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May 31, 2005

Please explain

Can someone please explain what's happening to me? First, I started buying yarn without a project in mind. Granted, this happened only once and it was my beloved (beeeeluuuuved) Louet, which has a wonderfully adaptable gauge and this way of morphing into projects in my mind. Okay, never mind, that's not so weird. Then it was starting new projects before finishing old ones. In fact, I'm working on three right now: the Adrienne Vittadini sweater, the lilac lace scarf, and the textured rose scarf. But considering the AV sweater is almost done, the textured rose scarf is permanently on hold (she didn't give me b-day present, so why should I knit her a scarf?), I'm almost down to one. Alright, this isn't so weird.

But trust me, there's a point to this post. The dreaded AV sleeve is.... I'm blanking on any adjectives other than "dreaded" and which won't make you blush in front of your kids. I need my mouth and my brain washed out with soap until the skin is raw. You know how Diana cut the sleeve of her sweater because it was too long ? I imagine doing that to the AV sleeve, except for no reason, in more than one place, without picking up the stitches and binding off, and then laughing the evil laugh, mwahahahaha! So, I hid all my scissors. And knives. Even the butter knives, which don't cut for shit. In the meantime, my antagonism towards the AV sleeve has been expressed in the following completely atypical behaviors:

  • I only haphazardly consult my pattern rewrite. As a result, I sometimes forget to increase when I'm supposed to.
  • When I forget to increase in the proper row, I don't frog. Instead, I make up the increases when I realize my mistake.
  • In the first sleeve, I k2tog at the right edge and SSK at the left. About 6 rows into the decrease section of the second sleeve, I realized that I'd reversed which decrease happens at which edge. I did not frog, nor did I correct myself for the remainder of the decrease section. Who the hell is going to notice?!?

Oh, and can we talk about the yarn for a second? Diana (yes, the same one who cut her sweater's sleeve) asked if I would use this yarn again. NO. Hell no. Hell-O no. For starters, I will not use the Hollyberry color for any project again because it has a wonderful tendency to bleed. (Note: the bleeding is color-specific: the Petal color (Pepto-Bismol pink) doesn't bleed, which is good) All the Merino Style yarns, however, are too soft. They would make great scarves and hats, but they are not meant to become sweaters. Frogging is absolutely impossible: the yarn comes out fuzzy, misshapen, kinked, worn, and it doesn't bounce back if washed. In fact, washing just wears out the yarn to some sort of half-fuzzy, half-disintegrated nightmare. The bottom line: this yarn is too soft to be sweater material.

And I wish I could say that there's a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, or at least some pot to appease my next-door neighbors (I may have cursed at them, but that's a story for my personal blog), but I'm afraid there isn't. I basted the first sleeve to the body of the sweater and tried it on. While I'm very happy with how it looks in my shoulder area (always a problem, I have tiny shoulders), it is very loose throughout the arm, creating unsightly wrinkles around my armpits:


I think it's meant to be all bell-shaped and blouse-like, but I'm NOT digging it. At all. DON'T EVEN POINT OUT THAT THIS IS HOW IT LOOKS ON THE MANNEQUIN. Don't.

With the magic of some more backstitch, I left the upper part of the sweater as is, and "took in" some of the lower sleeve to simulate what it would look like were it more like a sweater sleeve, and less like a blouse sleeve:


(the bell sleeves are still there, just bulked up by my backstitching an entire pattern repeat)

This would be fantabulous. This would involve knitting new sleeves and perhaps an elbow replacement. This would involve a weekly visit to the therapist and the continuation of bitching on this here blog. And most importantly, this would involve buying more yarn (as I mentioned, frogging this yarn is a total mess) and praying to all the holy things that the dye lots look similar.

@^#&%!-*@*%@*% piece of #(%!

Posted by Kathy on May 31, 2005 01:36 AM


Even the best of us have bad projects...I admit you are scaring me a little, considering I have 13 (count 'em!) balls of Merino Style for the Deep V AV sweater. I haven't found it problematic to work with in the squares, but that is small scale. But of course, given Baby Ull, we have very different taste in yarns, so maybe it will be okay. I really only find it cold enough to wear pullovers a few days out of the year, so maybe wear won't be a big issue, either. Or maybe I'll just learn my lesson. I'm curious now, i want to go look at wiseneedle and see what people have been saying about Merino Style.

Did you know the Navajo put mistakes in their work on purpose? So as not to have the sneaky item steal their soul?

You wouldn't want the A Vittadini sweater (which roughly translates to "Sweater designed by Evil Geniuses") to steal your soul, right? You might need it some day!

Step. Away. From. The. Sweater. In fact, step WAAAY away, put it on hold, put it on "forget" in the bottom of your closet, and move on to something else. This is supposed to be a hobby! Fun, remember? Or if you MUST finish it, finish it and donate it to charity and chalk it up to experience.

