The Saga of the Moyen Age Sweater

The title is ominous for a reason.

Back in January of this year, I decided it was time to finally knit a sweater for myself. I've only ever knit one adult human-sized sweater before this and it was for Rosslyn. Time to make something for me! I was excited at first. I read the pattern three times before casting on. I was hopeful. Eager, even. I cast on January 3rd.

It was two months of knitting forever and being well into my third skein before I finally bit the bullet and frogged it. It was too small, too tight. I wasn't getting anywhere close to gauge, even with the same needles and yarn weight. I was supposed to be getting 23 stitches per 4 inches and I was getting 32. I went up some needle sizes, remeasured myself, and on March 17th, I cast on again.

By April 3rd I had frogged it once again. I was still not getting gauge. I was getting 27 stitches per 4 inches, not 23. I was still not even close. I was crying to myself, ripping back my sweater for the second time (this was just before the full emotional breakdowns earlier this year by about a week, so the arguments with my sweater project were distinctly unhelpful to my mental state--knitting was solace, but at the time it was frustration).

I swatched. I went up to US sizes 5 and 6 needles (the pattern said 1 to 2, and that she "knitted loose;" ON WHAT PLANET IS IT MERELY LOOSE TO GET THAT GAUGE AT THAT NEEDLE SIZE????). I got gauge and freaked out in joy. I cast on, tentatively hoping in my heart of hearts this would work out this time. I also figured out I would have to change pattern sizes from hips to chest because I was wider across the hips than the bust. A lucky break at this point, to finally discover that little detail.

I made it five inches and tried it on. So far so good. I was still nervous.

Eight inches, fits beautifully, decreasing from the hips to the waist. I was beginning to think I was getting this.

I had finally reached the chest, decreasing to the waist and increasing to the chest the right amounts. I also decided at the point that I did not need to include the short rows for more chest space as the fabric I was making fit in a lovely way without stretch.

I was just admiring my nails and the purl side of the sweater in this shot.

And I was finally comfortable enough to get artsy with it.

And then I began the neckline. The nerves came back. My torso has interesting proportions, so I couldn't follow the pattern exactly as it would be far too long in the shoulder.

But it worked out! I connected the shoulder straps to the back and started the sleeves.

I was almost satisfied with the sweater at this point, but I would never wear a sweater with the collar that wide open. The above shot and the following two pictures were taken the same night. I was determined to finish. I could taste it.

Sweet, sweet victory.

This is the blocking shot and my perfectly fitted sweater is ready for autumn. I completed it July 8th, months past when I had planned, but now, it's done. Completely done. Finito. I am FREE.

My Moyen Age sweater, after putting me through various hells, is finished.


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