Beware the JubJub Bird

So I’ve been working on this sweater. I’m using really soft MadelineTosh Merino light that I bought at the indescribably cool Purl Soho in New York City.

I’m using a Purl pattern, too: Leah’s Lovely Cardigan. I was promised by the accompanying text in More Last Minute Knitted Gifts that it would be an easy knit, relatively quick for being a whole sweater knitted in fingering weight yarn on little needles.

The sleeves corroborated this statement. They were pretty quick, light, and the yarn was oh-so-ever-so squooshy.

Then I started the body. I don’t know what it was about that piece of knitting, but it started accumulating bad karma and then just kept going like a snowball down a hill.

By the time I had completed the waist shaping, I was emotionally done with the whole thing, but I forced myself to knit on to the point where I could join the sleeves. All the joy of the pretty red yarn, the soft squooshiness of the merino was gone, and the knitting was giving me wrist fatigue, but I got those sleeves joined.

Partially knitted red cardigan

At that point, I took a somewhat baleful look at the knitting in my lap. You all know where this is going, right?

I looked, and realized that the gauge of one sleeve was noticeably different from the gauge of the body of the sweater.

My first, immature, reaction was to chuck the whole thing in the Hibernation Basket. On Saturday, feeling slightly more composed, I pulled the beastie out of the basket, dismembered it, and took the gauge of the three resulting pieces.

Wooden ruler atop a piece of red hand-knitted fabric

One sleeve had the correct gauge end to end—that got a little bath to see if the fabric changes drastically when washed. (It doesn’t, but it does grow a bit in length). The second sleeve was too wide from the end of the shaping onwards. The body—the gauge was seriously too tight end to end.

Red knitting on a bed with two balls of yarn and a black dog.

I appreciate that Stella looks distraught for me.

After some vorpal frogging, my manxome foe is ready for another try. I am hoping for better karma in its second incarnation.

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