Sometimes it takes two

I am home again, and we really did have the loveliest time. The only thing that wasn’t quite right was that we couldn’t have Pato and the Worlds Top Knitwear Model with us for this trip, but if there’s anything that I’ve learned in the last 18 months it’s that things are seldom perfect, so I embraced what good it had to give me regardless.

Speaking of learning, I just had a really epic knitting fail. The biggest one in a long time. Behold: Two sleeves that I knit for Ken’s sweater.

(I know they look a bit rugged, but the yarn is Holst Garn Supersoft (held double)  and it’s a bit stiff and raggedy looking before it’s washed and blooms into something lovely, haloed, soft and even.)  Those sleeves also don’t exist anymore, because they were too narrow for Ken’s arms.  I’m knitting “Oshima for Him” and despite the absolutely admirable act of knitting a swatch and washing it, and then knitting another swatch and washing that before I settled on needles and was rather sure I had gauge, the things came out completely inappropriate for his arms. Ken is not a big guy, but his arms are more than twigs sprouting from his chest, and those just weren’t wide enough.

The amazing thing is that I knew this. I knew it from the moment I cast on.  I looked at the little cuff and said “That’s not big enough” but I had done my math and wanted so badly to trust it that I kept on going.  It nagged at me so badly through the whole first sleeve that before I knit the sleeve cap I actually took the sleeve off the needles, washed it, let it dry and then jammed it on Ken’s arm before I went any further, and then smooshed it around on his arm so that I could say it fit and keep lying to myself.  Then I knit the whole other sleeve, and the whole time my inner knitter was screaming at me.

Now, I often say that your inner knitter? They’re the voice of reason. They’re the one that’s not super invested in progress, and doesn’t hope for things or give any sort of a snot about your deadlines.  That voice, the one that says “something is definitely not right here” is the voice of your knitterly experience and it’s exactly like waking up in the night and wondering if you should get up to pee. If you just went to the damn bathroom the first time you thought “I wonder…” you’d be back in bed in no time with less time lost to considering it.  It’s like that and I know perfectly well that if I’d have listened to that voice the very first time I wouldn’t have two sleeves to pull back, I’d have merely yanked a cuff and have two correct sleeves right now. I have no explanation for why I let it go on so long, except that sometimes hope springs eternal, and sometimes you really just want to knit, and sometimes lying to yourself on a sunny day while you lie on a dock is exactly what you need and it takes the shock of two whole wrong sleeves to snap you out of it, which is exactly what happened.

I’ve reknit the first one the next size up.  My inner knitter is now smugly silent.