Ripping Out and Resolving Renaissance

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 responses to “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.


    • 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. :)


  2. Love the new look and worth all of the additional work involved! Obsession, no! Looking for perfection, yes!


    • 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!


  3. 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!


  4. 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?


    • 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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