Have you ever committed yourself to a knitting project, knowing in the back of your mind that you should have quit when you started having doubts?
Yes, this was one of those projects!
Angostura by Ysolda Teague is a beautiful knitting pattern of a vest with twisted stitch detail and cables that also act as a shaping feature. I loved this pattern and I was keen to make it, but the only thing was… I don’t do vests!
That wasn’t going to stop me – “Make it into a waistcoat!” I said to myself at first. However, the ambitious designer in me wanted to explore further, “No, make it into a CARDIGAN!” I declared. Then the greedy brain wanted to feed on this technical event: How shall we construct it, flat or round? How should we split the front? How should we attach the sleeves? How should we apply the button band..? The possibilities were endless and my mind was buzzing!
Wait a minute, has ANYONE done this before? It appeared that nobody on Ravelry had the same idea apart from one person – she got as far as the back section and half the fronts before frogging the whole project. I was on my own.
As always, I buy yarn and fit the project around it! Foolish I know, but it works for me. I had 4 skeins of MadelineTosh 80/10/10 Worsted in ‘Winter Wheat’ – a beautiful warm yellow/gold/mustard, ideal for a Spring cardi. They had been in my possession for well over a year and I was saving them for worthy project and Angostura was perfect for it. And since I had a sweater’s worth of yarn, it was all tickety-boo!
OK, I should hold my hand up and confess that I had not clapped eyes on these 4 skeins of yarn since I purchased them. My photo of them on my Rav Stash page did not completely give clues as to the tonal values of these skeins. Question was, were they a complete match? Answer = no.
The Blind Faith
Despite my initial misgivings of using yarn where 2 skeins were a close(ish) match and the other 2 were way off in opposite directions, I pressed on ahead! “I can make it work”, I convinced myself.
The dye anomalies between the 4 skeins were a BIG issue. Alternating the skeins in the rows left obvious visible stripes, and doing a blend between skeins left a tonal imbalance from bottom to top. I was having my doubts. I really didn’t want to quit because this pattern modification was actually going to work!
Mid-way through the project, after much head-shaking and pangs of doubt, I decided to call in the big boys. My husband, who incidentally has no idea about knitting or fashion, is quite good at giving objective advice. “It looks nice, but if it really bothers you after doing the fronts, scrap it!” A long pause, then, “…Or perhaps finish it, then dye it!” Well, whaddayaknow!?
After completing the cardigan, I really wasn’t happy with the colour balance. I knew for sure I wouldn’t wear it like that. Was not even sure I was happy with the finish either. Shame. 😦
So I dyed it. Purple, in fact. Over the mixture of yellow, gold and deep mustard, it could go maroon or brown, or indeed purple. In the end, it went all three: maroon/brown/purple! In some places it was more purple, in other places more brown or maroon. So, I was back where I started!
The next day, I looked long and hard at this sad cardi with its ridiculous discoloration and decided.. FUCK IT, I’M GONNA BLITZ IT WITH BLACK!
So that’s what I did. I re-dyed it black!
Time will tell if this cardigan will still be wearable. I probably would wear it just for the heck of it, but I would have to be armed with a ready response to anyone who inquires… “Oh, this old thing?” I would say, “I’ve had it for ages!”
So, what is the moral of this jolly tale? If in doubt, FROG IT! It will save you all manner of headache and turmoil!