Handknits tend to have a longer lifespan than commercially produced clothes, but eventually, the time comes to say goodbye.
While cleaning and storing my handknits for the season, I realized the time had come to bid farewell to one of very first sweaters, the Tangled Yoke Cardigan.
I finished this sweater in February 2009--I'd been knitting for just 2 years, and it was only the second sweater I'd completed. I had no clue how to cable without a cable needle, so I painstakingly worked my way through that intricate yoke the traditional way.
Even then, this sweater had its problems--the yarn I used wasn't really ideal, a slubby wool blend that couldn't decide if it was DK or worsted (Queensland Kathmandu DK, since discontinued). It seemed like a good substitute for the Rowan Felted Tweed the pattern called for that I couldn't afford, but was really too flat to show off the cables, particularly in the color I chose.
I remember having a lot of trouble with the collar, which skews to one side, and I picked the most boring buttons in the history of time. The body fit well, but the sleeves, with mistake rib at the cuff, were far too loose and have only grown in the years since.
Today, with over 7 years of wear, this sweater just looks sloppy and worn out.
It's mostly shapeless now, the edges of the buttonbands are curling, and the fabric looks dull and lifeless. The color has faded--it used to have pinkish tone that has disappeared with repeated washing.
So it's being retired. It's a bit sad to say goodbye to something I put so much work into. A better yarn choice and more careful work could've resulted in a sweater that lasted twice as long. But dwelling on what I could've done better isn't doing me any good--nor is feeling disappointed every time I wear it!
So, goodbye, Tangled Yoke Cardigan. What, exactly, I'm going to do with you, I'm not sure--surely even the Goodwill doesn't need such a ratty sweater, so perhaps you'll find your way into the garbage bin.
Fortunately, I have already purchased enough yarn (Knit Picks City Tweed DK in Desert Sage) to make a new and improved version--someday!
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