In the late 90’s, before I found my quilting obsess…uh, hobby, I was an obsessiv…uh, enthusiastic knitter. I made some awful sweaters as I learned to knit. But, I made a few nice ones, too. Some I still can wear, at least around the house and one or two are good enough for public viewing. And, some will be disassembled and turned into Linus afghans.
Just before I found quilting, I was crazy about cable work. I made two cabled sweaters. The first one is bright blue. It was an acrylic sweater and I thought of it as the “muslin” for this sweater. I wrote the pattern myself, using the cabling chapter from a knitting book. The hand written pattern is long lost.
After I had made the blue one, I decided it was worth the investment into wool yarn, which was pretty expensive. I made the sweater; the front, the back and both sleeves. I blocked the pieces, ready to put them together…and my old iron spit a brown stain on it.
I packed the whole thing in a bag and put it in a drawer. And, there it sat for about 10 years while I learned to quilt.
Late last year, I pulled it out to finish. I put it together and made the collar. I know a lot more about handling stains now than I did then, and I hand washed it, which I’ve done with all my other sweaters…except the blue cabled one. I don’t know if it was the cabling or what, but in the wash, my sweater grew. It ended up big enough to fit the jolly green giant and no amount of blocking was ever going to fix that. I let it mostly air dry and then I put it in the dryer.
I dried it a couple of times, and it came out just right, everywhere except he bottom hem. That ribbing was 63 inches around. I don’t know what I did, but suspect that I used the same size needles for the ribbing as I did for the rest of the sweater and I used the same number of stitches, when the right way would have been fewer stitches and an increase where the ribbing stopped. When I tried it on, it looked like a bell. It hung from my shoulders in waves around me.
I was very discouraged.
But, I kept thinking about it. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what to do, but you can tell, it worked.
Yes, that is me, in a wool sweater and shorts. It was 80* here yesterday. But, it’s pretty much a perfect fit, eh?
This is a better picture of the sweater.
Closeups of the cabling.
So, how did I fix the ribbed hem?
I crocheted three rows of really big stitches on the inside, going from one rib to the next, skipping over the “negative” spaces between the ribs. I let each stitch be a half inch long.
It didn’t take very long, and it reduced the size of the hem to something that would snug around me. And, it stretches enough that it’s not a problem to put the sweater on. And, unlike just running a yarn circle around the hem and cinching it up like a belt (yes, that was the third runner up of ideas) it keeps the ribs from bunching up by controlling how far apart they can get.
Now, will we ever get a day that’s cold enough to wear it? Who knows. It’s cool outside…but not cool enough for a thick wool sweater.
We got the results of the MRI yesterday. She’s torn her ACL and her meniscus (sp?). Surgery is required. But, we got the nicest surprise. The doctor came in and it was like he was a different person. I don’t know whether he had a bad day last Thurs or if he just wasn’t very personable because he didn’t know anything to tell us. But, yesterday, he was gentle, kind, understanding, sympathetic, talked to Sydney as the disappointed little girl she was feeling like. Very nice. When he left the room, I looked at Syd and asked her if this was the same doctor that we saw, just a week before. Rob even askod if it was the same one because he was nothing like I’d described. So, it just goes to show you, you can’t judge a book by its cover; you have to get to the meat of it before you know what it’s about. We have to wait two weeks for the swelling to go down and for more healing to occur, then we can schedule the surgery. The good news is that she should be healed and ready to play for her sophomore year. And, we don’t have to do track and field practices and meets this year.
So, that’s our little saga. The bad doc turned out good, the bad sweater turned out good. The girl is turning out good, if she can just keep her sights on the future and not wallow in the present too much. Rob and I think we’re handling it all just right by being up front and honest and straightforward and just talking to her like an adult, but breaking it up so that we talk about it for a few minutes and then let is rest for a while, and then we can all talk about it some more.
Be well. Lane