Ginger Made: Aidez (seriously, aidez-moi, s’il vous plait!)

I give up.  Here’s my Aidez sweater.  I started this thing last May, and finally finished it at the end of January.  In the land of perpetual darkness, I just couldn’t find the time to take pictures, and I wasn’t that happy with it, so that’s why you’re only seeing it now.  I’m kind of sad, because I loved this pattern when it came out, and it seemed like the perfect thing for me to throw on in the winter, but alas, it’s only so-so.

Maybe if I just casually stretch this thing all the time, it'll fit eventually!

It’s too small, even though I sized up (this is supposed to fit a 36″ bust, which I have…  in my dreams!!) to make sure that this would be nice and slouchy.  The armpits are too snug, which is really annoying.  It’s stretched a little bit since I started wearing it, but the armpit thing is pretty noticeable. Also, the arms run WAY small in this pattern– I had read that they are small, but I ignored this because I have skinny arms (I should probably buy a set of dumb bells before I turn into one of those noodle-armed old ladies that has to call a neighbor to open a jar of pickles for her).  They were SKIN TIGHT.  I can’t imagine how tight these would be if you actually worked out and had a little muscle tone!  Gals, what’s cozier than skin-tight scratchy wool?  AMIRITE???  I made them wearable by un-seaming the sleeves (harder than you would think) and picking up 8 stitches at the underarm.  I knit those 8 stitches into a panel the length of the sleeve and seamed either side of it to the existing sleeve to add some width.  That was time-consuming, but at least now they’re wearable.

What's that? You want to see photos of the back? Oh, we took them, and somehow they disappeared from the camera/computer, and I was too annoyed to do another photo shoot, so here's a second photo of me awkwardly trying to hold the sweater closed. Yay!

I knit this from the bottom up in one piece, then had to divide it when I got to the armpits.  The seaming actually wasn’t too bad– I generally avoid anything that needs seaming because I find it a bit tedious, but I could deal with this alright.  I used Cascade Eco Wool, which I’m finding too scratchy to wear next to my skin, so I can’t wear this with just a t-shirt underneath (which is how I would actually get use out of it).  I probably won’t get much wear out of this since I only have two long-sleeved t-shirts, and you can only wear a long sleeve tee AND a wool sweater on the coldest of days.  So yeah.  This project gets a “whatever” in my book… it’s not an abject failure, but it’s far from a win, which is sad.  I was really excited about this project!  If it wasn’t so irritating to re-knit something, I might make this again sometime in a larger size with modified sleeves in a softer yarn.  If it wasn’t so irritating.

How do you guys deal with frustrations when you’re making things?  Do you cut out a new size and start from scratch?  Do you try to salvage the project?  Or set it aside?  Give it away?  I’m interested to hear!  Sadly, my Honey cardigan isn’t turning out well, either– it looks way too small!  I can’t decide if I should block what I already have (it’s about halfway done) to see if it grows a ton, or if I should just go ahead and frog it and start over.  😦  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!  I always swatch, and up until now, everything I’ve made has fit perfectly (even for other people!).  I noticed with the Honey cardigan that my gauge is tighter than it was in my swatch (and I do oversized swatches to make sure they’re pretty accurate!)… what’s going on with that?  UGH!!

45 responses

  1. D’you know what? I like it. From what I can see it looks to have some fab patterning going on. And the colours gorg too. But you gotta like how it feels and you’ve made me fearful for the first ever cardi I’m knitting. What if it doesn’t fit* I can’t do that clever pick up sleeve stitches and knit extra..very clever! So, hopefully you can enjoy its use with a small segment of you wardrobe and find a bit of love for the work you put in

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    • Thanks! I bet your cardigan will fit! When I was starting out, I mostly made stuff that you knit top-down (preferably seamless) so you can try it on as you go. That way you know if it’s going to be way too tight ahead of time! Which cardigan are you making??? I’m excited to see it!

