Cutting open the Cardigan

I bought this sweater kit four years ago. I was in Watkins Glen, NY and the yarn store there had the finished sweater on a dress form and I fell in love with the design. It was made from Lopi yarn in black, white, and gray with six pewter buttons. I couldn’t wait to cast it on the needles. When I got home, I opened the kit and discovered that the sweater did not come with the buttons and it was knit in the round and then steeked! Steeking involves knitting a few extra stitches in the same place each round, sewing over those stitches with a sewing machine, and then cutting between the sewing. The kit went into the closet.

I couldn’t bring myself to knit an entire sweater and then cut it open. I was afraid I would ruin the sweater and then all that work would be for nothing. Fear of failure keeps me from doing other things as well. But failing is how we learn. Making mistakes is how we improve our skills.

At Rhinebeck this year, I found the perfect buttons. Now I had to knit the sweater.

I watched tutorials. I knit a gauge swatch with steek stitches. I practiced with the swatch. I took my time. I went into the steeking process with the mindset that I was going to learn something from this process.

I cut between the stitches as it held. I picked up stitches and knit the button bands.

It takes courage to open ourselves up to potential failure. Not all of my experiments have worked out this well. What I learned from this sweater is not to procrastinate. Face the fear and be willing to fail. The older I get, the more risk I’m willing to take. I’ve failed enough in life to know the benefits of failure. Perfection teaches nothing.

Advent knitting update:

My yarn has arrived for the blankets I’m going to knit for stillborn babies. I choose Comfy Yarn from Knit Picks, which is 75% Pima Cotton and 25% Acrylic in Flamingo and Clarity’s colorway. The ball band suggests from a size 6 needle to nine needles which should create around 5 stitches per inch. I’m going to cast on 75 stitches. I will knit a 2-inch border of moss stitch.

Rows 1 and 4: K1, * p1, k1; rep from * to end of row.

Rows 2 and 3: P1,* k1, p1; rep from * to end of row.

I plan on continuing this pattern on the first 11 stitches and the last 11 stitches. I will knit a row and purl a row (Stockinette stitch on the middle 53 stitches). When I think the blanket is long enough, I’ll do another 2 inches of all moss stitch for the top border.

Advent starts on 11/28. Check here every day during Advent for a meditation on Adventword 2021. The first word is “promise”. The words will serve as a writing prompt each day of Advent. Also, there will be progress pictures of the baby blankets.

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

One thought on “Cutting open the Cardigan

  1. Thank you, Julie for sharing your family’s loss. I have been praying for you and your family.
    I would like to make a blanket and am wondering if they could be accepted after Christmas. I am still working on holiday gifts and may not have enough time to make a little blanket.
    Thank you and God Bless.


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