This is the first knitting project I’ve done where I finished and said, Huh. I don’t really like this. And that’s a little sad.
Let’s start by saying that this post is NOT about: this post is not about my out-of-focus cell phone photos, or my frowny face (mostly cropped) from the sun being in my eyes, or my lack of ironing on my tunic. Stay focused, my friends. This post is about the fit of this sweater. Last summer, in anticipation of our Big Trip to Scotland, which I learned during my pre-trip research was going to be 30 degrees cooler than Atlanta, I knitted two sweaters: the Georgia sweater and the Top-Down Turtleneck Cardigan. Both are made in the same Purl Soho Mulberry Merino yarn. One is yellow and I lurve it. The other is…this one.
The color is divine. The feel of the yarn is a dream. It’s the fit that I don’t like. At all. I should point out that this sweater has not been blocked, a practice I am still a little scared to pursue, despite the fact that I knitted (knit?) seven sweaters last year. And so I’m wondering: is that the problem? Or is it that I just don’t like this shape on my body?
Because here’s the thing about this sweater: the armholes are WACKADOO. I mean, like sooooooo low. Can you see that in these photos? I generally prefer a higher armhole anyway, and looking back at the design and still photos of this pattern from the Purl Soho website I don’t think that the error is in my knitting or in their design–it’s just that it’s hard to really appreciate that the armholes are way down the body when the sweater is lying flat. You don’t really see it until it’s on.
And y’all, they are WAY down the body. Like, almost my waist. Certainly way below my bustline, which you can clearly see in this photo above. Granted, my waistline is higher than the average person, but also: holy smokes.
The yarn is BEYOND spectacular. It’s a wool/silk blend and it’s completely amazing to work with, the kind of yarn that makes it hard to purchase yarn ever again, because once you’ve gone fancy it’s hard to go un-fancy. And I think the knitting is pretty good work, if I do say so myself, and I do. But in the photo above, you can see that the armhole stitches start to veer off? I think the armhole should end about where the seam changes direction. And it doesn’t. It goes on for another, what, six inches? INCHES? On my body, that’s hugely unflattering. I’ve learned through years of sewing that certain shapes will NEVER look good on me, no matter how great they look on the pattern envelope–it’s one of the toughest things to ever learn about sewing, honestly, that your body WANTS some shapes and will STRONGLY REJECT others, and that it’s OK. Transferring that idea to knitting is trickier than I thought, because a sweater is just a sweater, right?
I love the *idea* of this sweater. It’s a turtleneck cardigan, and speaking those words together give me joy: TURTLENECK + CARDIGAN. I love the simplicity of the construction. I loved the near-mindlessness of the knitting, even the short rows on the neck for shaping. But I do not love the final fit.
I MEAN, YOU GUYS. LOOK HOW LOW THESE ARMHOLES ARE.
I don’t feel pretty in this sweater. I feel frumpy. I haven’t blocked it, true. I haven’t added buttons, also true. But I am not motivated to do so, because currently, I am pretty bummed that the fit isn’t flattering.
So here’s my question for you more experienced knitters: if I’m considering taking the whole thing apart and recycling the yarn (I believe the technical term is
weeping frogging), should I block it first just to be SUPER SURE that I hate it? Or do I call it now and just stop the hemorrhage?
Suggestions warmly welcomed, y’all. I’ve had this experience with sewn garments before, and it can really derail your progress. I made this sweater on purpose to pair with a lined vest, and there’s no chance it’s going to fit under those armholes as it is now. Can it be saved with blocking? And if not, will blocking make the yarn less usable for another project?
Side question for you SUPER experienced knitters: what measurements are you checking on the knitting pattern to ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to you? On a sewing pattern, I know just how to look for that information, and how to apply it–there must be some parallel in knitting patterns, but I need help finding it. Thank you, internet friends!