tea leaves is done! I thought it was doomed but I saved it! And I will share what happened with you so that it never happens to you and you almost start crying when you are out on a beautiful walk with your dear husband :)
[FYI – I am sorry for such a long, drawn out post but there is so much to share with you about this sweater! But there are lots of photos to make up for it!]
Previously in my short knitting career, I have generally chosen what I call “work horse” yarns to craft with. Part of this decision was based in cost. Most of the decision was based on apprehension. I was apprehensive that if I bought what I call “luxury yarn” that I wouldn’t like the project I knit or something would go horribly wrong. I still have that fear but I am learning that as my knowledge grows and skills improve that I am seeking out alternative yarns to work with. I am also seeking to learn more about all fibre and yarn in general.
Yarn and colour choice aligned with this knit. When Melissa LaBarre first published her Tea Leaves Cardigan through Madelinetosh, I knew that at some point I would knit this. However, the idea of knitting 16 inches of St st after finishing Manu left me feeling a little bit overwhelmed so the cardigan continued to be pushed to the back burner. I am really glad this happened as I can’t get madelinetosh here at my LYS so it was meant to be when I bought it in Toronto. And – you have no idea how meant to be it was!
Let me tell you about the journey of this sweater …
Enter our yearly trip to Toronto in November and a visit to Lettuce Knit for Felicia Lo’s Trunk Show. I showed you my treasure find in a previous post and at that time I was swatching. My gauge was different from the pattern by about 0.7 of a stitch which actually worked out perfectly because when I worked the math it was exactly 10 stitches less to cast on. I could have downsized my needles but my poor ganglion-filled right wrist wouldn’t have been able to work the heavy worsted on anything less than 4.5mm. Even the yoke, when working on the 4.00mm, was starting to cause me problems and I had to put the sweater down for a couple of days to let the inflammation go down. This is part of my reason for wanting to knit smaller projects this year – my wrist never acts up when I work on projects 4.00mm and smaller with lighter weight yarn.
[ps. can you see the snow flakes in the tree? yup! it’s snowing here this morning!]
This was already the second time I had started the yoke. The first time, when I knit the K1FB, I really didn’t like what the garter ridge above it looked like. I decided to re-knit it, instead working a YO for every K1FB. On the WS, when I came to the YO, I knit it through the back loop to cause it to twist. This closed the gap, and left the garter ridge above smooth and untouched. Much much cleaner. I had cast on for the 34” bust but I knit to 7.5inches for the yoke, wanting the sweater to sit higher on my shoulders than in the photos. When I placed the sweater on my dress form for fitting, it fit perfectly. So I knit on. I added 3 Japanese short rows to each side just underneath the yoke patterning prior to finishing the rest of the yoke.
I knit on, finishing the sweater but a bit disappointed that although the yarn was all from the same dye lot, it was in fact quite different. I just wish I had blended them so that there was 2 or 3 skeins going at once and it wouldn’t be so obvious – you can see the pooling on the back of sweater the most [see the photo directly above]. It’s not something I am willing to rip out and re-knit but I did learn a lesson: Hand-dyed yarn = knit from more than 1 skein at a time.
So I was pretty happy with my treasure. I washed it. Laid it out to dry and was quite excited to go out yesterday and take some photos, write this post and share!
It dried. I put it on. IT WAS 4 INCHES TOO BIG! And sitting about 4 inches lower than where it is now sitting in the photos. SAGGY & BAGGY! OMGoodness. I was so upset. M and I were headed out on a walk since it was such a beautiful day so we decided to go anyways and we talked/I moped about the sweater. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would have to rip and re-knit it by the time we went to bed last night.
I have to say, it is amazing what a good nights sleep will do for a distressed brain and heart. Sleep really is the answer to all problems. Really – it is!
Let me explain. I don’t believe in consequences – I think everything happens for a reason and let me share why. Remember I mentioned that I was at a trunk show at Lettuce Knit the night I bought this yarn? Well. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was there and she was helping a new-ish knitter fix his neckline of a sweater he had finished. The reason why it needed fixing was because it was all stretched out. He had cast on for a top-down raglan and due to the weight of the sweater, it had STRETCHED THE NECKLINE OUT OF SHAPE! EUREKA! That’s what had happened to my dear sweater!
I woke with a start this morning at 6am, jumped out of bed, grabbed my 4.00mm needles, and immediately started picking up the cast on stitches around the neckline. I then knit one row of knit stitch on the WS (creating a garter row on the RS) and CAST OFF TIGHTLY! What happened?
Well, of course it fixed it! It pulled the sweater’s neckline in and up to where it was supposed to be in the first place! It wasn’t 4 inches too big, it was sitting way down on my chest! The weight of the madelinetosh was what caused this – and because I was able to fiddle and pull on the sweater while fitting it on the dress form, of course I had fit it correctly but didn’t realize this would be a problem.
I hope this never happens to any of you, but if it does – just know that there will be a fix for a stretched out neckline! Who knew that that conversation Stephanie was having the night I was buying the yarn for the sweater would be the conversation that saved it? Amazing! oh, and thank you!