Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I am losing my mind.

I need someone to take this sweater from my hands and finish it for me before I end up in the looney bin. 

There is a reason, in the five years since I've learned to knit, that I never attempted to do a sweater before: because I am too anal retentive perfectionistic discriminating for this sort of work. Combined with a lack of 'knitterly' instincts and a tendency to read knitting patterns too literally............gone. I'm gone. Totally bonkers. Lost in a sea of trying to get it 'right' while simultaneously rewriting parts of the pattern until I'm going around in circles and OMG I CAN'T JUST LET IT BE.

(And just to be clear - it's not the techniques of sweater knitting that I find difficult. There isn't anything difficult with this pattern in that regard.)

Knitting the first sleeve went like this:

  • Picked up stitches for sleeve, didn't like it, took two more tries to get it just 'so'. (Not a huge time investment.)
  • Got started on the short rows/sleeve cap,  hated them when I was done, ripped it out back to the beginning, watched 9234123 videos on short rows to bone up on the technique.
  • Got started again, short rows much better, start having doubts about the fit of sleeve, don't address those doubts until 2/3rds of the way down and realize I hate the way said sleeve is coming out. (The pattern knits up a very fitted sleeve, which I don't understand since this is a HOODIE which is meant to be worn OVER OTHER THINGS? I want/need ROOM in there in case I wear it over a long-sleeved shirt.)
  • Ripped sleeve out AGAIN (this time more painful because it had taken me a week to get up to that point), rewrote the sleeve decreases to what I thought would be looser but not TOO loose, started again and, THANKFULLY, with a whole lot of 'making it up as I go along', it worked out so I could finish.
First sleeve: two weeks. Second sleeve, aside from some very minor ripping back to make sure it matched the first sleeve, took one week.
Behold. I have sleeve.

Now I'm on to the hood and almost immediately fell down into the rabbit hole again. Let's see if you can see my problem: Pattern repeat is FIVE stitches and you have to increase the hood stitches to 126 stitches. Five.....into 126...............??????????????? Where is that extra stitch supposed to hang out? WHO KNOWS. He's just there to be a pain in your side. Or my side, as it were. Be damned if the pattern has any thoughts on the matter.

 I dealt with this initially by........not dealing with it. I just let the increases in the middle do their own thing, creating this V pattern. Then I panicked about that being 'right', looked up 124512 pictures of other people's hoods (fruitless, because everybody else seemed to wing it too), dropped a few stitches down to start creating more lines like the rest of the hood, DECIDED I HATED THAT because it looked sloppy as hell, with lines just springing out of NOWHERE like bad magic, dropped those stitches again, and reknit them back up to the needles using a crochet hook so it's back to where it was. *wipes sweat from brow*

From that point, there was THIS. ^

Do you know what this? It's the ramblings of a crazy person at 3am as I rewrite the increases to (hopefully) make this detail where the lines all come out of a central point, like a tree or a wishbone. (You can see what I want by the vaguely-NSFW doodle there.) Problem? I would have to rip out the entire hood to do that and that's assuming what I have on paper will work out like planned in the hand. *ahem* 
(I'm not even going to get into how the yarn for the hood is slightly lighter than the knitted part it is connected to *twitch*  because the hood folds back so it *twitch* won't be *twitch* noticeable. Much)

This project is never going to be over, is it? lol Check back in this space ten years from now and you'll find me still plugging along on it!  
Part of this is my fault and part of it is the pattern. The pattern should be written better IMHO. I think it worked out 'perfectly' (whatever that means) for the test knit in the picture (which is a size small) but wasn't test knit in the other sizes and making a pattern larger is about so much MORE than just adjusting the math by 5 stitches or whatever. There are implications to that that need to be addressed and I'm not happy with having no notations about how to go about that. (Just my opinion, of course. I admit I may have my head up my own ass about this.)

I need to just leave the hood the frack alone and finish it as is. If you want to be  helpful, please leave a comment to that affect i.e. it looks fine, leave it alone. lolol


Margaret said...

Oh dear, what a lot of angst this sweater is causing! It's so pretty though! It does sound like this pattern needs some proof reading. :( I hope you manage to finish it without too much more stress.

staci said...

Sorry about the sweater issues...love the color though. Is there errata for the pattern?

Sylvia said...

Leave it alone already - it looks fine!!

There I hope that helped. I can't even imagine doing all that - it sounded very painful. Hope you put that sweater to bed soon so you can keep your sanity. It is looking really pretty though.

valerie said...

Whoa...the sweater sounds like a pain! But it looks so pretty and once you get the hoodie figured out, you'll be so happy with it!

Patty C. said...

This sweater is too much trouble
make a sock - lol

Jackie said...

Your a better knitter than me....my first sweater (for me) is in serious time out for a series of much more minor offenses. It just goes to show you how frustrating patterns can be! I have no doubt that you'll get it to your liking.

loribeads said...

Ummmmmmmmmm....crazy much?

LMAO. I would be rocking back and forth in the fetal position.

Carol said...

It's all Greek to me, Melanie! But the color is lovely so I hope it all works out for you in the end--good luck!

Maggie said...

Oh dear, sorry the sweater is causing you so much trouble, you did give me a laugh though, i can just imagine you getting so frustrated and throwing it around the room, much the same as i would, lol.
I haven't got any advice on what to do, i can knit but patterns baffle me too! I do hope you finish it though, it looks lovely and i like the colour too :-0

Good luck

Laurie said...

This is why I usually stick to shawls. LOL!

Pumpkin said...

I think you're being too hard on yourself! From the pictures, you're almost done and this sweater looks great! I wish I had a quarter of your knitting talent ;o) There IS light at the end of the tunnel!