Knitting, it really is about perseverance. Last winter I picked up just enough Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed on special to make a Snowbird Cardigan. I was pretty excited about the cardigan style and this wool was actually what the pattern called for - down to the exact colourway. It seemed meant to be. So I started the collar - twice - then worked quite a bit of the yoke/body. But I eventually had to admit that it wasn't working for me. The collar wasn't as hefty as I was expecting and overall I doubted if I had enough wool. On to sweater attempt number two.
Next was the Summer Solstice cardigan pattern by the same designer. The construction is interesting and I made it all the way through both sleeves before realizing it was much too big, and again, not quite what I was expecting. Instead of unravelling though, I started a very simple top-down raglan cardigan using stitch counts that I'm pretty sure I made up. I just tried it on as I went and eventually got all the way through the body without any side increases. But then I picked up a stockinette stitch collar inspired from the Summer Solstice pattern and knit about 20 rows of that. I remember trying it on, thinking the collar was shapeless and dull, and then quickly stuffing it, the still unravelled Summer Solstice and the rest of the wool into a bag to rid myself of any reminder of my efforts. That was last April.
Fast forward to this January and after some knitting success, I was getting stuck on another sweater/wool combination. Instead of getting to the same point of frustration, I took a break. But for some strange reason I pulled out the Jo Sharp mess. And then it happened: I knew how to fix it. I ripped the collar back and picked up a 2x2 ribbed one instead. I used short rows at the neck to create a better shawl effect. And I made nice, roomy sleeves with big cuffs that I can fold over. This took only a week to bring back to life but wow, it was oh-so-worth it. I could live in this sweater.
Sure, I have a few more tweaks in mind, but it's pretty fun to hone in on the right sweater for you and your body. There have been surprises - like how I prefer a sweater with no waist shaping or A-line increases at all, or how much roomy sleeves make me happy. I'm eager to try this sweater again, giving me a decent new reason to try Quince and Co's Lark wool, if only I could choose a colour. Seriously, I still don't know what colour is right.
As for reading, I finished The Peach Keeper during this sweater revival and I think the light tone was a good match. It was a fun, escapist, on-the-edge-of-chick-lit read - the kind of book we all need sometimes. For more knitting and reading stories visit today's Yarnalong.