Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A Knitting Allegory

I picked a sweater pattern that had unusual modular construction that let to a boxy but cute sweater. I have a tendency to picky boxy patterns and then wish they were less boxy even though a pattern doing what it promised is a me problem not a pattern problem. 
I had to reknit the front three times due to a reading problem on my part. 
And then I got to the sleeves. The pattern had you pick up the entire side and then decrease to make a very wide dolman-esque sleeve. I don't mind a dolman sleeve. But when the sweater is boxy, the dolman sleeve means a sweater that falls off your shoulders. So I figured, okay, I'll just decrease faster. 
And well, some of you know that if you decrease to much you basically get bunched knitting, so yeah, that happened. But I figured, well, it will block out. Or maybe if I pick up for the second sleeve the counterweight will balance it out. So I did that. And tried it on. If by balance we mean both sides bunched, it worked. I spent an evening trying to convince myself I wouldn't care. The bunching would be under my arms so who even would see it?
And then I ripped back and tried decreasing more than the pattern called for but less than I had initially tried. Less bunchy. 
And then I had a revelation. I could essentially just knit the sides together and start with less sleeve. Because the problem was I was trying to take a structure and make it something else, and instead I could change the construction. 
Of course then I overcorrected and made a very snug sleeve but well live and learn. 
So I called this an allegory because sometimes the problem stems from picking the wrong pattern, or from expecting that by adjusting a thing we can make it into something it wasn't intended to be. 
And sometimes you just have to rip back and try something else.