Readers, I am in the middle of a frustrating creative slump. It seems that, lately, I can’t do anything right despite my best intentions. That sweater you see, for example. Isn’t it gorgeous? The pattern, Lila, by Carrie Bostick Hoge, is exactly the sort of simple modernity I’ve been craving in my wardrobe for a long time. The yarn, Malabrigo Rios in the Pearlten colourway, was a dream to work with. I’d heard that it can grow a lot when you get it wet, so I diligently swatched with a few different needle sizes to make sure that I got a perfect fit. Looking at this picture makes me feel both proud and deeply saddened. Why? Because the sweater is too small!!!!
I know exactly where I went wrong with this one: I did the wrong kind of swatch. You see, when you knit a flat swatch for a garment that is made in the round, you’re bound to run into trouble. In this case, my flat swatch told me that the smaller needles were the ones to use, which turned out to be the wrong decision. The worst of it is that I pressed on with the work even as I worried that it would be too small, ignoring my better instincts. Now, I’m the unhappy owner of a beautifully made sweater that just doesn’t fit. The one smart thing I managed to do was not sew up the arm pits and weave in the ends, so at least the unravelling will go smoothly.
Unfortunately, readers, that’s not the end of it. Assuming that the best way to shake off my failure was to jump back in the saddle again, I decided to cast on a lightweight cardigan. After all, it won’t be winter forever, and it would be great if I could turn some of the raw materials I already have in my possession into a new spring/summer wardrobe rather than buying things that don’t quite fit. After hemming and hawing for a few days, I settled on Jane Richmond’s Grace, a simple top down cardigan with some easy looking lace at the yoke. What could be more foolproof?
Well, as it happens, lots of other top down sweaters. Because, unfortunately for me, the simple lace in this cute little number actually requires some attention to detail rather than the autopilot I set myself on. I’ll concede that maybe I’m just too picky, but those mistakes in my lace, starting about a quarter into the yoke, are too much for me to ignore. So, I’ll have to start over. I really would like to finish this cardigan eventually, but we need a bit of a break from each other until I can get some of my confidence back.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to focus on socks:
These are what I’m calling my Antidepressant Socks. I bought the yarn, Phildar Folk 100, at the height of winter when I was feeling as though a burst of colour would be just the thing to break me out of the winter sads. The colourway (Perroquet), however striking in the skein, turned out to knit up into some pretty ugly fabric, so I let these languish for longer than I should have. They’re done now, though, and they actually photograph much better than they look in person. And, like all hand knit socks , they’re pretty darn cozy, so I suppose I don’t have much to complain about.
And, what am I working on now? Well, this amazing shawl for one. I’m nearly at the end, about a quarter of the way through the cabled border, but I’m taking my time with it in an effort to not screw it up. I’m also making a pair of fingering weight Rye socks for Keith’s Dad, just because. The yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Sock in Constellation:
Sometimes it’s nice to make things for others for no particular reason. And, who knows, maybe the good karma will break me out of my sweater slump!
Fellow knitters: how do you deal with your knitting when it seems like you just can’t do anything right?