Friday, January 30, 2015

Knitting UFO Revival

Strange title but it does reflect what I'm working on.  I have two sweaters that I started at various times that I also abandoned at various time. I understand why I gave up on them. I had to think too much to actually work on them.  One has been defines revive: to activate, set in motion, or take up again; renew. Oh yes. To Take Up Again.  Perfect definition for one of these sweaters.  

Here's the picture of the sweater pattern I've decided to take up again: 
OOOH, can you say '80s?  Look at the shoulders on this sweater and sleeves for that matter.  And all the little grapes on the yoke are actually bobbles.  For you non-knitters out there bobbles are 2 or so stitches that are knit/purled 6 so rows out away from the sweater and then brought back in so you have a small roundish bobble when you start back knitting on the row.   I was halfway up the back yoke bobbling and changing colors and etc. Every time I've taken this sweater out to work on it I could do three or four rows before keeping all the different colored yarns got to me and I'd put it away.  When I started it I had a beautiful skirt to wear with it.  I actually wore skirts and dresses a lot then. The skirt is gone. Life has changed. But I still like cardigans. 

Fast forward 30 years (really, 30 years since the '80s?) I am in the mood to finish things up and put them to use. (Big question, will a sweater started 30 year and xxxxxx pounds ago still fit?) I don't like the bobbles anymore. I love the color which is actually a deep green/blue --eweeee can you say teal? It was the "in" color then.

Late one night last week I pulled the sweater out again and I decided to yank out all the yoke work. You faithful readers know I don't mind pulling sittches out if I have to. See my post here for my last let's pull it all out event.  I started yanking out the stitches.  Three colors meant 3 different balls of yarn but I had more because I didn't want to carry yarn from one side to the other.  It was more like 6 balls of yarn.  It took me a while, but I finally got all the bobbles and other colored yarns pulled out along with the main color back to before the bobbles started. Then, it took a bit of time to get all the yarn untangled and rewound into its balls.  Finally done. I'm kicking myself that I didn't take a picture of all the bobble work but I didn't.  

I'm not sure I would have enough of the main color yarn to actually be able to finish the sweater sans bobbles.  There is no way I'd be able to match the yarn. So I came up with the idea of thin stripes in the yoke area.  In a week I've been able to get  farther up the yoke than I had been with the bobbles and 30 years.  
What you can't see here is I like to knit in the round as much as I possibly can. Take a look at the front! I stopped where the raglan sleeves will be put in so I am MUCH farther along on this then just the back.  I really like it so far and hope I can fit into it.  (yarn stretches, right? Hey, it's a cardigan, I don't have to button the front up.)
And, look at the cables on the ribbing.  Gorgeous.  What was I thinking of when I started this? I had a job, a husband and 2 small children.  I'm Wonder Woman, no doubt! 

Now, a question to my knitting friends.  Remember those sleeves I was talking about?  Do you think I can make them narrower?  By not adding so many stitches in the upper sleeve area?  I haven't checked the sleeve pattern out that much but I'm guessing stitches are added from the cuff up to the point the sleeve will be sewn into the body of the sweater.  What do you think? Any brilliant ideas of how to make this look not so padded in the shoulders/sleeves?  

My other question is do you think each of the pattern graphs with the bobbles and design in it will match up with the other graphs if I change them all to stripes?  I originally thought so but now I'm second guessing myself, especially on the sleeves.  Any thoughts would be great.  I basically drew stripes across the back graph: 4 green rows followed by 2 stripe rows up the entire graph until the shaping for the neck started.  No need to stripe and shape the neck at the same time.  And, uh oh.  There is a separate band for the front. Yikes, I'll need to stripe it too.  Hopefully I haven't bitten off more than I can chew on this project.  

I really enjoyed working on this several nights this past week but recently I've been doing other things. I need to get back to it. I'd love to get this sweater done before winter leaves entirely.  Too hot for anything like this in Central Va in the summertime. Yeah, that's going to happen! 

Thanks for visiting everyone. I hope you are making progress on whatever project you are working on. I should have a quilt finish to show off soon. And, fyi, Monday I hope to have some new fabric to show off.  I'm going Super Bowl Sunday fabric shopping.  

Happy Quilting All! 


  1. I'm pleased that you are finishing this cardigan - love the cabled ribbing! I can't give much advice, as I don't knit garments. Take the sweater to a local yarn shop and ask for advice. I KNOW someone there will help you or direct you to someone who will have the answers you need.

  2. I'm not a knitter so I'm no help with any of your questions, but I like your rework ideas.

  3. yes, Bonnie, you can make the top of the sleeves/yolk smaller. You need to measure the top of your arm (under the armpit) and add a couple inches for ease, multiply it out with your gauge and increase the stitches up the sleeve to this measurement. Does this make any sense?? I would have paused the body at the underarms and then knitted the sleeves up to the underarm, and then put the three pieces on one long circular needle to knit the yolk in one piece. That would keep the stripes going around the yolk. Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote a book about figuring out the math for the yolk, but I'm sure there are others. The decreases in a round yolk are usually evenly spaced around the yolk. If you keep the decreased at the raglan "seams" you'll get more of and angle in the stripe. Again I don't know if I'm making any sense to you. Barbara W.

  4. hahaha...Bonnie...I am new here but I have to laugh at your post. About 30 years ago I started this sweater too, just like you. I was way up the top and working n the grapes and had just a few inches to go when something traumatic happened in my life. I packed everything up, including my grapes cardi and sent it packing to the thrift for some old dear to relish over and finish off. In the past 5 years I have found myself fondly longing for this cardi and deciding I should get the pattern and do it again so aas to complete a piece of my life so to speak. I did a search on Mr. Google and found the pattern but hey that really the gorgeous sweater I remember? Ummmm, surely not. How could I be longing with such regret all this time for this pattern? Soooo, now what do I do? Do I really want to purchase it and try again or shall I bury the old dream in a vault of my mind. Any suggestions my,....Janny


Thanks for visiting. Let me know what you're thinking about.