Seriously, folks, this is as good as she's gonna get...
All the while I knit this sweater, I planned on loving it. I had no indication that I would have any other feelings for this sweater other than undying love and devotion. The yarn made me feel so happy as I knit it, and my mental vision of the finished product danced in my head with glee. Thus, it was a rude awakening to have to stumble through feelings of frustration, angst and a couple instances of periodic loathing before finally getting it finished to a point that I didn't hate it enough to never want to wear it. I'd invested too much time into it.
In all fairness, I cannot bring myself to fault the pattern for my problems, since I took some liberties with it. On the other hand, my biggest liberty I took was substituting a different gauge yarn (used DK instead of Aran), but I made the necessary adjustments and that seemed to do the trick as far as fit through the body.
The neckline? Whole other story. I'm not sure if it was my yarn change that threw the shaping off, or if it was truly designed to fit only those people built like slope-shouldered giraffes (gauging from the picture in the pattern of the lovely model who appears perfectly normally proportioned, if wispy and petite...not that I'm bitter...that wouldn't seem to be the case), but that is where the bulk of my problems started. (Oh, and just as an aside...knitting pattern pictures? In general, they LIE. Just sayin'.)
I did a lot of finagling to get that neckline to work...ended up ripping out at least three sections of the colorwork to make it narrower. And in the end, I did my own jury-rigged shaping of threading a drawstring through the bindoff row inside and cinching it up to keep the neckline from oddly bowing out. Don't laugh, it works.
And then there were the button bands of doom. Honestly. Three times. I knit and ripped those damn bands three times. I won't go through it all here (the details are on my Rav project page if you really want the nitty gritty), but suffice it to say, the garter stitch bands the pattern called for just were NOT going to work...too stretchy. In the end, Paley-the Cardigan is now Paley-the Mock-Cardigan, also known as Paley-whose-fronts-have-been-stitched-shut-and-is-now-a-pullover. Hey, again...it worked.
In the end, though, I will admit with caution that I am in like with the sweater. It holds promise that our differences can be forgotten and we will get over the rough times we've seen together. In an act of good will ('tis the season, after all), I wore it to church today, and while I do wish the sleeves were a bit longer (I find it so hard to gauge sleeves on raglans, even top down ones), the sweater feels very good on...it is warm, and all of my odd little "fixes" really did seem to do the trick to making it a sweater I will wear. So, yeay me. :}
So, if you're still with me after that sweater rant, and if you're keeping count, finishing Paley brought my WIP count down to fifteen! Yeay! Then I decided to knit yet another unplanned Christmas gift to the line up. Look! It's a hat!
But no! It's not just a hat! It's a hat with a hole in the back! And buttons!
This incredibly cute and clever pattern, Hannah, was created for hat wearers who also sport ponytails, which makes it the perfect accessory for a friend of mine (who hopefully does not read this blog or at least will not until I see her next to give her this gift) who has gorgeous long hair and often wears it in a ponytail. Hopefully I'll be able to get a picture of her modeling it, because I'm sure it will look better on her than on my usual hat-model stand in, the anniversary clock, especially since the clock does not have a ponytail.
So, back to the math...fifteen plus the hat is sixteen, minus the hat is fifteen. But wait! I still had one more friend who I thought I might knit something for, totally unplanned, of course. Thus, I've cast on the Athena neckwarmer. (Thus, back to sixteen!) No pictures yet, but I'm using CPY Taos in a red/orange colorway. And it is my first venture into entrelac, and let me tell you...it's fun! Purling backwards without having to turn the piece is definitely key to making this go quickly. I don't think it should take long to finish. Yeay!