Call me obsessed.  Call me intense.  Call me stubborn.  This sweater, Renaissance designed by Teva Durham was NOT photographing to its fullest potential and it was driving me mad until I realized . . . oh, dear . . . it’s the SWEATER!!   My thinking . . . What was it?  The body fit perfectly, the neckline moved about in a ruffly kind of way as intended and certainly appropriate for its name sake.  The sleeves . . . dramatic, as seen in the pattern.  Wait.  The sleeves.  The sleeves.  Something about the sleeves.  Yes, they are long but that is the style of the pattern.  Oh, wait . . . what about their width?  That could be it.  If I made them narrower. . .   If I make the sleeves narrower, the cap to fit more snug at the top, that might give the sweater an overall better look.  Wait.  The sleeves. Maybe, just a little shorter.  For comfort sake.  Wait!  How ’bout three-quarter length keeping the essence of the pattern?  I notice I get excited, probably because I have a plan to resolve what seems to be ailing me about this garment.

  • rip out sleeves
  • rewind yarn for reuse
  • re-design for three-quarter length which will involve changing the shaping
  • keep bell shape hem and slits as that matches the neckline
  • try on and call upon a second opinion

When I think about ripping out, I just think backwards the steps I took to knit the garment.  I want to reuse the yarn so I very carefully un-weave the ends of yarn around the armholes.  I use a blunt darning needle so as not to split the yarn.

I begin pulling where I ended up knitting the piece.  Pull.  Pull into a big, sad heap.

I do all the pulling first so that I do not wind the ball of yarn too tight.

I do not want to stretch the yarn.  After it is a big heap, I wind the yarn very gently around my hand.

 I continue until I have both sleeves pulled and wound into balls.

I let the yarn relax and go off to work on other projects.  My goal is to rid the yarn of its memory.  When I come back in a few days or so, I wind the yarn so that when I am knitting, I am pulling the yarn from the center and the yarn isn’t rolling all over the place (you never need a yarn bowl).  You can see how much straighter the yarn is.

I take a deep breath, call upon my patience, study my design notes, and knit the sleeves, again.  I sew them back into the armhole. Yes.  They are now about 1.5 inches tighter and 5 inches shorter.  I choose to not re-attach the buttons.

I show hubby the new look and he wants to see the original picture that came with the pattern and he wants to see the photos we took TWICE before.  I charm him into another photo shoot and I ask to go back to our original spot, the beautiful reeds of similar hue.  It is a beautiful day, the lighting is on our side, we are relaxed and I am feeling confident the sweater has been improved upon.

Say what you might . . . obsessed, driven, mad . . . I prefer to call it determined to get a project to fit right and look smart.

POST SCRIPT:  The story of ‘Renaissance’ is a series of events beginning with post 1 here, followed by this, ending here with a very happy girl, above.

15 thoughts on “ Ripping Out and Resolving Renaissance ”

  1. Some women have style, others don’t – you have it with a capital S. Love the way you analyzed what you didn’t like about the sweater and then went about solving the problem.


    1. Thank you, Marny. I think it is posture and attitude thing more than anything else. We (hahaha the sweater and I are breathing easier today.) Now, to figure out what is on my needles now! It never ends. :)


    1. I know there are some people who would get it. Thank you, and it was awesome sitting with you and talking with you about your recent adventures. Have a great summer road trip!


  2. AHHH, so much better! Remember I asked you about those sleeves, and how you were able to do anything? Now they are lovely AND you can use your hands. :-) I think the tighter sleeve is perfect on you as well, the sleeves aren’t overwhelming the whole sweater.

    And the reeds are a great background for the sweater now. It looks great with denim but I think I am still partial to the white jeans with it. :-)

    A lot of work for you, but it sure has paid off, the sweater looks great on you!


    1. Hey, Sarah . . . when I got dressed, I thought about you and those white jeans! haha Thank you for your continual feedback. Different perspectives are a good thing. I think the sweater is actually thanking me, too! :)


  3. You’re 100% right, the sweater is so much better with these shorter sleeves. And these reeds are the perfect background. Great job! And I so agree with you: who needs a yarn bowl?


    1. oh, Agnes . . . I think I was being swallowed up in cables! I so want to love this sweater and now I DO!! Thank you for your opinions! They help! Yarn bowls are an unnecessary fad.

      Liked by 1 person

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