A stuck blog post… and an unstuck knit

I’m not the only one suffering from stuck-blog-itis, it seems – just checking out some of my favourites this morning, and I find Knitsofacto is similarly afflicted. Unlike Annie, though, I’m stuck because of the nature of the previous post, not because something just needs to be shoved in even though it doesn’t ‘fit’ (which brings me on to the fact that there is no such thing as the Blog Police).

I evidently need a break before I get back onto the path of weird sheep behaviour – actually weird human behaviour; sheep just do their thing – and general woolliness through time. So now for a quick review of my latest finished thing. It’s taken ages because of the hand problems, but I’m really pleased with it.


Not the best pic in the world, but hey ho.

It was an attempt to use up stash – some brown Hunters of Brora tweed left over from my favourite great big sweater of all time, now gone to the compost heap of doom as it wore out, boy, did it wear out; some grey ditto, left over from a big cardigan; and some blue tweedy stuff bought in one of my ‘Wonderwool is just closing, I must buy something else even though there isn’t enough to do anything sensible with it’ moments. The pattern is an old Rowan one.

Love the yarn.

wrong sideFell in love with the ‘wrong’ side and nearly decided to go for reverse stocking stitch instead. However, I stuck to the path of righteousness and obeying the pattern. There’s a first time for everything.

This, predictably, did not last – but the changes were (initially) minimal. I started the pieces with a cast-on in a contrast colour (I forgot to do the neck when casting off, but could always go back and just pick up a row, then cast it straight off; I had to do that with button bands):


I got all the pieces blocked and beautiful (and ignored the giant finishing off task for the moment):

blocked, with ends


Sleeve caps didn’t fit. Nowhere near, though stripe matched and all instructions had been followed. Growled a bit and said bad words in mixture of languages. Got out ruler. Gauge bang on, even if not using right yarn. Sleeve cap still out by inches (had failed to magically correct itself). Checked Ravelry for other knitters’ reactions. Was not alone. Enlisted help of friend with wool shop, vast amounts of experience and maths degree. Sat down with squared paper and red wine and chocolate and worked out new sleeve cap which also matched stripe. Frogged sleeve caps.

Now have new sleeve caps.

They fit!


So does the cardigan, though I have reservations about the neckline. I then had to work in the 13,563,289 ends. Did it. And without murdering anyone.

Am wearing it constantly. This does not look so odd now that the temperatures are about right for October, though I did got odd glances in the Co-op when everyone else was in stringy-strap T-shirts. Downside? Hands bad again. Can you knit with a hook instead of a hand? If so, pass the bread knife, I’m sure there’s a hook in the shed…


16 thoughts on “A stuck blog post… and an unstuck knit

    1. kate Post author

      Thank you! (I must admit that the original pattern was striped, but only in two colours – I was so pleased that everything matched when I went stash diving.)

  1. Elaine

    The sweater is great!! I have experienced the “caps don’t fit” syndrome before and try to knit top down or at least pick up stitches for the sleeves and knit them down. Of course, it gets a little heavy in your lap!!
    This is a wonderful way to use up smaller bits of yarns.
    A cold snap has hit here ( murmurings of snow in the outlying areas!!) so it time to get the woolies out!

    1. kate Post author

      I’m so glad the sleeve cap thing isn’t just me – are these patterns test knitted? They must be. I was amused by the original pattern photo, though; the neckline looks like a sort-of deep boatneck. In actual fact, it’s more of a rounded V – the deep boatneck effect is only available if you slouch it over your shoulders and fasten it with something at the back of the waist. Of course the front then rides right up – which is why you can’t see the bottom of the cardigan in the original photograph. Like many Rowan patterns, it has various lives and in some versions the shots do look like mine, but of course muggins here fell for the boatneck effect. Still, who cares? It works, probably better.

      Snow?? Yikes! It’s amazingly stormy here, but still comparatively mild given that we’re well into October. Perfect cardigan weather in fact!

    1. kate Post author

      Thank you! For once I like something I’ve knitted immediately – usually they have to mature a bit first. Very surprising, given Sleeve Cap Trauma. Clearly chocolate helps.

  2. caityrosey

    Great way to use up some stash. I’be been doing this with mittens lately, but a sweater uses up so much more. Kudos.

    1. kate Post author

      Doesn’t it? Mind you, I’ve still got some left so I clearly need a scarf. And possibly a hat. Hot-water bottle cover? Socks? I swear there’s no bottom to the bag; every time I think ‘well, that’s it’ I find another ball.

  3. Lydia

    I love your little cardigan – stripes are my favourite way to get colour into my knitting as I find fair isle sadly makes cardigans just too hot for Western Australia… I too have experienced the sleeve cap match up trauma. Many many sleeve caps have been started, not finished, undone, started etc etc. In the end with my son’s jumper which was not even stripey I opted for set in sleeves in the good old old fashioned way. Great to see you back again too. I hope your hands repair and heal very very quickly…..

    1. kate Post author

      Thank you, glad you like it – and my commiserations on living somewhere too warm for Fair Isle (sniff – right now I’d swap for anywhere it wasn’t raining and blowing a hooley). By the sounds of it I’ve been lucky with my sleep caps until now – I’ve not often had problems. Remain convinced it wasn’t me but the pattern!

      I’m being good and doing my hand exercises which I’d stopped. That’ll larn me.

  4. croftgarden

    Hurray, it’s cardie and woolly jumper time, autumn has arrived. Forget the sleeve caps, a lovely silk scarf for the boat neck and a shawl to hide the rest. Sorry, I’ve been storm-bound for 24 hours and a Herculean work load has chained me to the computer, so I’m sitting here with freezing feet (reading blogs as distraction behaviour) instead of curled up by the fire with a good book and a glass of wine. Forget my nonsense it is a lovely snuggly cardie and thanks for making me smile.

    1. kate Post author

      Double hooray from me too! Cardi finished just in time, as well.
      Sympathies on the cold feet and the being marooned by storms – it’s been pretty wild here too, but at least we’re on the mainland. I haven’t lit the stove yet, but it will be glowing by the end of the week (and I’ll be able to take the cardi off). Expect the Big Sweater to be out soon, and the sheepskin slippers. Cuddle up!

  5. Goldie

    Why all the fuss about following the instructions to a tee? Use your smart muscles and knit to make it fit as you see it. It’s not graded.

    1. kate Post author

      Indeed, and that’s exactly what I did, as I said.
      However, from my work in the wool shop I know how many people would have given up at that point – at least 90%, and we spend ages trying to sort out rubbish patterns for people who are fazed by whatever has gone wrong. I do think that commercial patterns – especially those from large companies like Coats, who own Rowan, should be properly test knitted.


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