Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I spent most of last year knitting a cardigan for myself. I was very excited about this cardigan as I am in desperate need of more hand knit garments in my wardrobe as I’m a slow knitter and these take some time to acquire.
The only downside I’ve found so far to knitting garments, is you can’t try it on before you knit it. All you have to carry you through the metres of knitting is faith that you’ve made the right choice of yarn and pattern, and faith in your abilities as a knitter. I was fairly certain I’d made the right choice of pattern, definitely certain I’d made the right choice of yarn and perfectly happy to rip back or learn anything I needed along the way. It was all systems go.
So, after 12 months of steady knitting, I’m sure you can imagine my delight when the day came that I could finally try it on. My delight however was short lived, as unfortunately it turned out a little tighter around the arms than I would have liked (probably due to my seaming) and the button band doesn’t sit quite right with the bottom hem. Tiny things, but they mean that the cardigan doesn’t look as I would like so I don’t feel inclined to wear it. Which makes me sad.
The big question now is what to do with this finished object that has taken me a year of hard work, in a really nice yarn, but that I’m not over the moon with? In the past I’d have put it in the back of a cupboard in the hope that I might find a use for it one day (that oversized waistcoat was perfect for babywearing!), or I’d have donated it to someone who will give it the love it deserves.
This time though it feels different. This yarn has special memories for me and I don’t want to waste it. Which leaves me with two options: Make my peace with the cardigan and re-knit the button band, something I should have done at the time but was so eager to finish that I convinced myself that it would block out ok. Or I can rip it all out and make something completely different. Yes it would hurt ripping out months worth of work, but I know that once I’d managed to turn it in to something that I’d cherish for years to come it would all be worth it. Plus I’d get the pleasure of knitting with a yarn that I love all over again.
At the moment I’m leaning more towards making my peace with it and fixing the mistakes, but no doubt I will go back and forth for a bit longer before making a final decision. There is one thing that I know for certain though. Life is too short to knit or wear something that you don’t love. Don’t be afraid to go back, fix mistakes or start over in order to get something that you truly love.