ribbing until I realized I was running a little low on yarn and I still had some sleeves to add to the thing.

So I bound off and for the first time in almost a year and a half I tried the sweater on. And of course I hate the way it looks on me. The Giant in an attempt to be kind or at least trying to prevent me from lighting the thing on fire, stated that the sweater looks good on me. While I may have disagreed with him (completely) I did not light the thing on fire, nor did I throw the sweater away. I didn’t even start frogging it, no instead I decided to give myself a few days to think it over. In part because it took me 1.5 years to knit it this far and there is only so much emotional turmoil I am willing to take in a day. Also because I know that my opinions on clothing can be a bit fickle. By which I mean I have a tendency to want to wear baggy, non-defining clothes, the kind that don’t really draw attention to one’s shape (whatever that may be) and well this sweater isn’t baggy, it isn’t too tight or anything, it is just a bit form-fitting (probably less so than my mind makes it out to be.) I can’t decide if I should frog the thing or finish it and see if I don’t actually like it. Because i know I am bringing some of my own clothing issues to the mix.

Anyone else feel that way about clothes or projects? Did you give yourself a timeout before deciding to frog or not? Ever spend so long on a project that you can’t seem to bear the idea of frogging?


From → Fiber Arts, Knitting

  1. All great advice from shellssells. I was doing a sweater, a beautiful cable rich, boxy ( like big and cozy) with a beautiful cowl neck. I loved it. I did most of the back. It was enormous! I ripped it back, went down 2 needle sizes and started the smaller size. Somewhere in there i made the sleeves….my most perfect sleeves to date…i worked on that back, counting and tinking and fixing the odd miscrossed cable. I was really proud. I finished that second back and could STILL wrap that thing all the way around myself! with some left over.

    I was crushed. I biried that sucker in my wip basket for, well, it was awhile. About two months ago i went through the basket, deciding the fate of some thimgs, and the order in which things would be finished.

    That sweater, also made of acrylic, did not make the cut. When i got home from work that afternoon i sat down and ripped all 80 miles of beautiful cables right back to nothing but a giant ball of cheap yarn. Oh, and tje sleeves? I made my daughter throw them away and take the garbage bag out immediately. And you know what? It felt good!! I no longer had that project hanging over my head. Ok, the really well dine sleeves hurt a bit, bu the rest? Not even a little.

    Good luck!

  2. Sydney permalink

    The very first sweater(Ileana Pullover by Romi Hill) I made was very much like how you just described your sweater. I loved the pattern and just started knitting it because I loved it so much and I didn’t think much about the final product and I didn’t try it on either. I finished it and I loved it because it was my very first sweater and I loved the way it looked on the model but it just didn’t look right on me and it wasn’t flattering or very practical(it had huge bell sleeves) so it sat in a drawer for two years because I just didn’t like wearing it.

    So one day I decided that I was never going to wear it so I might as well put the yarn to good use and I ripped it out. Now its on the way to becoming a nice practical pullover that I will wear all the time(Ancient Runes by Olivia Pelaez).

    It was really hard to make the decision to rip it out because it was my first sweater and it took me a long time to knit(stockinette body) but I can’t say that I regret my decision either. I don’t regret knitting the initial sweater either. I learned a lot about the technical aspects of making a sweater and also about what I actually want in a hand-knit sweater.

    So moral of the story, if its going to sit in a drawer because you don’t like it or because you don’t feel like wearing it, sometimes the best decision as hard as it is to make is just to rip it out and make something that you will be truly happy with.

  3. shellssells permalink

    Yeah, all the time. Here’s my suggestion, give it a wait until you are having a particularly good body image day. (You know the ones, where even though your hair isn’t even different, you feel like your hair is awesome for some reason…) Then try it on. You will risk ruining your good body image day, but, it’ll give you a clearer picture of how it really looks on you.

    Another suggestion should you choose to accept it, try it on around some knitter girlfriends and let them give an opinion. I am sure they’ll be gentle but also honest. They don’t know the parts of you that your head tells you are problem areas, but, they also aren’t as biased as your husband, so they are a good crowd to draw from. I’ve done that before, and done away with things that REALLY aren’t ok even if they are well knit. This one does, however, take some extra reserves of courage.

    If you can’t bear frogging now, you maybe can later. It’s ok to give it a few years.

    And one final note, when picking a garment pattern, I go to all the finished objects on Rav, and look for pictures of people who have body shapes more like my own, and see how the garment looks on them. This has saved me from many a poor decision.

    • I made a point to check out others in what I thought were similar body types but I am not always the best in that area either.

      • shellssells permalink

        Yeah, it’s not a complete failsafe. Plus, you did already modify the design to accommodate what you weren’t sure would be a good look. It’s so frustrating when knitting doesn’t quite go as planned.

  4. Well, you can’t set it on fire because being acrylic it will just melt! No fun in that.
    Where’s the photo? 🙂
    I am in the middle of a cardigan for my daughter that I started in her freshman year of college, for her to wear at school, and she’s now in the middle of her junior year. I started bottom up so got the boring stockinette out of the way, but am now stuck in the boredom of the sleeves. I hope your post here will stick with me so I can just up and finish it, maybe before she starts her senior year?

Care to share? Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: