Waaaaay back (at the end of July) I started a vest for my future BIL. It was to be his wedding present. I had plenty of time to finish it before the wedding, but I needed something simple to knit during a conference and the Subtle Stripe seemed like just the ticket. I managed to finish the body in just 3 days. I don’t remember much about that part, because my mind was on the conference. That can be the downside of conference projects.
After that week the vest lived in a bag while I worked on other projects. I brought it, and the shawl I wanted to wear to the wedding, with me to knit-camp. I knit the tidy, twisted rib collar on the vest but spent most of the weekend knitting my shawl. Sunday morning I was digging in my project bag for something else when up popped a pair of beady little eyes. It had been cold the night before and a mouse MADE ITS NEST in the vest. I may have screamed a little.* Luckily it had peed at the bottom of the bag and not onto any of my projects. But when I tried to scare it away it ducked further into my bag. Stupid mouse clearly had good taste in homes. The worst part is that it had nested right in the collar of the vest. My neat columns of twisted stitches were scruffed beyond the point of recognition and I had to rip. them. out. I couldn’t bear to re-knit it right then, so back into the bag it went.
I finally got around to re-knitting the collar and the matching armscye trim a month later. Since the vest is knit in the round and the shoulders are grafted closed there’s very little finishing other then weaving in the ends! I blocked the vest and gazed happily at it. I was finished with a month and a half to spare. Neil looked at it and commented that it looked a little …odd. Maybe too short? I made him try it on. Seeing it on a human I realized that while the length of the body was fine, I’d knit the shoulders several inches too short. I don’t think this is the pattern; I’m quite sure it’s me. Remember how I knit the body in just 3 days? And how I wasn’t paying much attention? It also didn’t occur to me that finishing with 275 yards of extra yarn might be an indication of a slight problem.
But the bigger problem was that now I need to rip out the collar AGAIN. And the matching trim around the arms. And un-pick the kitcher stitches at the shoulders. And rip back the neck shaping on the back. Just so I could add a few extra inches to each portion and re-knit all the trim. I was so exasperated I ignored the vest some more. The problem with my ignoring tactic is probably obvious: the project doesn’t get finished.
So here I am, just 2 days before the wedding, and it’s not done yet. I have finished the shoulders and grafted them shut, I just need to finish the trim, again. I will finish tonight so that I can get the shoulders blocking. I think it’ll have to be just a steam blocking at this point. So that’s what I’ll be doing tonight, along with finishing the hem on my dress. I’m going to leave hemming the cuffs of Neil’s pants for the car ride down. Hand sewing can be done anywhere in a way that blocking simply can’t.
*not that I’m afraid of mice, just that I don’t like them in my fiber.