I have this ribby cardi that I made with Bernat Lana. I love it.
However, when I made it, I decided to use snaps. And, seeing as how I like to make things REALLY difficult for myself, I used snaps that were WAY too big and WAY too tough to open/close. This caused a lot of wear on the button bands and I didn't like the way it looked.
(This was the third attempt at installing a closing mechanism for this particular sweater. For more on the fiasco, you can see my post on craftster about it here)
So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to re-work the button bands to accomodate, well, buttons. I picked out the stitching for the backs of the snap bands (I had sewn the button band back over the backs of the snaps, aren't I clever? Don't I make more and more unnecessary work for myself?). Then came the hard part. Not physically, it was easy to do, but mentally and emotionally. I needed to CUT the bands because the snaps were impossible to remove. It is difficult to cut into a sweater that you worked on (and on and on and on) but it was necessary. I wanted a better, stronger, faster... sorry. got carried away.
So I cut. The first side came away with no difficulties. I had a nice, clean selvedge edge. The second side however:
Somehow I managed to (you may want to sit down for this) cut into the sweater itself. Not just the button band. I don't know how I did it. I spent a significant chunk of time after I discovered this just staring at the sweater, thinking maybe I could just will it back into wholeness. I contemplated the lost art of turning-back-time (could you imagine? I would so love to be able to turn back time. So many moments I'd like to have back and have a chance to do over). I used some, er, colorful language. I tried to see if I could smooth it out with my hands.
**I know that last one sounds like an exaggeration. I have been known to do that from time to time. Sadly, it is not. I really did try to see if I could just smooth out the cut bits and move on.
In the end, I fired up the sewing machine and sewed down the first column of stitches that wasn't damaged and mirrored it on the other side. I then used this column as my selvedge edge and picked up stitches down it for the button band. I worked the button bands all the way up the collar too, When I first made the sweater I hadn't done that, but I like the way it looks now.
So, happily, it is all okay now. I like the way the button bands lie (lay? for all my grammar-policing I can't believe that I get this one mixed up.)
I would so love to tell you that Ribby Cardi and I are living happily ever after, but I must confess further abuse.
(If you didn't sit down before when I told you about the cutting, you will want to do so now)
Last weekend, I was throwing clothes in my laundry basket to make the long trek to the laundry room (okay, fine, it's not a long trek. It's just out my apartment door and down 4 steps. I'm trying to make you feel sorry for me). I loaded the machine, not really thinking about the fact that I was throwing in a 100% merino wool sweater. I just didn't think at all.
I thought about it in the middle of the wash cycle, but pacified myself with the thought that I had run a cold water wash cycle and it would be okay. Cold water isn't bad for wool sweaters, is it? nah, couldn't be.
Turns out cold water wash in the machine CAN felt a 100% merino wool sweater. Not felted to the point where every fiber is locked together, but felted to the point where it shrunk and the fabric of the sweater feels somewhat felted. The stitches are still defined, but it feels different. It took a lot of pulling to get it back into a wearable size (whew) and I think it will be okay in the end.
(I was going to put up a pic of the sweater post-machine-abuse but it doesn't look that much different in the pics. a grey sweater is a grey sweater...)
I'm just a little concerned that the yarn equivalent of children's services will pay me a suprise visit and see the sweater and take it and all wool-related yarn away from me. I'm trying to be a good yarn owner. Honest.