Over the past few years I have knit five sweaters for myself, none of which I've worn more than a few times before they have been doomed to failure. If this shocks you, well, let's take a walk down memory lane.
The most recent disaster was Silverbelle. This was and is a GORGEOUS sweater for which I received MANY well-deserved compliments at the start.
The color looked great on me. The yarn, Rowan All Seasons Cotton is lovely. It has good stitch definition and some people have said it looks like wool (which they take to be the ultimate compliment for a wool-free yarn) and it's holding its' shape well EXCEPT, it grew as I washed and wore the sweater.
It didn't grow a lot, but with the weight of a few wearings and a washing the whole top of the sweater sagged. I confess the sweater was always a bit "roomy" in the sleeve from the start. But now the excess fabric under my arms cannot be ignored or wished away and even Amy Hertzog could see no quick way to fix it.
I wore this sweater for about 2 weeks total and it is now folded nicely in a drawer because I can't yet bear to part with it but the amount of work required to re-knit the top piece is too daunting.
Then there was the green cowl neck sweater I designed myself, so all blame for this disaster goes to me. It started out just about perfect because I'd been very diligent to swatch this Hokkaido yarn. However, I did not wash the swatch. This turned out to be my downfall.
The first time I washed my lovely pullover I learned (to my dismay) that Hokkaido yarn grows a LOT in the wash (of course it does, it's silk and bamboo). The sweater turned into a mini-dress.
It was, however, a pretty quick knit so when I showed the problem to my Mom she had the sweater all taken apart and the yarn rewound before I could have any second thoughts (thanks mom) . Definitely have to re-knit it now.
Going back in time, the Aurora Shawl cardigan was donated within a few months of its' completion. The style was too boxy for me and the color not the right shade of brown and the Blue Skies Alpaca yarn pilled like crazy. It looked okay in this photo though -- all the extra fabric was hidden in the back.
The Nantucket Red sweater in Robin's egg blue needs to find a new home as well. The yarn held up okay but I knit this sweater too big to begin with and I knit it before I lost 25 pounds so it's also miles too big. (Are we seeing a trend here?)
The Augusta Shrug (in hemp) holds promise for the spring if I can just find a sleeveless top or dress to wear it with.
And if I can just fix the button band on my Knife Pleats Riding Jacket and find some more Hempathy in this discontinued shade of blue to widen the collar, I would wear that sweater more often.
So, maybe now you can understand the reason why this year I'm bound, bent and determined to knit a sweater (or two or three) that will not only suit me, but survive long enough to become beloved garments of mine.
I have a plan, oh yes I do, and I invite you to follow along the next few weeks as I pursue my quest for the perfect wool-free sweater!