I began knitting in November of 1997 when Martha Stewart Living had an article about knitting. I'd wanted to learn for years, but never took the time to figure it out. I'd crocheted for a long time, and I was a quiltmaker of modest skill...enough crafts for one girl, I mistakenly thought. I made a lot of mistakes with that first scarf, but it hooked me. I took a class the next January, learned cables in the second week (my lovely teacher was of the school of "nothing's too hard") and made my first sock. The small group decided we wanted an intermediate class, so we selected to each make this vest. I wanted to make for my ex, and he helped me to pick out the colors. They are a bit awful, I think now, but tastes were different then, I guess. Ignore the colors and look at the colorwork. I'm pretty proud of it too. I learned a lesson, though. I did a three-needle bind off at the shoulders and, with great pride, handed it to F. to try on...all I had left to do were the blue bands around the front and neck and sleeves. Um.
It. Didn't. Fit.
Not even close. It's cotton, but I couldn't imagine it would stretch enough in blocking. I'd even woven in the gajillion ends from all those color changes. I'd even done a gauge swatch (I'm slightly allergic to them). Lesson: do a gauge swatch in the actual colorwork, not just of the plain garter that makes up the bottom of the damn thing.
Over Lent I suggested to my SnB that we finish something that's been languishing in our UFO pile. I didn't finish this...I was too busy with my Sockapaloooza socks and a more-than-full academic schedule. And really, what for? What was the point? Even the little cousin I'd hoped to pass this on to was too big for it. And now it had become a sort of awful metaphor for my marriage...it seemed like a perfect fit, but only when I'd gotten really far into it did I realize it was too small. And that didn't change when I stopped thinking about it. So the neck band sat around on a really long circ, stitches falling off when I'd drag the beast out to make fun of myself.
Until my girly Sara had a sweater-knitting disaster. She whipped out a beautiful v-neck men's sweater in no time flat, on circs, for her sweetie. Before she picked up stitches for the sleeves, though she realized that the sweater lacks shape. It just doesn't hang right the way a pieced sweater would. She was going to frog the whole thing and start over, when I suggested that she steek it. I promised to read up about steeking online, and I had the bright idea that I might get a few practice runs in on the vest. The awful vest would have a purpose again. So last night I bound off the stitches, spent a few minutes thinking of my memories knitting the thing, and committed to cutting.
I made two lines of stitching on my sewing machine, and then, snip, snip. I'm not sure if this is really the way to go for Sara's sweater. Any advice is welcome. What I do know is this. Cutting that vest made me feel really good. Like all those hours of work have somehow finally paid off.