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The big, awesome, wonderful thing that knitting has over everything else is the potential for restarting. I can’t be the first person who wishes they could extend this to the other things in their life. Party dissolves into tears and someone locking themselves in the toilet and refusing to come out? Rip it back to that last snark and start over. Dream job turns into cubicle nightmare of strain and boredom-driven sexual harassment? Tink back to last June and start applying for new horizons before things get nasty. Baking bread suddenly becomes charred clod? A few minutes of tinking and you’re back in charge.

Hell, I’d be happy if I could just unpick sewing as easily as I can unravel knitting. You can unpick most sewing cock-ups, but the scars remain, and you really cannot bounce back if you cut things the wrong way. Knitting, bless it, forgives and forgets.  So, following the Great Unravelling, I kicked off the Great Re-Ravelling. Or, if you wanna be all fringey and indie about it, “knitting”.

We've come so far.

It’s Stephanie Japel’s “Back-to-School U-Neck Vest” which is the most hyphenated knitting project I’ve ever undertaken, come to think of it. It’s from “Fitted Knits”, her first book, but I think you can buy the pattern individually somewhere…ah, through KnitPicks. (I do not care for the picture.) It’s excellent. Very straightforward and perfect hanging-out-with-chumpals knitting (more hyphenation!). Things got a bit shaky around the neckline decreases, for two reasons: the first is that there are a couple of errors in the pattern, the second is that I was very tired and had all the knitting skills of a squashed fairy cake. If you’re doing this pattern, do yourself a favour and read up on the errata before you get too far along. It’s nothing huge, just a few numbers are off, but it’s significant enough that it’ll stuff you around if you press on without checking.

I’ve finished the bulk of it, I just need my Mumini to be close enough that I can spring an impromptu fitting on her before I sew up the shoulder seams. After that, it’s a few rings of garter around the neckline and armholes and BAM. Vest! Vesty-west! And to think: two months ago it was a sweater, unloved and unworn. It is tempting to think of myself as some sort of sculptress, looking at the unloved sweater, the raw materials, and chiselling out — freeing — the inner vest. I especially like to think of myself as this because then I get to wear a smock and a flouncy neckerchief and a suffering expression, and how often does one get to do that? Not nearly enough, if you ask me.

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