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Oh dear: anatomy of a dud

Friends, I’ve been knitting for a super long time. As a subset of that knitting length, I’ve been knitting 3-in-1 (Rav link) for a long time. I am too damn experienced a knitter to cock up so comprehensively, in so many ways. And yet, here we are. Exhibit A:

Portrait of the knitter wearing 3-in-1

Standing proudish.

(We’re experiencing an unseasonally overcast and cool day, resulting in low light, which is why it looks like I’m standing outside a prison in this proud pic.)

From a distance, to a casual observer (who’s standing in another room), it may not look like there’s much wrong here. The more perspicacious among you may notice the shade of green that makes up the body of the sweater changes about halfway up the body. But upon closer inspection, the flaws emerge…

Not sure how this happened.

Neckline horrors.

The neckline is kind of where the wheels fell off in an undeniable way. Observe the gaping stitches around the neck where I picked up stitches for the neckline. Observe the mismatch in size between the top button band (green) and the lower button band (grey). Observe the saggy-arse neckline bind-off.

But this only the more public of the mistakes. Once I reached the neckline—having worked and attached both sleeves and begun knitting the yoke in the round—and needed to change down to smaller needles, I realised I had no smaller needles. I was working the sleeves on the smaller needles. The sleeves and the top half of the torso are all worked on needles two sizes too small. This explains why I have trouble threading my slightly muscular GUNS into the worm tubes that are masquerading as sleeves here. This explains, furthermore, why the armscyes don’t sit flush with my armholes, creating and alluring batwing appearance should I dare anything outrageous like opening my arms out to the sides. (At all.)

I ran out of dark grey (the colour of the inner neckline) right at the end, and had to (a) end prematurely and (b) do a half-arsed job. (The embarrassment is squared when one admits one found the second ball of grey some weeks after finishing the sweater.)

Details of the problems

Assorted porblems.

AND the change in green is wrenching. After buying all the yarn for the sweater about a year ago, I changed my mind and decided I wanted the body in the bright spring green, so I bought more. And used it WITHOUT CHECKING THE DYE LOT. Freaking hell. I’m not a goddamn rookie, so why the hell am I knitting like one? (Oh, yeah.)

Let’s recap:

  1. Mixed dye lots resulting in a massive block of colour change midway up the torso.
  2. Forgetfulness regarding needles resulting in uncomfortably skinny sleeves and a bust that makes it clear to the world what colour bra I have (spoiler: black).
  3. Shabby stitch picking-up resulting in saggedy-arse neckline.
  4. Shabby binding off resulting in saggedy-arse neckline.
  5. General shoddiness around the neckline.
  6. Ran out of yarn towards the end of the project, cut corners, regretted it.

Overall, my finished project looks shabby, unpolished and amateurish, and that’s not what I’m going for when I knit. I’m capable of more than that and I hold myself to that standard.

So what do we do? You know the answer and I know the answer, and yet I’ve kept this sweater in my drawer for about a month hoping time would magically transform it into not a dud. The answer is: I have to unravel and start over. I knit because I enjoy it, but I also knit because it produces articles of clothing I like. I don’t want to work so hard only to produce something I feel I have to apologise for whenever I wear it. There’s a difference between hand-made (crafted, artisan, unique, well-fitted) and home-made (cheap-looking, short-cut-addled, ill-fitting), and this is decidedly on the home-made side. And frankly, I deserve better than that.

On the bright side, this pattern is exceptionally well written: I will enjoy reknitting it, and it’s a sweater I badly want to wear over the winter, so I’m keen to have it done. I don’t know when I’ll have a stiff enough backbone to get to the unravelling, but when I do, I’ll enjoy the reknitting.

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