Monday, January 26, 2009

Orange Disappointment

I am glad I got to do all that good knitting on Bridget and Wrenna, because they are positive things that encourage me. But I am pretty discouraged today.

The results of blocking the Damned Orange Sweater and sewing it together did not result in the triumphant sense of completion and fashion happiness I’d anticipated. First, it took forever to sew all the seams. And even my nicest mattress stitch did not prevent a couple of little bulges in the sleeves (I will say the side and shoulder seams mostly look good). When I held it up, though, I thought, ya know, this looks bigger than it did when it was in parts.

Then I put it on. Oh, the immensity of the let-down was…immense. The danged sweater is huge. Did I make the wrong size? I thought I had blocked it to the measurements of the size I made! The shoulders hang at least an inch off, which makes the already-lengthy bell sleeves so long that you can’t see my hands. It looks like I’m a little kid putting on Mom’s sweater or something.

A year of knitting complex cables in really decadent yarn, and I get a giant orange sack. Pout.

I need to figure out what to do here. I have some options, and would welcome input as to what you think would be best.

1. I could undo the sweater near the cuff and take out a couple of inches, knit an increase row to get to the number of stitches on the needles where I stopped unraveling, and graft the thing back together. That would take care of sleeve length.

2. I could wash it again and re-block it, smaller. I am not sure how much smaller it would get, but it would not hurt the yarn at all to do that. And re-blocking would make the shoulder seams look better, guaranteed.

3. I could wash it on delicate in warm water and see if it fulls just a wee bit. All it needs is to get a little smaller. Then I’d re-block, or course. If I did this, would the cables still show? Would the sweater pill like crazy?

4. I could wash it in hot water on normal setting. Then put it in the damned dryer. If it gets too small, I can give it to one of my tiny friends.

5. I could press the sleeve seams, then chalk it up to experience and give the sweater to a taller, larger person. Perhaps someone who looks good in orange and lives somewhere cold. Anyone want a very warm and soft sweater?

Does alpaca felt a lot or a little? Is there a different alternative I have missed?


  1. First of all ... what a bummer!!!

    I suggest that you try the tiny-bit-of-fulling technique. You can always shave off pills (although with such a wee bit of felting I can't imagine there would be too much). And I think the cables will still show.

    Or ... if you choose not to do this ... remember: I'm taller! I'm larger!

    ; )

  2. alpaca, in my experience, felts pretty easily. Take my socks for example, accidentally washed in cold water and they felted like crazy. :-( Wish I had some advice for you, but I do wish you the best of luck!! Too bad orange looks awful on me. . . :-D

  3. Argh that sucks! :( I'm sorry for you! I haven't had that happen to me (mainly because I haven't finished a real sweater yet) so I don't really know what to do. I think I'd suggest trying to unravel some bits first, and then maybe you can take in the side seams - if it's not too much, it probably won't be uncomfortable or visible from the outside.

  4. maybe it can be around the house ward off a chill. it is so pretty and you put so much work into it. it seems such a waste. unless you can gift it to the perfect person. some one who adores orange and would appreciate all the work you did. hope things work out. lynn

  5. I agree with flodertern. Try felting in cold water. I've had some good luck with that.


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