So... yeah... that sweater for Rhinebeck... Ever since that weekend came and went, I have had zero motivation to finish the sweater. It's not that I don't want to finish; it's just that I'm afraid I'm gonna have to undo everything I did on the way to New York.
Here's what I've got so far:
I still have to finish the sleeves, which is not such a big deal. I picked out blue-grey toggles, but I haven't put them on because my gut feeling is that I need to rip back and redo the entire button band/ collar. That's more than an entire skein of yarn in that band, thanks to the deep shawl collar.
What's the big deal? Why don't I just put on the buttons and be done with it? It doesn't look so bad... if I hold the bottom front down. I think my problem is that when I took the gauge for the way I wanted the ribbing to look, I stretched it out too far. Now the ribbing makes the front of the sweater want to creep up whenever I take away my hand. Additionally, the collar feels like it is under a lot of tension, like there should be more stitches to help it reach around the back without creeping up and away from the neckline.
I already tried steam blocking, but the downside of using a yarn that is so wonderfully washable is that it does not respond to steam very well. Thank you, cotton.
So my plan is to resume work on the sweater when I have given enough space from Rhinebeck to reduce the pain of ripping, so that I may (hopefully) work the ribbed section with more stitches so that it has a more relaxed and wearable feel. I'm rather tempted to go back to my first idea of using garter stitch for the collar; such fabric does not have a mind of its own, and with the non-blocking qualities of this yarn, I might do well to use some snuggly garter stitch. How much more yarn will that take, though? And will it look as snappy as ribbing?
These questions are preventing me from working the rest of the sleeves, since I might want to bring in the garter stitch there, too... Do you see why I have hit a roadblock?
Despite all this, I still prefer my bungling method to following blindly someone else's pattern. I like to think that in the end the experience will make me a better knitter than I would have been if everything had worked out according to someone else's calculations.
I am no self-made man, to be sure. What do you think? Do you have any thoughts on what I could do to make the shawl collar / button band fit better?