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Red run red run red run

I knitted, I triumphed, I boasted online: I flaunted my success, I was prideful. But it’s okay, because I was sufficiently punished when I washed the buggers.

Loved these tops so much. Essential Tank and Skinny Empire, both from Wendy Bernard’s Custom Knits. Both fantastic patterns. But for the love of all things soggy, if you’re working with cotton, wash your freaking yarn before you even swatch. Goddamn. You’d think that particularly painful lesson would be carved into my brain stem, especially after some traumatic incidents involving hemming pants before their first wash and sewing with unwashed fabric, but no, apparently my brain is in backwards and I should have “fails to learn” written on my front door to warn newcomers.

Worthy of better!

I lost some weight between casting off and the present day, so you could argue it’s not just the yarn’s fault. No, wait, it is. Fuck you, yarn. Cotton being what it is, it shrank. It turned from a firm yet drapey fabric into a stiff thick one that you have to tug on all day long. The necklines shrank up and I had to pull the Essential Tank neckline apart in order to continue getting it over my head. Now the empire line from Skinny Empire sits immediately above my nipples, which is not even close to where I want it. Not even close. And they’ve both done that weird cotton-shrink dance where they become simultaneously wider and shorter. Which is perfect if you’re SpongeBob ThingPants, but who is?

We’ll politely gloss over how much I’ve continued to wear these tops even after they shrank and started giving me the howling shits every time I wore them. Wait, no we won’t, we’ll drag it into the light: I kept wearing them because I didn’t want to admit they had turned from rockin’ to suckin’. I was so proud when I blogged about them, and I’m so in love with the photos of them that I put up on Ravelry, I felt stupid when I realised, in real life, after washing, these tops don’t live up to my fanfare. Well fook that. They deserve better. When I wear them now, I spend the whole freaking day tugging self-consciously at the hemlines to try and yank them back into their correct shape — and that takes up precious time I could be dedicating to making popcorn or racing badgers or whatever I do.

So say adieu to the red pair: it’s time they were freed from their weirdly-square-shaped bondage and elevated to a better purpose. They’re being unravelled and reknit: I set the Awesome free in this yarn once before, time to do it again.

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