Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Would you rip it?

It feels like I haven't made any progress on my knitting projects since the holidays. After Christmas I drove out to WEBS to purchase yarn for a sweater I've been itching to knit. The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Oceanic Mix, a blend of sea blue and green, and the pattern is a Fiona Ellis design from Interweave Knits Winter 2009, the Dusseldorf Aran. I did my gauge swatches, started on the back panel and was making good progress with all the cabling. But something kept niggling at me about the cables; they just weren't popping out like I wanted them to. I showed it to my friend Ann and she thought it was the color that was hiding some of the "pop," not the skill of the knitter, ahem, or the softness of the Ultra Alpaca.

Here's a picture of what I've knitted so far:

Dusseldorf Aran

Part of me wants to keep going. I'm not a quitter, and I love love love the design of the sweater. I also want to knit a sweater that has seams because I tend to avoid them in favor of sweaters I can knit in the round. On the other hand, this sweater is slowgoing. Every time I think of picking it up to knit a couple rows, I put it off to knit something else, like a dishcloth or socks. I would also like to wear this sweater before winter ends, but at the rate I'm going, I won't finish it until next year. If I ripped it all out I could use the wool for a sweater I could knit quickly, like this. Or this, which I've made in a smaller size for my son.

So what do you say? Should I rip or persevere? Ann thinks I should continue on, but she loves knitting seamed sweaters and I feel she's prejudiced.


  1. Well, I'm reluctant to advise, but I will say that I had that same "niggling" about a cabled piece I was working on and for the same reason... the colours just didn't show off the cables very well. Being loathe to quit, I continued till I finished. But, surprise, I was never happy with it and have always wished for the time it took to be given back to me. Not to mention all the wool. So, there you go. It's up to you!

  2. Pamela, thank you. I have that feeling I'm going to have that same experience and then be mad at myself for not listening to my gut. It's like the sweater I'm making isn't matching the idea I had in my head.

  3. I don't know, it's a really pretty cable (nicer than the others in the links), and it may look very classy and subtle. I would at least knit a bit more before you bag it. Just to see what a bigger piece would look like. I have a large amount of gorgeous flecky heather double knit from England (can't remember the brand) and have pulled it out about three times. Whatever I try with it just doesn't seem a good fit.
    However, I have now just discovered knitting and crocheting with "tarn" (strips of t-shirts) and am about to give that a whirl.

  4. Here's what I do when I'm designing cables: I hold the piece up as tho it was being worn and then look in the mirror. This will give you an idea of how it will be seen by others when you are wearing it. But if you are not loving it as you work on it you won't want to wear it either.
    BTW I am thrilled to hear that you love the design...it's one of my faves.

  5. It is beautiful, and I happen to be a fan of the Ultra Alpaca yarn. But having said that, my advice is to rip it. I don't think you are ever going to be happy with it. Some knitting projects are just not meant to be. And life is too short to knit a sweater you don't like. :-)

  6. Having slept on it (not literally) for a few nights and then holding it up to a mirror in good light (what a great tip, Fiona, thanks!), I've decided to keep going. The cables really do stand out more than I thought when I look at them in the mirror. Plus, I feel a fresh burst of enthusiasm for the project. :-)


I love comments!