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  2. Oh, that’s such a bummer – it’s such a gorgeous sweater! I’m guessing it can’t be blocked to hell & back to squeeze some extra room out of it? If it’s any consolation, I think your sweater looks totally fab based on just the pictures 🙂 Maybe make a couple of long sleeve tees in super thin fabric & use the sweater in place of a light jacket??

    The only way for me to deal with making fail projects is to make fun of myself for it. HA! And then find a new way to repurpose the fabric (or yarn in your case)… or give it to someone as a gift & pretend it was supposed to be for them all along 🙂

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    • I think I’ll try to block it again– that’s got to help at least a little, right? And that’s a great idea to make some thin long sleeve shirts… if only I had a good pattern for knit tops… OH WAIT I CAN MAKE 13 MORE RENFREWS!!! Yay! Oh and I would TOTALLY give away something and pretend it was made for them! 🙂

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  3. Holy Moly. You MADE this? I’ve so gotta learn how to knit. So now that I’ve indicated I know nothing about knitting, i’ll offer some unsolicited advice. Is your tension too tight?
    Otherwise the obvious fitting issues which you are clearly unhappy with, I actually think it looks really great.
    And thank you SO much for your vote 🙂 You’ve made my day!

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  4. What a bummer that you aren’t happy with it 😦 I think it looks fine from the pictures, but I can understand the disappointment that arises from the gap between what was in your mind and what you actually ended up with.

    I also thought you could make a bunch more Renfrews, but like you say, a long sleeved T plus a heavy sweater is only a combo for the coldest days.

    Did you steam block or wet block? I’d try blocking it some more.

    If you still really hate it and don’t want to give it away or frog it, you can always felt it (or not), cut it up and you could sew a very cool messenger bag or something!

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    • Forgot to say: I think you should block the part of your Honey cardi that you’ve already done. I almost always block as I go along. It saves time, and also lets me know what the finished fabric will look like before I invest too much time.

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      • OK, I’ll do that. I wet-block (I’m so scared I’ll end up screwing something up with the iron, plus I don’t have a button to shoot steam out), so I’ll just give it a good soak and see what happens! As I’m remembering now, I blocked the Aidez before seaming, so I could probably be a lot more aggressive with it now that it’s in one piece (and I’ve identified the problem areas). Thanks, Gail!

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  5. Super bummer! It looks cute, but it’s just so annoying to wear something that you know isn’t right. I’m glad to know that the Eco Wool is a bit scratchy. Everyone and their mother literally seems to be using it for everything lately but it seemed like a scratchy little yarn. I have had this pattern on my to knit list since it came out but there’s been so much talk about pattern alterations from everyone I’ve seen knit it that I’ll probably never give it a go. Plus who am I kidding, I’ve been working on an Icelandic sweater for a year! And speaking of the Icelandic sweater, I knit it up and was done except for the neckline ribbing, tried it on over a button down shirt, decided it was too tight and ripped the whole thing out. Now it’s just sitting in the bag I brought the yarn home from Iceland in and I’m pretending that it’s finished. That is apparently how I deal with things that don’t fit. Just pretend that they’re in my closet but I’m just not wearing them for some other reason. Very mature, ha!

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    • Holy cow, an Icelandic sweater?! That’s so impressive! I’m really sorry that it’s not quite right– it’s so much work to knit a sweater that it’s really sad to have to frog it, but, at the same time, it’s totally worth it to make sure that you really love the FO! I like your method of dealing with problems– it’s really similar to my method of throwing it in a bag and pretending like it doesn’t exist (and ignoring pangs of guilt every time I start a new project!)! 🙂

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  6. I love the colour and the pattern of your cardigan and your knitting skills are something else! I prefer yours to the Ravelry one. If you hadn’t said I would never have known it was too small. I always wear my cardigans open anyway so it being too small wouldn’t make much difference. I know what you mean about things that are too small though. Somehow you try to avoid reaching for them. If you can get past this I’m sure you’ll get a lot of wear out of it.

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    • Thanks very much! Maybe part of what I’m feeling is that I rarely wear open cardigans, so I’m constantly clutching at it and it feels smaller than it is! Hopefully I’ll be able to stretch it out or block it more and actually wear it cause it took f o r e v e r to make!

