It's been a good weekend for facing facts. Yes, we are going to have to do some gutter repairs after the Blizzard of 2010. Yes, the shed is a goner due to the weight of the snow. Sometimes, as fascinating as a class is, you know that due to circumstances beyond your control (see the aforementioned blizzard), you may be too far behind to ever catch up. As much as you'd like to, you're not going to lose any weight before that trip you're planning. And then there's the knitting.
You know that moment in the Olympic downhill skiing where the Olympic hopeful becomes a giant snowball with head, arms, and ski tips sticking out? That would be what happened with my Olympic knitting this year.
It started out well enough.
I had the pattern, the yarn, the needles, and the recipient lined up.
I signed up for Stephanie's Olympics and cast on while watching the Opening Ceremony. I figured out how many inches I'd have to knit each day, and started the sleeves as my travel knitting.
Here we are a week later, and I'm taking stock. I've discovered mistakes along the way, but they were nothing I couldn't live with as, ahem, design elements. No, the snowball moment came when I measured the sleeve length to find out how much I had to go to reach the proper length after finishing the increases. Uh-oh. A negative number. Really?
Yes, really. A quick check of gauge revealed that despite knitting with the yarn called for on the needles called for, I was completely off gauge. I'm not anti-swatching. I've swatched a recent project to a fair-thee-well, because I'm messing with the pattern, yarn, and needles. But I wasn't modifying this pattern in any way, so I didn't swatch.
You can't show me many Olympic champions who haven't done the proper training.
Now I could finish this sweater in a week. But it wouldn't fit the recipient. And that would be a pretty hollow victory. So my friends, avert your eyes as I frog this pretty thing back to its constituent skeins, and begin again, two entire needles sizes down from those called for.
Because the point is to make a pretty sweater for my daughter, not win a race.