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Salvage operation

December 5, 2005
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It was finishing weekend on Emily’s ‘Cats’ sweater. The project ended up consuming almost all available fiber time. I hardly spun. I hardly knit anything else. I just worked on this, then worked on fixing everything that went wrong.

Luckily Emily was obsessed with playing Blues Clues Preschool Saturday because I needed every bit of the 4 hours she spent doing it. First, I sewed armholes. Then, I crocheted the front neck steek. I steeked the neckline because I was having enough trouble following the eensy weensy chart knitting in a forwardly direction, without also trying to go backward. Upon snipping the neatly crocheted steek, one side lay over quite nicely and the other side disintegrated. I tied as many knots as I could muster, then zigzag stitched the bejeezus out of the little dangling bits of yarn so I’d have the equivalent of a steek. I hope nobody will notice that on the left side of the neckline is a tidy little edge stitch and decrease, and on the other is – well, nothing you can see, the pattern just sort of ends at the edge of the neckband.

I didn’t attempt to crochet the back neck steek, I machine stitched it well.

With the sweater temporarily pacified, I picked up for the neckband – better stabilize those little wobbly steeks before trying to set in sleeves.

A couple of hours later, upon completing a tidy stitching-down of the live stitches of the neckband facing, I had something that would never go over Emily’s head. At that point I threw the sweater on a chair and went to bed.

Yesterday I unpicked the neckband facing, stitched down the steeks carefully, and reknit a roll-neck. It’s not as neat looking as what the pattern calls for, but it does go over her head, and it won’t produce princess-and-the-pea neck effects (“mommy it’s TOO TIGHT”).

The sleeves went in quite nicely, with their little facings. I didn’t even wait to block it before reassuring myself that it was going to be a sweater.

I had blocked the sleeves last weekend so I would have armholes the correct depth, so I knew the sweater would spread out wider once it hit the water. This will fit Emily for a couple of years.
The sweater wasn’t done with me yet, though. As I laid it out to dry I saw I’d dropped a stitch while binding off the neckband, and I had to run for a crochet hook and a scrap of yarn.

When it’s dry there’s some blanket-stitch ornamentation on the cuffs and hemline, so there’ll be another picture next week. But it’s off my back for now.

I’m clinging to my finished New England Socks (Nancy Bush, Knitting on the Road, and Lisa’s Sock! in Mardi Gras) as proof that I can make things without huge crises. (We won’t mention that I regrafted one of the toes when I noticed that I’d spaced out and not passed through one of the center stitches enough times, resulting in a little hole.)

We had skyblue-pink feet yesterday.

I also finished the back of my Emerald BFL Cutaway last night, but I was done editing photos for the day, so that’ll have to wait.

I have been wanting to make another pair of gloves for awhile, so finishing the socks was my cue to start gloves with my handcombed grey Rambouillet, using the Ann Budd Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.

I swatched on size 3 needles and got a gauge that varied between 5.5 and 6 stitches per inch, and a nice elastic fabric, so I compromised by making the 6 SPI pattern but going down a size. I’m not sure I’ll have enough yarn (it metered at a total of about 600 yards but I think there was stretching going on so I don’t trust it and hope I have 450). I hope these will work up quickly, I can’t wait to wear them.

I’m pondering starting another sweater. I haven’t decided exactly what yet, but I have a candidate.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Sam permalink
    December 5, 2005 11:31 am

    Well, wahooo! and whew!!! says I! πŸ˜‰ I’m so glad you were able to salvage the sweater. Em looks so happy to be wearing it, and I know she’s glad you stuck with it. Love your two little pairs of feet, and I think we’re making the same gloves! An unintentional “along.” Looking forward to picks of the Cutaway.

  2. December 5, 2005 11:32 am

    What a lovely, lovely cat sweater! Great job!

  3. December 5, 2005 1:22 pm

    I was glad to see picture #2 with the happy face! Beautiful job on the sweater!
    That rambo looks so soft and warm! I’m living in Siberia, send ’em on over when you’re finished!

  4. December 5, 2005 2:57 pm

    The cats look wonderful and Emmy looks very pleased πŸ™‚

  5. Melanie permalink
    December 5, 2005 2:57 pm

    Fabulous rescue job! I just love that sweater and it sure looks like Miss Em does too.

  6. December 5, 2005 3:24 pm

    Congratulations on your cat sewater triumph! I’m sure Emmy will love it. I’m very flattered by your candidate sweater… πŸ™‚

  7. December 5, 2005 3:48 pm

    The cat sweater is amazing!!! I love the mother daughter socks!! Great job!! The Mardi gras socks are beautiful, I love the color!!

  8. Vicki permalink
    December 5, 2005 4:03 pm

    Hurrah! Glad you were able to save the cat sweater. Also loved the pic with the pink/blue socks. When those little feet are all grown up, you can look at it with fondness and remember when.

  9. December 5, 2005 6:44 pm

    Three cheers for the cat sweater! Doesn’t that sweet look on Emily’s face make it all worth it?

  10. December 5, 2005 7:04 pm

    Absolutely adorable! I just love that sweater – looks like DD does, too :).

  11. December 6, 2005 2:09 am

    What a fantastic rescue job! I love the sweater and the model is adorable. Wonderful!

  12. December 6, 2005 6:41 am

    great save! love the 4 feet photo πŸ™‚

  13. December 6, 2005 11:17 am

    Excellent salvage. Emily looks adorable in the sweater. Truly a labor of love.

  14. December 6, 2005 3:31 pm

    She looks adorable in that sweater. Sounds like you handled your “surprises” well; it’s always so frustrating when things don’t come out the way we had hoped! Nice work!

  15. December 7, 2005 11:43 am

    Pink and gray has never been my favorite color combination, but that sweater is amazing!!! Thumbs up to you, Caroline!

  16. December 7, 2005 4:30 pm

    Meow–very cute!

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