perfect for a grey day

minimalist cardigan in progress
since I have nothing on the needles right now (let’s blame wrist pain, in-laws, and indecision), I thought it would be a good time to backtrack and talk about one of my sweater fails.

minimalist cardigan
pattern: minimalist cardigan
yarn: louet riverstone worsted, charcoal, 7 hanks
needles: 4.5mm
date started: 12.03.08
date finished: 12.08 and 02.09

minimalist cardigan

where do we even start with this one? this is yet another yarn that didn’t work for the ram’s horn jacket and you’ve already seen it as the hap blanket. I saw Isel started the minimalist cardi with the same yarn, so instead of letting the yarn languish in the stash I blindly jumped in to this massive bandwagon. can we blame Isel?

minimalist cardigan

it all started pretty smoothly – got gauge, knit the mind numbing moss stitch, and complained all about it on twitter. the knitting went by quickly, enough for me to think I would wear this by christmas. I did notice that the sweater pieces grew, by a lot, when I blocked them, but then I imagined them shrinking back. you can guess where this is going right? after I finally seamed the pieces and tried it on, I realized I had knit this thing with about five inches of ease too much. I quickly ripped the sleeves out (which looked awful) and let the sweater sit, ignored, for months.

minimalist cardigan

it doesn’t matter that I reknit the sleeves from another size. this sweater was pretty much dead to me since the first time I finished it. I finished it to finish it. To get it off my desk and off my to do list. if I would have cared, I would have reknit the body as well or just knit something else entirely.

lessons learned here? don’t knit something just to use up the yarn, pick a design you love, check and recheck your gauge, make sure it matches the one in the pattern!, and if you don’t love the end result rip it. a plus side to this is that at least I now have an oversized sweater to offer guests when they’re cold.

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  • lynnewio April 15, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for posting this. That’s how I feel about my Endpaper Mitts right now. I have no knitting joy in me. 🙁 I’m thinking of knitting a hat so that I can remember that a) I love to knit and b) I’m a pretty damned good knitter.

  • Monet April 15, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    The Minimalist Cardi was a bust for me as well…and I knit it almost to completion before I decided to rip the whole thing out. It just wasn’t worth wasting my Aurora 8. I am knitting something just to use up yarn right now, though…fingers crossed…

  • Rain April 15, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Oh bugger. Here I thought I could get away with just checking my gauge once.

  • Diana April 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    ah, its too bad the sweater turned out so big, because I can see why you were inspired by iSel’s. i’ve got so much yarn bought because of seeing other people’s knits. luckily, on most of them, my energy for the knit ran out before casting on..

  • Preita April 15, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Bummer about the sweater! I started knitting this sweater and got about 4 inches up the back when it hit me “Would I ever wear a sweater that doesn’t close?” the answer is no, so it died a short swift death. Maybe this is the yarns way of telling you that it’s destined for something fantastic!

  • Seanna Lea April 15, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I have a few items like that. I just started knitting them to have some knitting to do when I didn’t have a specific project in mind. Sometimes that works great, because it turns out I love the project to pieces, but other times I have a minimalist cardigan. Erk.

  • Amanda Elizabeth April 15, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I really like this, it looks super cozy!!!

  • Stephanie April 15, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    That would be my one complaint about reading knitting blogs. I’m easily swayed by a cute sweater someone else knit and I don’t always stop to think about how the design would work for me. I’m getting better, but it’s a daily battle. I’m weak and easily influenced. No one should be surprised by that.

  • yaiAnn April 15, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Yes, and you can tell them you knit it with their well-being in mind! Lesson learned!

  • dawn s April 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I suppose this is the knitting project that sucked up all your mojo?

  • dawn s April 15, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Also, I think this sweater looks good but I guess it is not what you expected.

  • Jennifer April 15, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I appreciate you sharing your reflections – I think we all have projects like these from time to time. Not surprising considering the staggering number of knitting bandwagons to jump on these days! Frogging can be unexpectedly cathartic, but at least in this case you ended up with a cosy, wearable sweater. If only my “failures” turned out this good!

  • kris April 16, 2009 at 8:28 am

    oh well, i’ll just have to come visit, i guess.

  • sophie April 16, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I see what you mean by having something for the visitors, but now I seem to have too many of those in my closet

  • jenna April 16, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    This must look worse in real life? Because before I read the rest of the post I was going to tell you how much I liked it! I enjoy an oversized cardi now and then. After I looked at Isel’s FO, I guess I see why you were expecting a different look. Bummer, dude. 😛

  • Heather April 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Think of it as a schmatta and you’ll see how useful it can be for lounging around the house!

  • tiennie April 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Too bad that it turned out too big. It does look very comfortable though!

  • Stephany April 18, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    That is incredible. Again, I don’t know how you do it! I just finished a scarf on 5 mm needles and was amazed that I managed it, but look what you did on 4.5 mm!

  • Teyani April 21, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    too bad about the gauge issues, and the sweater being sooooo huge.
    It sure is pretty though –
    And I think that most all of us knitters have one of these “guest” sweaters in our closets (grins)

  • Oiyi April 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    What a shame. It’s a great color. It can be a house robe.

  • Nik April 24, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I actually like the way it looks ok. It’s a bit roomy, but I still think it looks fine. I’ve made one of these myself and I like it. I don’t like how t he sides roll in though. I have to get a pin for that.

  • Rocky Moreno April 27, 2009 at 10:07 am

    That looks comfy.