Monday, October 01, 2007

A suitcase full of courage

Yesterday I seamed the other sleeve on Jemima, pinned the sides together and tried it on. Sadly, there appears to have been a complete lack of foresight on my part, and I ended up frogging every stitch. Allow me to explain.

My shape is wide shoulders, narrow waist, slightly bigger hips than waist. I am also very long-waisted. I had doubts about Jemima from the beginning - only 12" from armhole to hip was supposed to give me this slouchy weekender look in the pictures? I kept thinking "not" but kept on knitting. (Second mistake.) I knit all the pieces to size, put them together on the raglans, knit the placket, seamed it in, picked up stitches all around for the collar, which is supposed to be wide and slouchy while at the same time being fairly shallow...and it didn't fit. The huge collar called for in the pattern was actually snug on my shoulders.

See, the thing is, I have decent shoulders - according to shape and proportion, I am at least lucky that they are fairly muscular. But I can't even wear a v-neck, because it ends up riding up on me till it's basically a crewneck with an ugly point. If I try to wear anything plunging (not that I have the goods for that), I look ...strange. There are certain shaped necklines I can wear. Crewneck, definitely. Boatneck, yes. Very low v-neck with something underneath, check.

I really thought the neck on Jemima would work for me. But I think in these circumstances - needing an extra-big neck opening - I ought to have knit the next size up. See, you can't really cover it up when the placket won't close around your shoulders. No way to add more fabric, no way it will block out to size. Either the arm and front/back stitches are going to look stretched, or you have to rip it.

I nearly cast on for a Tangled-Yoke cardigan, but I don't honestly think I'll be able to wear a tangled-yoke anything. The inherent design in that sweater - accent on the shoulders, which it must fit - isn't a good look for me. I have said before that the best clothing ought to lie for you and make your stomach flatter, your legs longer, etc. This accent-on-shoulder thing is not a lie I want to tell.

So y'all, I ripped my Jemima and didn't start the Tangled Yoke. And immediately wound yarn and cast on for a Cobblestone sweater. The yarn I am using has history. One of my stepmom's friends has a daughter-in-law whose mother has Alzheimer's and can't knit anymore. I inherited 7 skeins of Rowanspun Aran from her circa 1998 - the labels are old, but I can't tell. Just know it's not the new Rowan labels. It's inky blue and tweedy and soft. I have plenty-enough yarn for a Cobblestone.

The title of the post comes from a Phil-and-Paul-ism, the Tour de France commentators. "He's digging deep into his suitcase full of courage!" is one of their trademark remarks. I think it takes a suitcase full of courage to admit something doesn't fit you. The ripping? Not so much - just hook up the ball winder and go, it makes it a lot less painful.

And thank God I didn't weave in any ends!


Blogger esp said...

As you knit, so shall you rip. It's a fact of life. I hate that you have to let go of all that work, but you're doing the right thing.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

I find it very amusing that both of us are ridding ourselves of Jemima! I've just not been very happy with the way mine looks. I added an inch to the length, but it still seems too short to me, and I am very excited to start Cobblestone. Though you'll probably have finished it by the time I'm back!!

9:46 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

ugggh, I have ripped an entire sweater that did not fit Good for you for reknitting the lovely yarn into something that you will love! Whenever I complain about frogging my knitting my husband always remarks "but the knitting is the fun part, right?! Now you just have more to do!" Can't wait to see Cobblestone!

10:23 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

You are a much better person than I! I like to disillusion myself into thinking I can make it work. Good for you, having the courage to rip! It will definitely turn out to be the right decision. I am also impressed that you cast on for a new sweater right away! That yarn would have been dumped into time out for a while in my house! Can't wait to see the end result...

11:11 AM  
Blogger Zonda said...

PHew...glad you didn't weave in your ends either...especially how "good" you are at that!! I bet Cobblestone will be perfect in that yarn! :)

5:46 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I have to opposite problem - because I am... er... well endowed, anything tht is a high neck makes me look massively top heavy. I actually am very well proportioned, relative to myself, and I like my shape. but sometimes it's hard when you dearly want to knit something and it just isn't right. not as hard as knitting it all the way through, and still having the guts to know it's not right.

Well done. We're proud of you. ;P

6:03 PM  
Blogger bellamoden said...

I love your new picture on the sidebar!

And it sucks to rip, but if it's the right thing, it's the right thing, definitely.

9:13 PM  
Blogger KSD said...

So sorry about your rippage --- but it sounds like you have a suitcase full of good humor about it!

6:38 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

A 'spot of bother' indeed!

3:02 AM  

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