This week, I cast on for the Whisper Cardigan. After at least eight hours of knitting time, this is all I have:
The reason why I only have so much is that I must have cast on about six times.
It's been a long time since I cast on so many times for one project. But here's the thing: I want to wear this cardigan to the rehearsal dinner for my wedding in June, precisely three months from the day I cast on. I want it to be perfect.
(Remember my "knitzilla" theory?)
First I cast on with a backwards loop cast on, because I intended to work a hemmed edge to reduce curl. Then I observed my swatch and saw that it wasn't really curling, and besides, a hemmed edge would increase the thickness in what is supposed to be a whisper-thin cardigan. Hence the name.
I did a cabled cast-on. I bungled the number of stitches.
I did another cabled cast-on, and somehow twisted things up so that there was a big bump on the edge. Plus, given that I'm subbing a cotton/silk blend* for the laceweight merino yarn, I decided I should cast on a couple fewer stitches than the pattern says.
And so on.
Normally, I'm the kind of knitter who just says, "To heck with it, let's roll" to a lot of mistakes. But this cardigan must be perfect. I want it to represent everything that is good about my knitting.
Moreover, you know that pleasure you get from knitting a gift for someone? You spend the whole time thinking positive thoughts about them, which feels good. In this case, even though I'll be the one wearing it, I'm thinking about my fella, and I want it to be just right for him.
(Cue the awwwwws.)
But after the sixth cast-on, I figured something out. I hope it's not too much of a stretch (because I can't stick the cotton/silk blend in the dryer to put it back into shape), but knitting this cardigan is like a good relationship. You try your hardest, and there is lots of starting over. Ultimately, you decide to accept the imperfections as best you can and love the entire product for what it is.
That is, unless you eff up the decreases on row 31. Dang it!
* I'm using Bristol Yarn Gallery Lyndon Hill. It's a little thicker than what's called for, and the cotton/silk content is making me knit it at a tighter gauge than the pattern says so that I can account for the droop.
Yet, as in any long-term relationship... can you really account for the inevitable droop?