Last night I decided to wash and block Sienna before doing the actual finishing (weaving in the ends,sewing down the turned-in contrasting color hem,and so forth). I’d like to pretend that this is some kind of special technique, but the truth is that some sort of strange miracle happened,and I washed EVERY SINGLE DISH,so the sink was free.

empty sink!

OMG! Empty sink!

mount dishmore

If those of you on the left side of the aircraft will look out your windows,you’ll be able to see the majestic snow-capped peaks of Mt. Dishmore as we make our final approach to Seatac Airport.

I washed and washed,and squeezed and squeezed,and hauled it outside to block on my porch. Something troubled me about having to lay out three bath towels side-by-side so that Sienna could be laid out properly. I dismissed these qualms. Hush,qualms!

sienna blocking

In fact,it wasn’t until I reached forward to straighten the collar,and happened to look down,that I finally had to admit it. Something Was Wrong.

uh oh

Now,I am not a small girl. Far from it. If you haven’t met me in person,it’s probably hard for you to judge the scale of this picture,me lining up my hips with Sienna. Trust me:it’s funny.

A long long time ago,back when I had knit only five or six things,I launched myself at the “Go Everywhere Go With Anything Cardigan”from Deb Stoller’s book Stitch ‘N Bitch. Unfortunately,I didn’t understand the difference between “finished measurements”and “your measurements,”so I kept adding inches to the wrong set of numbers.

I was also afraid that it would be too small to fit,so I added a few extra inches “for good luck.”It turns out that a sweater with 12 inches of ease is just as unwearable as a sweater that’s too small. (Who knew?) And I did a really good job on the intarsia Tux on the back,thus ensuring that I would never have the heart to get rid of it.

I still wear my Tux sweater around the house,because it’s warm. It’s hilariously oversized,though,so I would never ever ever wear it in public.

Now fast-forward to the Time of Sienna. I knew what I was doing. I knew the difference between “finished measurements”and “your measurements.”I did the gauge swatch,and washed it,and measured myself three times,and I was totally ready to go.

Then when I had finished the fronts and back,I attached them all,and tried it on.

“Oh no,”I thought. “This will never do.”I tugged fretfully at the fronts,while holding the sides together. It was turning out far too small.

I knew what to do,though! I cleverly created a pair of knit-in darts,basically a fabric extension between the fronts and backs. I was so proud of those darts! What a clever solution! Now it would totally fit me!

Back to yesterday evening. I stared at Sienna for a really long time,my forehead slightly crinkled. Eventually,the force of denial was not enough to keep reality at bay.

I went into the house.

I dug out the Tux sweater.

I took it out to the deck.

I laid it atop Sienna.

holy crap,that's a big sweater

OMFG,it’s the exact same size.

Also,can you see? Can you see how one sleeve is twice as wide as the other? I’m not even sure how I managed that,to tell you the truth.

So to sum up:

1. I already have a hilariously oversized sweater. Not really looking for a second.

2. I can’t just remove the darts and re-seam the sides,because I picked up and knit the sleeves –so there would be that issue with the extra two inches of sleeve fabric to hide.

3. One of the sleeves is twice as wide as the other.

sienna finale

Sweater? I see no sweater here.

20 comments to Oops.

  • Josiane

    Oops indeed!
    I bet you’d have prefered to spend your newly increased knitting time on something else…but hey,that will be something else:it will be the best fitting sweater ever!

  • Oh. My. God. Oh,the pain! I’m shoving an extra-large bottle of your vice of choice through the modem in sympathy. Yikes!

    Um…When you forgive the yarn (of course it was the yarn,it wasn’t you,no way) will you be starting Sienna again,or trying a different pattern? Or is it too soon to face such a choice?::debates running for the hills after having the gall to ask::

  • LisaK

    Hate that!!! Love your sink though,so clean and shiny.

  • Carol

    Last winter I knit Ivy from Fall 2006 Knitty. In red. shorted it 4 inches because I am short. Had to unknit the first front twice,because my row gauge was off and I needed to decrese faster. It turned out huge around. the sleeves were way too puffy. So I came up with the brilliant idea to felt the thing and use the felted fabric to cut out and sew together a childs felted wool jacket. Turned out great.

    I am almost done with a wrap front raglan sweater,knit from the top down.[I have tried on the sweater every 4 inches as I knit it] I used the Ivy cabling [really a traveling stitch] and am pleased with it so far. 3 more inches to the bottom edge and the sleeves. Of course,now it is 87degrees and too warm to knit my big wool sweater all iin one piece. Oh well.

    So,I can symphathize with the too big sweater. Did the yarn GROW when it got washed? Did you swatch and wash the swatch? I have learned to do this,it is important.

  • Oh nooooooo! That is heartbreaking. I have still yet to knit a sweater for myself (or any sweater larger than a 4T,to tell the truth),and stories like yours scare the poo out of me. I’m so sorry about your sweater.

  • I saw the photo of the yarn hanging from hangers in the Flickr photostream and I have to admit,I couldn’t wait for the blog post that I knew would follow.

    What a drag,to go through all that work and then rip it out,but you do make it so fun to read about. ;)

  • Aakkkk! Couldn’t you have maybe felted it just a bit or something?

  • The ultimate in froggingj! You are a very brave woman.

  • Poor girl! If you happen to be down south a bit (like SeaTac way) any time soon,give a holler and I’ll take you out for some coffee and chocolate.

  • Oh no! Oh,I hurt for you.

  • Jessica

    What Dave said…

    Why not try one of those plug in your numbers patterns like a Spincraft pattern (I’ve got some on my website,just take the word “blog”off my URL) or there are a couple of patterns on the net that might help you make a sweater that’s not for someone twice your size,etc…there’s probably more,but see below for some good free ones:


    Some day I’ll knit an adult sweater…have done a couple of vests &little kid sweaters &I’ve got a baby sweater from Cottage Creations (Little Lillie’s sweater) in progress…and it’s coming along nicely enough when I work on it…just hope I get it done before the baby is too big! :)


  • I had a thought. It seems like the two big sweaters you’ve knit,you’ve second-guessed the pattern. Also,I seem to remember a little girl’s knitted sweater (or jacket) where you almost freaked out and adjusted the sleeves,but ended up playing it straight and it worked. I’d recommend getting some cheap yarn and a simple pattern and just trying it straight. I know (from experience) that some of us may need to adjust the pattern to fit,but your recent forays into pattern adjustment have lead to MUCH too big sweaters. The patterns on Knitty usually go up to a decent size,so I’d try something down and dirty and fast,and don’t mess with it. Check the fit when you’re done to see how you might have revised it if you had to do it over,but START FRESH. NO OVER-ENGINEERING. :-)

  • just posting a test comment! :)

  • Gail

    What a heartbreaker!

  • That’s so utterly painful –I’m sorry! At least you had the courage to frog;I’m still at the point of alternately staring at and ignoring my Central Park Hoodie with the wonky sleeve.

  • Patti

    Oh noes!

  • D’oh diddly dammit!

    (as they say in my country)

  • I like to put an in-progress sweater down on top of an existing sweater that fits ok,periodically,as I knit.

    Then I have at least a partial clue how I’m doing,fit-wise……..

    Without that,I don’t know how I would begin to end up with something that fit.

    Good for you for ripping now,rather than putting it,whole,in the back of a closet as I would have done!

  • I love that you took a picture of your empty sink and Mt. Dishmore. I would totally do something like that.

    Maybe your next sweater for yourself should be knit top down,so you can try it on as you go —eliminates a lot of guesswork (and frogging).