March 14, 2016


What is the very next step?

waiting sweater

I am at a place of stuck with my sweater.

The body is knit and I am halfway through the first sleeve.

I’m beginning to get an inkling that I will need a 3rd cone of yarn, but at the moment I still have a comfortable amount on the cone I’m working from.

I haven’t worked on it in a couple days – though I know exactly where I am, and what happens next.

I am halfway through the first sleeve.

The thing to do would be to continue down the sleeve.

That is the very next step.

But every time I reach for my knitting I hesitate. Something is not – quite – right.

I try my sweater on.

Trying on clothing you’ve made is a moment of truth. You’re body knows.

Your body knows the minute the fabric touches your skin, whether or not it works for you. Whether or not the time and effort have resulted in a garment you’ll love and wear.

Or not.

Your brain can second guess, and justify, and explain away the short cuts you took because dinner, or drinks, or dishes, or Instagram were calling.

Your skin can only feel the shortcut – not the justification.

It’s then that you know, if the shortcut worked. Or didn’t.

I try on my sweater with half a sleeve and know. Instantly.

I can feel the bind off at the hem – too tight. Fixable.

I can feel the shortness of the body – not quite long enough. Reaffirming the need for that 3rd cone.

I can feel the neck – wide. Low. Fussy.

sweater shoulder

And now we’ve hit the source of my knitting hesitation.

I started knitting too deep in the yoke. My cast on was too long.

So now the edge curls, and the sweater clings to my shoulders in a way that I am not looking for in this sweater.

I tried picking out the cast on and tried a tighter bind off. It’s a trick I’ve used a couple times before. In this instance, it helped, but did not fix the problem.


And so – the very next step is not “finish the sleeve.”

It is now “fix the yoke.”

Break the yarn.
Put the sleeve on a holder.
Pick up the neckline.
Reattach the yarn.
Fix the yoke.
(Find a 3rd cone.)
Return to the sleeve.

knitting stitches on the needle