Blood, Sweaters, and Tears

So, do you remember that sweater I started over Thanksgiving? In case you don't, here is a picture of it "almost finished" in early December. 

DSCN6442See that look of sheer desperation? It was way too small, and I was heartbroken and discouraged.

So I put it down and let it be. For several months.

Then I got a different yarn that was cheaper and bigger, and I started again on larger needles. And I took it out again. And I started again. And I took it out again. And I put it away for a while. And I started again. And I kept going. And kept going. And it worked!

DSCN7681How cute is this? I will admit that it isn't my favorite sweater, and there are things about it that I don't love, but I made it. I literally put tears into this sweater, and it is mine, and I will wear it proudly. 


DSCN7683Do you see how pretty the yokes on this are? Well they were a total pain to knit. The pattern was hard for me because it alternated two rows of 4 stitches. Row 1 – knit in the front, purl in the back; Row 2 – Purl in the front, knit in the back. If that is confusing reading it, just imagine how frustrated I became knitting it. The pattern wasn't too complicated, but it required a lot of concentration to make sure I didn't get off a stitch (which I did, several times, and had to undo!)

DSCN7680This is my first time blocking anything, and I have to say that I can now see the benefits. When I tried the finished unblocked sweater on, it felt a little big, bulky, and boxy.  So, I wet it down with a spray bottle, shaped it how I wanted, and left it overnight. And here is where I have a confession to make. It wasn't dry when I wanted to wear it the next morning, and it had been a little big to start with, so I spent about 10 minutes, with the hairdryer on a hot setting, drying it. I'm sure that is a huge knitting faux-pas, but I was willing to risk it because it was a bit large to start with. It turned out perfectly! I wouldn't recommend using heat when blocking most things, but this for, it worked out well. 

If you're interested in making this sweater, you can find a free pattern for the Shalom Sweater at Involving the Senses. I made a few modifications – I did the side seams a few stitches toward the back because they seemed to be on the front of my sweater, and I reduced the number of stitches bound off at the bottom of the armhole. I just experimented several times until I got the right amount for me. 

Heres to doing things that seem beyond your ability. 

Update: I finally put this project up on my ravelry page. 

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