I love how the making of a thing is a journey. Of course, it’s relaxing and comforting, but it can also challenge your brain, make you think more in depth about the process and push your skills further. I love how the mistakes can be used to improve your craft and bring you confidence. I love the slow nature of the work and the resilience. If you buy a garment that doesn’t work for you, the chances are you will put it in a charity bag and chalk it up to a bad choice. If you make something and discover it’s not quite right, the chances are you will work out why, unravel it and start again, or a least I do.
And so it was with the Twist It Cardigan, designed by Kat Goldin and featured in one of my most used and dog-eared copies of Simply Crochet. I had taken the measurement for sizing from the bust, even though the design isn’t fitted there. I didn’t take account of the fact that I am not broad in the shoulder and am short. Subsequently the finished article was way too big across the shoulders and way way too long.
It sat in a heap, taunting me. My first garment for myself and I knew I’d made mistakes. I kept picking up the pattern and looking at it and slowly I began to think that maybe I could adapt it. Maybe I could make something that was absolutely ‘made to measure’. I decided to leave a pattern repeat out of the body and make the raglan top smaller, knowing that I all way had my friend and crochet guru Kat, on hand if I really got stuck.
Amazingly the process of re-making wasn’t a chore. I felt a buzz knowing that I was putting something right, doing it properly and I enjoyed the ‘work’ just as much the second time around. This was helped by the cables. I love knitting or crocheting cables, I never seem to be able to get away from the feeling that they appear like a little piece of yarny magic.
I love the finished piece. It’s exactly what I’d been trying to buy for months, a comfy, warm cardigan, that can go over the top of a lighter one. I can use it almost as a jacket in the spring and autumn and am hoping that it stops me putting the heating on in the winter. It’s one of those, curl up with a book and a cup of tea pieces of knitwear and I am so pleased that I unraveled and started again.
Unfortunately, it’s not the done thing to have a big badge that says “DO YOU LIKE WHAT I AM WEARING? BECAUSE I MADE IT!” Although, I think it should be. Thankfully, I have a blog, where I can basically do the same thing, from the comfort of a keyboard.
Incidentally Kat has a new book out as part of The Crochet Project called Raw. I’ve already seen my next make in there.