How to Knit a Sweater in Just 2.5 Years and 30 Easy Steps

How to Knit a Sweater in Just 2.5 Years and 30 Easy Steps
  1. Fall 2011: Receive the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Knits. Instantly fall in love with the Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti. image
  2. Early May 2013: Go to MD Sheep and Wool with a specific shopping list that includes yarn for the Dahlia Cardigan. Debate over several options and waffle over the expense. Finally settle on a test yarn that is not guaranteed to be reproduced in the future. Buy only 100 yards more than you need for your size. (Note: Following this step exactly is critical.) uploadedImage_medium.png
  3. Late May 2013: Cast on. Knit merrily along.
  4. July 2013: Move to another continent. Take the Dahlia Cardigan with you in your suitcase, but make sure the rest of the skeins are in your household effects that are traveling by boat. Run out of yarn on hand.
  5. October 2013: The rest of the skeins arrive. However, you’re in the middle of Christmas gift knitting, so set aside the Dahlia Cardigan until January.
  6. January 2014: Realize you can’t find your copy of the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Knits. Send out emails to friends you think might have copies and beg them to scan the pattern and email it to you.
  7. February 2014: Receive scanned copy of the pattern. Knit merrily along.
  8. Spring 2014: Decide you want to maximize yarn and put fronts on holders so you can knit sleeves, then return to fronts and knit them until you run out of yarn. Somewhere in here, find your copy of the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Knits in a drawer.
  9. Summer 2014: Knit the first sleeve.
  10. Summer 2014: Go to remove the waste yarn to start the second sleeve and realize you’ve only held aside about 2/3 of the stitches you were supposed to because you can’t count. Put Dahlia Cardigan in time out.
  11. Fall 2014: Decide how you’re going to cut your sweater to get the right number of stitches to knit the second sleeve. Cut sweater and start knitting second sleeve. Start to worry about how much yarn you have left.
  12. December 2014: At 8 months pregnant, pack enough knitting to go back to the U.S. for 3-4 months. Decide you are going to finish the Dahlia Cardigan during this time.
  13. December 2014: Realize in the U.S. that you are REALLY going to run out of yarn. Half-heartedly research to see if you can get more, all the while remembering that the base was a test for the dyer and that they never made any more. Wander through Ravelry and realize that, in the almost two years since you started the Dahlia Cardigan, lots of people have commented on how you should buy more yardage than called for. Put the Dahlia Cardigan in time out.
  14. December 2014: No, you really should finish it. Weave in all ends that are available, snip ends, and spit and splice about a dozen pieces of a few inches each to have every last bit available.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures - this is how much yarn I gained by spit-splicing about 12 ends together.
    Desperate times call for desperate measures – this is how much yarn I gained by spit-splicing about 12 ends together.
  15. December 2014: Decide the sleeves are going to have to be shorter. Attempt to try on the Dahlia Cardigan but realize that, at 8 months pregnant, you are too fat.
  16. January 2015: Have baby. Decide you are going to finish the Dahlia Cardigan. Take it to Knit Night. Try to knit second sleeve in shorter version. Do the math to knit shorter sleeves. Knit a few rounds and realize the math doesn’t work. Realize that you are knitting Chart A instead of Chart C. Look through your photocopied pattern. Fail to find Chart C. New friend at Knit Night promises to go home and look for the pattern.
  17. One week later: New friend brings a copy of Chart C. Finish second sleeve in shorter version.
  18. February 2015: Still carrying a lot of baby weight. Decide maybe the Dahlia Cardigan isn’t going to fit you and that you’re going to have to give it away. Be reassured by LYS owner who says it will block out. image
  19. February 2015: Rip out first sleeve to make it shorter. Knit through part of Chart C. Then switch and incorrectly continue in Chart A for no reason. Put knitting in time out in disgust. Instantly forget why.
  20. March 2015: Travel back to overseas home.
  21. May 2015: Think about how finishing the Dahlia Cardigan would mean lots of meterage for Stash Dash. Do nothing about it.
  22. August 2015: Realize Stash Dash is almost over. Get out Dahlia Cardigan to block it, as suggested in step 18. Look at the sleeve and wonder why you stopped when it’s almost done. Knit a few rounds. Realize you’re still on the wrong chart. Feel disgusted. Realize you don’t have time to be disgusted.
  23. August 2015: Rip out offending parts, finish second (first) sleeve a few stitches at a time while actively minding a baby who learned to crawl that day and really, really wants to eat the pattern.
  24. August 2015: Put the fronts on waste yarn and block. Realize your blocking wires have been missing for a while. Briefly consider trying to make some out of coathangers. Decide that’s crazy talk. Continue to wonder if it just might work. Order new blocking wires. Block without wires because you don’t have time to wait for them to show up.imageimage
  25. August 2015: Try on what you have. Realize it just might work. Consider buying this PG-13 poster.
  26. August 2015: With both fronts on waste yarn and one longer than the other and not enough yarn left to do both borders, decide you will knit a few rows on the shorter side while weighing yarn to see how much each row takes. Then you will know how much yarn you’ll need to rip out of the shorter side to do two borders and bind off.

  27. August 2015: Assume you are doing step 26. Pull directly off one side to knit on the other. Knitting off one side and on to the other.
  28. August 2015: Work part of the border and run out of yarn one side, rip out the required weight of yarn on the other to finish the border you started plus a full one on that side. Proceed and FINISH THE KNITTING. image
  29. August 2015: Try on the Dahlia cardigan. Realize you have actually cannibalized yarn from the shorter side so that the sides are really lopsided and the sweater doesn’t look good worn open.
  30. August 2015: Call it a 1,028.7-m Stash Dash victory. Order a shawl pin.image
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