After years of planning, and a few weeks of knitting, I finished my Sibella cardigan a couple of weeks ago. It is almost perfect. Almost. And because of that, this isn’t a post about a perfect sweater, it’s a post about why I’m going to rip a bunch of this back and reknit it.
There. Now that I’ve written what I’ve been thinking for the last week (making it out-loud official), let me explain. I chose a size for this cardigan that would give me a little over three inches of positive ease. I wanted a good layering cardigan — something that would fit equally well over a sleeveless top, t-shirt, or button-down shirt without pulling at the bust or bunching in the sleeves. Basically, I wanted a second Grace-like cardigan, but with a bit of ease (I knit that one with no ease, and wouldn’t change a thing about it, but in an effort to add versatility to my wardrobe, I wanted Sibella to be a little different.)
In the end, the stitch gauge worked out exactly as I had hoped, and the cardigan has a comfortable amount of ease across the bust and hips, and through the arms. Loose, but not saggy, with the option to wear it buttoned up all day or open. But, the damn thing grew like crazy when I blocked it — we’re talking an additional two inches in length to the body and sleeves — and that, when combined with the ease in width, just makes this look and feel too big. Not in an intentionally oversized way, but just in a too big way, and that was not the look I was hoping for.
I actually think I could live with the added length through the body, but the too-long sleeves are driving me nuts. I’ve worn this sweater a few times, just to make sure, and I know that those sleeves will keep me from wearing this. I typically prefer bracelet-length sleeves or, at the longest, stopping just below the heel of my hand, but these pull all the way up over my hand to the base of my thumb. Pushing them up (as I typically do anyway) results in a huge bulge of extra fabric above my elbows, which is a problem.
But, the good news is that all of this is a relatively easy fix! I will pull out the buttonbands and yoke, and then take 1.5-2 inches off the body and the sleeves, and then join everything back up and reknit the yoke and buttonbands. Yes, it’s annoying, and this sweater is so close to perfect that it would be foolish not to just suck it up and rework it. Leaving it alone now would leave me with a sweater I sometimes wore, but was always a bit unhappy with, and what’s the use in that?
This is definitely not the last you’ve seen of Sibella! I’ll be back in a few weeks to show you the re-knit version.
That’s frustrating but you are right. Take the time to get it perfect and you’ll be so much happier. Happy knitting 🙂
Thank you! I need to rip it soon, while I’m still somewhat enthusiastic. I know myself, and the longer I leave it, the less likely I am to do it!
How frustrating! That’s such a lovely color on you for this cardigan, it would definitely be a shame to not have it fit perfectly. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that reknitting goes swiftly!
Thank you! I haven’t actually ripped it out yet, but I don’t think the reknitting will take too long (famous last words…) The yoke took me about a week to knit originally, so even if the reknitting takes me two weeks, it will be time well spent 🙂
Ripping it follows my personal rule: If you are going to wear it longer than it would take to reknit, then rip away! Good luck with fixing the sweater up. You will enjoy it so much more when you are done.
That is such a smart rule! It offers such clarity on the value of ripping (and will bolster me to actually do it. Maybe tonight…)
It’s better to rip than let it sit in the drawer unworn! I have a summer top that ended up being way to big to even be seen as oversized. It’s in the rip and re-knit pile for the summer.