For the record, I had a nasty experience with KnitPicks yarn yesterday too -- two pairs of socks I made are now cute little felted booties for hobbits. Who makes sock yarn that felts that easily? OK, I did wash them in the machine, but it was on cold, in the gentle cycle... For me, that IS hand wash!

ok, it does look much better with slimmer sleeve. You know, the perfectionist in you, will want you to rip it. Step away for awhile? Work on the scarves? I do like the merino wool...but agree with that it is too soft for frequently worn sweaters. I used it for a scarf and loved it.
PS I also had nothing to say about the knitty surprise..."surprise...crap!"

We all have projects that are put on this earth to try our stamina - mine is the zip cardi, yours appears to be AV. I'm stubborn so I'd fix it (and I do like it better with the tighter sleeves). Who puts blouse sleeves on a sweater like this? Were they smoking crack when they designed it? Must have been. It's the only logical explanation. I have some black merino style and was trying to decide what to do with it (it was once to be legwarmers, but that's been revised). I was considering a sweater for hubby, but that won't work if it can't handle wear and tear. Hats and mittens all around? Oh, and knitty scares me. I mean really. What the &^*% kind of patterns are those?! Yikes.

I agree with the other ladies. It's time to break up with the AV and see other people for awhile. Then, when you have some distance, you can contemplate the relationship and decide which way you want to go. You do need the narrower sleeves with the final product. How you finally get there is irrelevant, but I advocate the scissor.

Do you think that the yarn will relax over time? My v-neck started off with those wrinkles, but they went away (either that or I have simply created a visual block to sheild my eyes from further torture :-).)

I agree that you need a break from this sweater. You're too close to it. Just step away for a few days and then come back slowly. Hehe.

Oh, and is it just me or is ALL the AV impossible to frog? I used some of the mohair stuff with little sparklies for a cowl (I know, I'm not being very specific, but it's AV and I'm too lazy to check the label right now) and I had to hold my breath as I knit for fear of making a mistake. Luckily, it was black, so simple errors could go unfrogged...but still!

It's a conspiracy I tell you!

I agree with others, it's time to put this project down. This is a bad project, a very bad project, this project is not to be. If I were you I'd step away and give the two of you some space, but that is if it were me.

Woman, for real. Go work on them scarves for awhile. Sometimes frogging makes you feel better, and sometimes you frog in a fit of rage and think 'oh shit!' later. Believe me - not fun.

And I agree about the Merino Style for garments. All the cabling for my tank seems to help, but it's not ideal. Humph!

I would turn it inside out, baste in a dart that includes the seam, and remove as much fullness as you need to. Once you get it looking right hand-sewn, then machine sew over your basting and cut up the fold. Maybe do some zig-zag reinforcement on the edges of the seam allowances to make sure they don't fray later.

But I agree. Best not to touch it for a little while.

BTW -- where was that dinosaur pattern you mentioned?

Thanks for the Merino head's up. Scarves it is.
I'm working on a sweater with the Debbie Bliss Merino DK and am decently pleased with it and hopefully with its machine washable-ness. It frogs reasonably well.

And my opinion. Darts. I so wanted to make that sweater when I saw it, but it was beyond my then meager abilities. The shaping does look like it'd drive me nuts, too. Do sweaters ever create darts using short rows?

After seeing the pictures, I still think that cutting is the thing to do. But only after that sweater has sat untouched for a long time. Given the time of year, I think that the best time to revisit it would be next fall. Just about when you would want to start wearing it. By then you will be able to look at it much more objectively with a cool head. And you will be more excited for the finished product.

When you are ready, sew the sweater seam as you like it with the yarn you used to knit the sweater. Then, turn the sleeve inside out and machine sew (zig-zags maybe?) next to your outer yarn seam. Make a couple of passes to be sure it will hold. Turn the sleeve right side out to make sure that you didn't sew over your yarn seam. Then turn it inside out again and carefully cut right next to the machine sewing, making sure that you don't cut into the machine sewing thread. If the rough edge bothers you, you can pick up stitches on one side of the seam, knit a few rows, bind off, then tack it down on the other side of the seam.

You have nothing to loose if you would reknit the sleeve with new yarn otherwise. But you might have a relatively easy fix to your problem.

Does anyone else have other ideas for how to do the cutting?

So frustrating... you spent so much time and effort to figure out exactly how to make the sweater work for you and now it's just not working. I have to agree with the rest of the commenters - put it away, take a break! If it calls you later, pick it up again. Otherwise, it's time to get back to something you'll truly enjoy knitting. I'm guessing that something won't be from knitty... ;) I'm with you on that one - those two surprise patterns are just plain strange!

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