Some of you will have read in my post on Tuesday that things have not been all sunshine and daffodils for me over these past three weeks. I have struggled with a bit of a knockback in an attempt to relieve some stresses and a bit of a dent cast in the armour of my self-confidence.
I have been very conscious that I really feel as if I need to take a bit more care of myself at present, and part of this involves trying to encourage even a little of my inner peace to flourish by doing just a tiny thing for myself each day – even if this amounts to just a single round of a sleeve of a sweater.
Well, one such tiny task yesterday saw the summation of many such little microspurts with just 40-odd stitches to cast off until my sweater was complete. I followed it up by weaving in the two remaining ends and then popped it on.
It fit perfectly. It was all worth it. Something fantastic and beautiful had come from that stressful time and I felt so much better for having achieved something for myself.
The jumper was knit quite airily in a 4-ply sock yarn – 75% wool and 25%. Soft but relatively hardwearing. The yarn was superwash so I popped it on a short delicate wash at 30ºc and sat down with a lovely hot chocolate.
You know what’s coming next, can’t you? That feeling of unease when everything on screen is seemingly serene and pleasant, yet you know that you are watching something called ‘Suburban Serial Murder Horror With Knives.’
I swept gracefully over to the washing machine and popped the door catch open with a happy sigh at the gentle scene of fabric conditioner as I removed from the drum a tiny matted lumpy mess that used to be my brand new sweater. The front had felted onto the back and the sleeves had fused shut.
The sweater is constructed mostly of stocking stitch with large areas of garter stitch. Due to the nature of the two different stitches the garter stitch had fulled and matted far more than the stocking stitch and has lost all of the definition of those channels and ridges that gave the sweater its interest.
Now, if I was wearing the sweater in front of most people they may not see the big deal, because I can still get it on (who sang that aloud in the style of Marvin Gaye? I did), but it doesn’t fit as it should or as it did. I specifically knit myself an airy summer sweater that I could wear in the warm months. The yarn has now bloomed as it has fulled, meaning that along with a loss of definition is a loss of the airiness.
I also knit the sweater with some positive ease. That’s now gone. The sweater ‘fits’ well, if you want it to fit to the body, but I wanted to float around in a light and airy cloud of brilliance.
The sweater is shorter and lumpy where the various areas have felted at different rates, and I’ve had to try and desperately stretch some shape into what was a crinkled bumpy lumpy grumpy thing. The stocking stitch pocket that once laid smoothly over the crisp garter stitch background now sits proud above the matted garter ridges where the two areas have felted at different rates.
It’s pretty much the exact kind of disaster that I really, really didn’t need and took away the one thing that I was trying to achieve – the ability to elicit some control over things.