Leaped up from my chair, gyrated in place, clutching this garment, probably startling several ladies who think of me as less demonstrative than I was currently demonstrating. The sweater became a minor miracle for several reasons. One, it is truly and finally done. Two, my fears of transmogrification into a tunic were only partly realized. Three, the guy looks GOOD in it. The part that is about him is not the minor miracle; that comes from the fact that it really doesn't look like a first sweater unless I start blabbing about this spot that I jiggered, and that spot that had to be......never mind. I'm finally wise enough to not go there.
It is a Yankee Knitter English rib pattern that I insisted in knitting in alpaca. It was a long learning experience. I take away many things beyond the obvious shapings, increases, decreases and seaming.
-Don't follow patterns to the letter. They don't always know better than I do. Unfortunately, this is something like trying to modify a recipe you have never prepared before. You don't know the places you can jigger until you have had more experience!
-Crew necks need more preparation in order to look perfect. This one doesn't. Someone's blog pointed me to an on-line knitting tutorial that goes into finishing the front so that picking up the stitches doesn't leave areas that are impossible to make pretty.
-This husband is a wonderful recipient. Couldn't get the sweater off his back for two days. He made all the correct appreciative noises. He will get more sweaters.
I have read the blog bashings that dissected scarf knitters vs sweater knitters. I would defend scarf knitters to any extreme, because I still passionately believe in process over product. However:
Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good
we oft might win by
fearing to attempt.