Hitting some snags

It is a beautiful weekend and I plan to enjoy it and not think too much about all of the stalled knitting projects needing a fix.  But, I will do a quick post to show why I’m stalled.  I have hit a few problems with my Sunbird Top.  I decided to knit this with Carol Feller’s new yarn, Nua, which is a blend of wool, yak and linen.  Although I hit the gauge pretty much smack on, I am not convinced that it is the right yarn for this pattern.  I thought that the linen content would make it a breezy, spring-like fabric, but in fact it knits up warmer than I had anticipated.  It is a lovely yarn, but maybe not the best for this project.  (Although, I will withhold judgement until it’s done.)


There are some additional problems, however.  First, as you can see above, there is some significant curling on the bottom edge.  This is really not making me happy or confident.  Although blocking should help to fix it, some other aspects of the construction may exacerbate the problem.  The pattern has a bit of lace on the side:


The funny little shape at the end of the lace will not stay that way; the edges are sewn back against the lace to form a neat curved edging that is supposed to look like this:


© Interweave / George Boe

I think it will take some significant blocking effort to get mine to look like this, and I worry that sewing up the edges to produce this curve will make the curling even worse by pulling the cast-off edge tighter.  And, as I think you can see in the photos, the yarn that I am using isn’t drapey enough for this pattern, at least not while knit at this gauge.

The second issue has to do with size. I started knitting it in a size 46 to give plenty of ease, and then after putting the front and back together to knit the body in the round (this is knit top-down) I decided it had too much ease, and cut back the number of stitches cast on under the arms.  Thus, it is really knit in two sizes – one above the chest and a different one below, and I am not convinced this was the right move.  The back and shoulders seem to fit reasonably well:


However, I don’t feel as if I have the ease and drape it needs over the body of the garment.  (By the way, for those who notice such things: this is me.  I have had a rather major hair cut!)

Third, I am having “tear-out-my-hair” issues with the sleeves.  The pattern calls for stitches to be picked up all the way around the sleeve cap, and then to use short rows to knit down.  This is done using DPNs.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I am hating this and how awkward it feels to me.  Not only that, but now that I am most of the way done with one sleeve cap, I can see that I have too many stitches and the cap is puckered!


It took me three evenings of lackluster knitting to knit this portion of this sleeve!  I hate doing it and it looks crappy.  So, my next move will be to rip this out, and then to knit the sleeves flat and sew them in.  I know that I could do both sleeves, and the setting in, in no time that way, so why should I struggle with knitting it this way?

As you can see, I am unhappy with this.  I am hoping that if I knit the sleeves flat, and then give this a good soak and a block, all of these issues will disappear, but in the meantime, I have lost all of my mojo for this project.  And there is a little voice in the back of my head saying “Go ahead and rip the whole thing and re-purpose the yarn into a pattern which will suit it better!”  What do you think?  Rip or persevere?

In the interest of full disclosure, here is a shot of my new hair:


I was prepared to write about another project – one which I switched to in order to cheer me up, only to have it kill my mojo even further – but I think instead I will go enjoy the sunshine!  I hope that your adventures this weekend are lovely ones!

26 thoughts on “Hitting some snags

  1. What a job! I bought the yarn, wonderful. And in fact I bought the pattern as well, but didnt use it. I found it difficult, thats why. Too much to think of, and in English. So I knitted a summer top without sleeves, just with marked edges. If I want, I can wear something with thin long sleeves under for Winter. Because its warm. But for a Norwegian Summer it might be ok without. Good luck with rest of the job there!

      • Erun told me you were worried! But the yarn is wonderful. So Thank you! And they didnt charge me with tax. The top is fine! I can send E a picture if you like.

  2. First, I love your new haircut. Second, I’m in a similar situation to yours in regards to knitting, and can’t find that surefire project to renew my energy. Laila’s advice sounds good to me, although I would advise setting the offending project aside for at least a month before making the final decision. And for what it’s worth, I too have found knitting sleeves separately and then seaming them preferable to picking up and knitting down, as it is much easier to re-knit separate pieces (sleeve cap, bodice armholes) for correct fit than to rework an integrally-attached sleeve. Never again, I swear.

  3. Hoping you persevere and it turns out just right. So annoying, I understand that too, that as you are working on something and it doesn’t look right you just don’t enjoy it! When do you decide to give up on a garment?! I have no idea! That’s why I have a house full of WIPS, perhaps ……

  4. New hair cut is great.

    As for the sweater, if you really aren’t sure, don’t weave in the ends until you block it, so it is easier to rip if need be. But I hope it won’t need to be, it is very pretty!

  5. Love the new hair do!

    I’m a terrible judge of whether frustrations make a valid case for frogging. But you sound pretty unhappy with it from a variety of angles, so may be best to do so in this case. Maybe tuck it away for a little while and then see how you feel?

  6. I love your haircut! I agree with a few of the above comments. Most likely if you don’t love it now you never will. Put it aside, think about it and maybe the yarn will let you know that it wants to be frogged and knit into something else.

  7. Your hair looks fabulous! Life is too short for avoidable unhappiness in our lives, especially when it comes to knitting – I think you should rip it back and repurpose the yarn. 🙂

  8. Your haircut is perfect. Sassy, chic and professional.

    Frog or time out. I say frog because you seem to have a bit of attitude about this project. This is supposed to be enjoyable! (For me, the big danger words revolved around the yarn feel and intended season.)

  9. Nua is lovely, but it is definitely warm, so perhaps not ideal for a summer top.
    I’m not keen on frogging, but I know that it is something I should do more of… rather than leaving unloved, unworn projects in the cupboard to make me feel guilty… So, on balance, I think frogging would be what I would advocate especially as, although its not madly expensive, garment amounts of the yarn are not cheap.
    On a positive note, I have ripped back in Nua quite often and it knits up like new (pun was serendipitous… Nua means new in Irish)….

  10. I would rip it, after a stiff drink. then I would rewind the yarn, mark the quantity on it, and
    let it sit for awhile—and end up using it for
    something completely unrelated to the original idea. This is my idea of a phoenix rising. Oh, then I would admire that pretty new hair for a coupla minutes. (that really does fit you perfectly!) Then maybe another drink to reward the fortitude required for ripping. Good luck!

  11. Pingback: Pattern/yarn mis-match: solution! | Knitigating Circumstances

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