Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Knitting Fail: The Bridge Jumper

Friends, sometimes I get overly ambitious.  Sometimes, I like to imagine myself strutting around in color-work sweaters and feeling oh-so-cozy until the warm weather returns to my part of the world.  Sometimes, I fail spectacularly.  

Way back in the autumn of last year, I persuaded Michelle and Liz to join me in Knitting for Victory.  The Bridge Jumper was in my queue, and I could see myself making it with a black background and white and red hearts/clubs/diamonds/spades. In my mind, it was going to be something amazing. Something like these:

I had even planned to make a cardigan version with Michelle and try my hand at steeking, because why not? I'm trying to challenge myself with every sweater I make, and this would have incorporated multiple colors for stranding, as well as steeking, and even grading up a vintage pattern.  Like I said, sometimes I am overly ambitious.

This is what my sweater turned out like:

I haven't even had the heart to frog it completely.  What you see here took me DAYS to accomplish.  At one point, I was having a bit of a panic attack and asked Josh to time me while I did one row.  Once an hour had passed and I'd only gone halfway around, I knew I was in trouble.  

My issues came from the yarn.  I should have held out to find the perfect black wool fingering weight for my main color, but I didn't - I got desperate in my search after going to three yarn stores in Chicago and finding nothing in that weight or color.  Finally, I settled on Cascade superwash.  Now, I'm sure under normal circumstances, the white, red, and black superwash yarns are very lovely.  However, the combination of these, as well as the fact that the white was thinner than the others, soon left me in tears.  

It was a bitter disappointment.  I had planned outfits with this cardigan (the Annie Savoy skirt, my red McCall's blouse), and wanted to join the other girls in making theirs and the photo shoot.  Eventually, I had to get over it, finish my Christmas gifts, and move onto the Vitamin D.  The yarn still haunts me though, and Liz and Michelle still tease me about leaving them hanging with this monster of a sweater.

When they said they were going to be shooting the sweater over Memorial Day weekend, I was bummed that I couldn't join in.  The night before our gathering, Liz cryptically texted me to bring a black cardigan with me, which I guessed was to emphasize my shame of having not finished the sweater.

I was so, so wrong :)

The fabulous Liz cut out all the color-work designs in felt and pinned them to my cardigan when I was outside.  When she suddenly appeared, I completely howled with laughter - I got to be included in the photos after all!!

These girls are my favorite.  I love knitting with them, even when I've persuaded them to do a project that I can't finish.  Eventually they will forgive me for all the madness this pattern put them through, and I have agreed to shelve my project suggestions for a year to make up for it :)

I will say that I think both of their sweaters turned out beautifully, in spite of all the major issues that were had.  Liz's red background is so vibrant and fun, and the fit is magnificent...

and I aspire to be as wonderful in color-work as Michelle someday, and learn the art of steeking from her in the near future.  

In the meantime, though, I'll continue plotting out my own Bridge Jumper, which I will probably make in the next year with a thicker yarn (and a thicker skin!).



  1. I loooove how yours turned out Meg - such pops of color against the black background. *hugs & giggles*

  2. That's what friends are for ;o) sorry your hard work didn't pay off this time but it looks like much fun was had xx

  3. That looks like a nightmare of a project. So you didn't finish the sweater but you still have your mental health :)

  4. Hahaha - this is awesome! :) Friends are the best!

  5. If it makes you feel better you got much farther than I ever would! I'm impressed by the ribbing alone. I stink at knitting. I think Liz is on to something and you should totally sew those shapes onto the cardigan - that was really sweet of her!

  6. Ugh, colourwork! It's not something that I want to tackle but I envy you trying!

  7. I'm so glad I got to see all this go down in person.

  8. Looks awesome! I wish I had real life friends who knit so we could do a bunch of knit alongs together. You're living the dream!