I'd been dreaming of making a cardigan out of some alpaca yarn I purchased during a trip into the city a while ago. I liked the combination of the colours together, but somehow, it just wasn't coming together.
I played around with a bunch of ideas, and eventually decided that I needed to throw another colour into the mix. After a day playing with the dyepots over at Tara's house, I had a perfect lime green skein of yarn to work with. I made a gauge swatch, did a few calculations, and cast on for my cardigan.
I started playing with the colours, adding them in one at a time with a chevron lace stitch. I strategically placed the colours so that they would hit my torso in a flattering way... and it seemed to be working out. I got near the bottom edge and then took out the measuring tape and...
It was too small. Not terribly small, just... snug. I messed up on my gauge somehow. I left it on the couch while I pondered. Rascal added his opinion.
I carried on bravely, contemplating how I was going to make this thing fit. I was going to add a button band to it anyway, but instead of using just one colour as I planned, I decided to use three and make it a touch wider. That sort of solved the girth issue. At least the thing wouldn't look like I'd raided the kids' section at the department store.
After I took it off the needles and tried it on, it looked a little too short. I pondered for a while and then decided that I would hope that the very nature of the alpaca yarn would sort it out for me. It has a tendency to grow when washed, and even though my gauge swatch (which I always wash) didn't really show much growth, I would block the crap out of it and hope that it would take.
The sun is sort of ruining this shot, but you can see how I treated it like a lace shawl on the blocking boards.
The yarn saved me this time, but I think I'll plan for a little more room all around for the next one. This experience was a little too nerve-wracking for my liking. If your brain is going to sabotage you, it's best to put in a few safeguards, like a little more common sense and a little less hoping for miracles.
Who am I kidding? Every project of mine needs a little miracle-magic. It's the only way stuff gets finished around here.