The Return of the Experimental Sweater

September 2, 2009 at 3:33 am 6 comments

Once upon a time, there was a scarf.

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It was a soft gray, handspun Shetland scarf with a cable panel that repeated over its length, and it was a lovely accessory (“Tilly”, from A Fine Fleece).

But somehow when I finished it, the scarf didn’t seem to be done. It struck me as a big shawl collar with no sweater attached. So I set about building the sweater onto it. The cabled shawl collar needed a  generous, swingy sweater that would enfold its wearer in wool.

I picked up stitches along its edge and knit raglan shaping that curved the scarf around into a shawl collar. I started with a silvery blue Cotswold-Ramboullet X wool as an accent, and then turned to a dark and silvery LincolnX for the bulk of the project.

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The LincolnX ran out about the time that I finished the fronts and the back down to the shoulderblades.

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It was at this point that I made the tragic miscalculation. I chose a yarn that was too heavy, and knit on. I was so anxious to finish and wear the garment that I knit on blindly and with great enthusiasm, disregarding my gut feeling that the garment was architecturally unsound.

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I actually finished all of the (considerable amount of) knitting before I realized the magnitude of the mistake. It was too heavy on the bottom. No amount of fudging after the fact was gonna fix that. It hung like a wet towel.

I put it away for a while. I could not quite face the sweater for some months.

But I am not one to leave projects unfinished, so finally I summoned the strength to do the necessary ripping out.

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Then I set about spinning a new batch of Border Leicester (2 ply this time). And I took another run at it.

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Now, at long last, I am very pleased to introduce the Experimental Sweater. (please disregard the background clutter)

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Many thanks to the gray Shetland scarf who made this adventure possible.


Entry filed under: Blog, Uncategorized.

#1 Good Thing about Knitting Negative Progress

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jody van Dooijewaard  |  September 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    That is a wonderfully warm looking sweater. What a clever use of that scarf (which I also knit BTW in handspun alpaca). I luv all those natural colours too!

    • 2. sheepsclothing  |  September 4, 2009 at 3:16 am

      Thanks- I do love that cable panel pattern. It’s kind of addictive.I’ve knit it into a purse, too. Maybe someday I’ll do one that stays a scarf!

  • 3. Mary  |  September 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Your sweater is GREAT! I’m glad you kept at it to get what you wanted. I can hardly wait to see it in person. Guess I’d better hope for some cooler weather!


    • 4. sheepsclothing  |  September 4, 2009 at 3:18 am

      Yeah- won’t long now until it’s sweater weather again, and I think this one’s going to get a lot of use- It’s so comfy!

  • 5. Michelle  |  September 2, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    I am so impressed; I can’t imagine ever being able to “invent” a sweater like that!

    • 6. sheepsclothing  |  September 4, 2009 at 3:25 am

      Thanks Michelle. I actually prefer making up sweaters to following directions. I’ve done a couple of things “by the numbers”, but I find it kind of a pain to have to keep referring back to a pattern and counting rows, repeats, etc.- Once you’ve done it a couple times and get the basics down, it’s really liberating!


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This is a Wool blog.

Who? Denise

Where? Skagit County, Washington

Why: To share my spinning and knitting adventures with other wool loving folk.


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