Back on the Horse that Threw You
Although I haven’t talked about it too much, I’ve been working on a Tangled Yoke cardigan, a lovely, classic pattern from Eunny Jang, for the past six weeks. Things had been going pretty good – I struggled with the waist shaping instructions (as did many people if the comments on Ravelry are an indication) but managed to get through them. The sleeves went very quickly and were soon attached to the sweater (Tangled Yoke is a cardigan that is knit in one piece from the bottom to the armholes; the sleeves are then attached and the knitting continues with the yoke)
The yoke is probably the most complicated section – a twisting, continuous cable that runs around the sweater, encompassing over 400 stitches in each row. There are 22 pattern repeats; many of these repeats require four cable crosses in each repeat. Yet, it’s only 18 rows – take your time, mark your pattern carefully, put in a lifeline before you begin – it can be done.
Row 12 proved to be my nemesis. The majority of the cabling is done – there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Maybe I got too cocky, too sure that I was going to get through this unscathed. But somewhere in row 12, while doing some tricky decreases, my stitch count got off and off by a lot. My only choice was to rip. That’s when things got ugly.
If you’ve ever worked with Rowan Felted Tweed, you probably know what’s coming. Felted Tweed, glorious and light and beautiful, is also very “sticky” and, once knit doesn’t particularly like to un-knit. Each stitch clings to it’s neighbors and gives in reluctantly. In the course of pulling out the bad row, stitches got dropped and lost. And then the yarn broke. Twice. (Another tendency of Felted Tweed)
Tears were shed. Major ripping ensued. All cabling disappeared. The offending sweater (although it had been an innocent bystander) was folded up and put in a bag and banished to the closet. We needed a break.
That was about ten days ago. During the time out I had company visit, knit on socks, lost one computer and got a new one, spent a lot of time reading about that new computer and, almost against my will, began to miss that sweater. For one thing, I still love the pattern – a simple style with lovely details that really elevate it to something special. And the yarn, the cursed, breaking yarn – I love the yarn. The color, the texture, the lightness, the fabric that it was becoming.
So today, I pulled that sweater out of the closet, took a deep breath and put it back on the needles (thank goodness for lifelines) Maybe this time I’ll be a little wiser, a little less arrogant (And also, maybe now I’ll have the sense to put it away late a night when I’m already tired and distracted. That’s what socks are for) Maybe this time the knitting gods will smile and decide I’ve suffered over this sweater enough.
I’ll let you know how it goes.