I dabble in several different crafts. However, I try to restrict myself to a single project in progress in each of those crafts. I make the rules, so I make the exceptions. Small projects that can be completed within a week can be performed at any time, provided they are completed within that time frame. The large project is set aside for that time. Projects that would be tedious, such as the mohair throw, can be worked ‘on the side’, with a small amount to be completed each week. It makes a nice change for the hands, to be using such thick needles, but requires more attention than my regular knitting, so I don’t want it as my main knitting project.
And occasionally, just occasionally, a large project can be set aside and ‘forgotten’.
This green alpaca jumper was one of those projects.
It should have been a simple project: I have knitted 8 ply alpaca from Bendigo Woollen Mills several times in the past. I assumed my tension would be the same this time as previous times. I knew the measurements of the recipient’s favourite jumper. The calculations were simple. I merrily cast on the body (circular needle, so a huge tube) and knitted. Then after knitting a ribbed band and perhaps 10 cm of stocking stitch, I made the mistake of measuring the width of the tube. I was sure it was too narrow. I made more calculations, pulled out what I had knitted, and resumed with more stitches.
There was an interlude due to a finger injury (RSI? arthritis? old injury suddenly aggravated?). When I resumed knitting, I blithely worked until I finished a 200 g ball. I measured the tube. It was very wide, much wider than I wanted. By then I had had enough of working on the jumper. I put it in a cloth bag and set it aside. It was not forgotten, just banished from the work basket.
I picked it up again a couple of months ago. It had not made itself narrower during its year of exile. I could not bear the thought of pulling it out again. It seemed doomed to never be the correct width. Instead, I decided I would compensate afterwards. I would make a padded side seam instead. So when casting off a few stitches for the armholes, I cast off extra, the amount that would be lost in the seam. Then I shaped the top of the jumper as normal. Sewing up was ‘fun’
1. I sewed side seams using mattress stitch, as I usually do when sewing together flat pieces of knitting, right side of the knitting facing me.
2. I turned the jumper inside out, and stitched along the centre of the seam using a contrasting thread.
3. I flattened the seam, so that the centre would align (approximately) with the seam I had stitched.
4. I stitched each side of the excess knitted fabric to the body of the jumper, catching just one horizontal bar of yarn every few rows.
I am now hoping that the recipient does not notice. If he does, I will be flippant, and suggest the extra padding will keep his sides especially warm. It is a relief to have completed this project.