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    • It’s funny, I tried to learn how to knit a few times and just couldn’t get it. It finally clicked probably the fourth time I tried. I found YouTube videos sooooo helpful– you can rewind them as many times as you need until you get the hang of it!

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  7. What a shame it is itchy as it looks so great. I agree witht he idea of making som every thin long sleeved tees to go under. I am not very god at dealing with frustrations when making clothes. I tend to just wear them with mistakes and all!

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  8. no, it’s beautiful! ruggy just bought me a jacket that fits everywhere except center front— i’m using one of those chain closures so it looks like it was meant to be open. you know what i mean? sort of like a necklace clasp for your waist?

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  9. It’s really too bad your not happy with it. I think it looks great! Hopefully, you can squeeze a bit more size out of it so you’ll want to wear it. As for what I do, I tend not to notice something is wrong until I’m finished so, it gets hung in the closet where I pretend there’s nothing wrong with it…except, I never wear it. I may remake the item but, it’s more likely that I’ll move on to something else.

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  10. Gah how annoying – it looks nice, but I know that feeling of being ‘so so’ about an item, and it does tend to sit neglected in the wardrobe too. As you say, sounds like your gauge goes awray between swatch and garment – annoying!
    I’ve had a couple of so-so knits and I ended up donating them to a charity shop or other people as I never wore them.

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    • I’m sure there are happy people out there wearing your knits who find them to be more “ooh la la!” than “so-so”! 🙂 It’s so nice to give those things a second chance at happiness, so to speak!

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  11. I wish I could knit stuff like that! (someday perhaps) Keep your head up- you have shown so much skill in making this! And isn’t it wonderful that the community gives you all the comments and suggestions? 🙂

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  12. You look too cute ! Surely it can be forced by blocking into fitting ? YOu made such an amazing job, and I think the colour looks great on you 🙂 I think the front clasp sounds like a great idea – make it look like it is supposed to be a little small. xx

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  13. Don’t worry, Ginger, I have the same sewing conundrums. I once cut a project-in-progress I was so fed up with it! That was a one time occurrence and usually, I set the project aside and let the solution come to me subconsciously. Hope your new project turns out and you aren’t disappointed again 🙂

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  14. It’s really, really cute. I understand your frustrations, but it’s cute. Have you considered knitting a matching belt to hold the fronts in a bit better? I was going to do that if I made it.

    It’s an incredibly beautiful and impressive sweater. Congrats!

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    • I thought about that, too (I think the tutorial for that was on Under the Red Umbrella, maybe?). I feel like it’s too far apart– it doesn’t meet in the middle at all, so it might look kinda silly.

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  15. Well, to someone who has yet to try out knitting, I think it looks gorgeous. It looks like you’ve gotten plenty of great suggestions from others about what to do next, so I’ll leave it to them. Enjoy the process, right?

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  16. I’m so sorry this didn’t work out for you, Ginger. This was my first sweater and I like it a lot, but I used the Berocco yarn which blooms like a sunflower in Provence, so I didn’t have the same issue. But I think you did a gorgeous job and I hope you do get some wear out of this guy! Knitting takes FOREVER so it would be a shame if you never got to use this!

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  17. It looks great! I was a knitter long before I started sewing, and somehow lost the patience for it since I started sewing. Maybe try layering it under a long sleeved tee?

    You can also try to stretch it a little when you block it out. Spritz it with water, pin in place, see how it goes?

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  18. i think its a cute sweater! too bad it was too small on you:(
    i have a few projects that i started but then failed, and still sitting on my to-sew pile. i’m not sure what to do with them..so not motivated to pick it up and start all over again!

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  19. I think it looks great, too! I know what you mean about tight armpits, though. So uncomfortable. Mistakes, frustrations? Sometimes I loudly freak out. Sometimes I silently freak out. Sometimes I put it down, breath, sleep, eat! And pick it up in a day or two. Sometimes it sits in a heap for a long, long time. But I usually try to salvage it, and if it isn’t going to work for me in the end, I’ll give it away.

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