Knitting Fiascos: This Sweater Had Long Sleeves

Sweater knitters, pull up a chair and prepare to hear a familiar tale.

My vision for this design was long sleeves. It’s how I imagined it from day one. The design process is a little hard to explain, because – for me – it evolves as the design takes form. But sometimes there’s one element that I get really set on, and for this one, it was the sleeves. Long sleeves.

The sleeves didn’t happen the way I envisioned, and here’s why:

First, I tried it on before I knit the sleeves and really loved it as a tee. (Phone camera selfie, anyone?) But I ignored my inclination to “quit early” since short sleeves felt like a cop-out. Plus, I was really set on the long sleeve idea. I stuck to the plan and knit the sleeves.

But then this happened:

Right about the time I started the cuff ribbing, I notice something. I’d goofed up one of the stripes. Just one. Tired knitting + hectic schedule + trying to rush = one too many stripes in a repeat. You’d think the designer of the pattern wouldn’t make such a rookie mistake, but I’ll tell you what – even the experts go astray sometimes. As luck would have it the mistake was wayyyy back at the very beginning of the sleeve – far enough back that I’d made it almost impossible to have time to re-knit the sleeve and still make my deadline.

[Insert huge, frustrated sigh.]

Sometimes mistakes are opportunities for reinvention, which goes for more than just knitting. (I’m always amazed at the way knitting wisdom applies to life.) I can’t tell you how many times my plans were waylaid by an accidental redirection, only to turn out better than I’d intended in the first place. This was never meant to be a short sleeve tee, but you know – as it turns out, I think it wanted to be and I just wouldn’t listen.

Now Apogean is a sweater with two sleeve options: short sleeves for warm weather, long sleeves for cooler days. You get to pick. The result was a fun, spring tee that I can wear alone or layer over a crisp shirt – and I can knit myself another one with bold contrasts and long sleeves for fall. No harm, no foul.

When is the last time you had an “Oops!” that turned into a creative opportunity?


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