Saturday, November 19, 2005

When the love is gone

It seems that every second blog I visit these days has some sort of Norwegian knitting project going on, with sweaters here and mittens there and even a knitalong.

This way my oldest UFO is forcing its way back into my consciousness. It's an unnamed Dale pattern from Dale booklet 138. I started it in December 2003, and it was one of my first projects after I picked up knitting again after a 15 year break. If I had known then what I know now, I would have chosen a project from Poetry in Stitiches or Norsk Strikkedesign instead. Or I wouldn't have started anything of the kind at all!

But it's such a fun knit. I love fair isle knitting. And I like these modern renditions of traditional motifs. In this case I'm guessing it's old textile patterns transferred to knitting.

It looks great on the model, I like how small it is, but there's probably a million pins in the back to make it look shaped and well fitting. My UFO, however, has no shaping and is at least two sizes too big for me. And more importantly I have realised that it's not my style. I would knit it for the fun of knitting it but not the fun of wearing it.

I don't want to finish it. I don't want to frog it.

But I really like the rose border. So here are my options:

1. Finish it according to the pattern. The result would be a move from the bottom of my knitting basket to the bottom of a drawer.
2. Finish it according to the pattern and give it to someone bigger than me. But if I knit for other people I want to knit something that was meant for them all the time. I don't like the idea of them just taking over something that I don't want myself anymore.
2. Rip back to the rose border and start again, but with shaping this time. How to shape fair isle without messing up the pattern? I have no idea.This way it might get a bit of wear, bit it would still be to big and not my style.
3. Frog it entirely, start again two sizes smaller and finish with shaping as in point 2. It would be the right size and well shaped, a mathematical hell to knit, but it would still not be my style.But if I knit it really small the lack of shaping might not be such a big issue after all?
4. Rip back to the rose border, cast off and use rose border as a scarf.
5. Rip back to rose border and finish the rest with shaping, but in one colour to avoid the shaping vs pattern problem. The colour could be black, green, rust or, haha, vertical stripes. If the rest were two sizes smaller than the rose border the finished sweater could end up seriously weird looking however.
6. Put it quitely back where I found it, try to forget it and keep writing what-to-do-posts about it every six months (yes, I have posted about it before!) And find other outlets for my need to knit fair isle.
7. Join the Norwegian Knit-along and force myself to do something about it.

I'll probably go with option number 6, but any other suggestions are welcome.

Meanwhile I am struggling with the finishing of my cabled cardigan. I am about to finish the yoke, but don't know how man raglan decreases I should do, or when and how to start the neckline shaping. I am starting to regret that I
1.ditched the patterns, and
2. never bought a decent knitting techniques book..


Cassie said...

Well, I for one think that project is worth finishing. I understand the sentiment of wanting a gift project to have been start-to-finish intended for the recipient, but at the same time, I'm sure you know someone who would be more than thrilled to receive that sweater.

I vote for finish. Enjoy the process, and then make someone very happy with a gift. Personally, I think its gorgeous.

Anne said...

Me too - it's beautiful, and if you enjoy knitting it, do it. (I especially love the rose border - that is gorgeous.) And if you knit it from now on in as being for a "mystery recipient", then you can be delighted when the right person appears and there's a present all lined up for them!

Tracy said...

Don't you dare frog it or bury it. You've done a fair bit and you know how quickly the sleeves grow. I say join the Knitalong if you really want to finish it and I think you do. Once you get down to it, it grows really quickly and you know that if you do put some shaping in, working the fairisle bit out is a pain, definitely do-able though. I'd stick to the pattern, grit your teeth and go with the flow. You never know, once it's finished it might not appear quite as big as you think. Even if it is totally unwearable, think of it as one beautiful present for someone close to you. I'm sure you must have a relative who would adore it.

karen said...

Oh I can really relate to this dilemma! It is an absolutely beautiful sweater - but think of all that stitch - time you would have to put in... (when you could have made Temptation, some Marianne Isager stuff etc etc - (I feel like an evil tempteress now..;))) -
you would get a lovely sweater - yes - but you would not love wearing it because of the size. And not having a good feeling giving it as a gift - it's no good solution finishing it for that either. Best thing would be if a 2 sizes bigger knitting-friend "accitentally" saw it and said: YESS - I want that one- let me have it and finish it!" If that doesn't happen I think I would opt for the 1/2 year wait-and-see solution OR frog to the rose border and do some one-color shaping - that could really become a gorgeous garment! (du&da for en lang kommentar! lykke til! :))

Strikkelise said...

I admire that. I love Fair Isle knitting, it's just that I have the patience and attention span of a goldfish. Thanks for commenting on my blog, I'll be back!

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