So I got to feeling a little guilty about the Retro Ribby Shrug. You know, what with the cheating and all. And I got out my darning needle and scissors and began sewing it up. I sewed the sides, and the shoulders, and set in one sleeve, and even sewed up the sleeve seam. I started setting in the second sleeve, and then I went off to the wedding and left it behind, figuring I only had a few minutes work left to do. I had some weird dreams while I was gone. I kept dreaming that I had done Something Wrong on the sewing. Which is weird, even for me. I don't usually dream about knitting. Well, I do, actually (although I try not to talk about it, at least among the Muggles), but I don't usually dream about finishing. It's not that exciting. This time, though, I had two distinct dreams warning me that there was Something Wrong with the finishing of the RRS. I put it down to simple exhaustion, after running all day and staying up with the bride until midnight, getting very little sleep before I was up at dawn to hose down the bride again and keep her within reasonable bounds of hysteria.
When I arrived home Sunday night, I was too tired to even consider finishing the few minutes of work I had left. It wasn't until Monday afternoon that I picked it up again. I finished setting in the sleeve and began making my way down the sleeve seam when it hit me, forcefully, that there was indeed Something Wrong. My shrug did not look at all the way I remembered the picture looking. It looked...different. Square. Slowly it dawned on me that the shrug in the picture was decidedly not square. I pulled out the book, and after a few hard looks back and forth, I concluded that I had, indeed, screwed it all up. I had sewn the fronts on completely wrong. Absolutely.
I began picking out the right side seam stitches, grateful, at least, that I could salvage the sleeve sewing and wouldn't have to set them back in. I finished picking out the side seam I was working and watched in horror as the right sleeve...fell off. Yes, I had picked out the wrong seam by mistake. I took a deep breath and decided to start over on the left side while I regrouped. Do I even need to tell you that the left sleeve suffered the same fate? Cursing quietly as I examined my new "vest", I decided my plan was doomed and that a complete reboot was necessary. I carefully picked out all the remaining seams and started again with all the pieces.
I sewed the right side, the left side, set in the right sleeve and sewed the sleeve seam, set in the left sleeve and began to sew the left sleeve seam. I held up the shrug. It looked a lot like the picture. Emboldened by my apparent--long-delayed--success, I headed for the bathroom mirror to try it on.
I have knitted a freak of nature.
It doesn't fit me. I don't think it would fit anyone. There seems to be an unusual amount of fabric gathered at the front of each sleeve. Sort of a puffed sleeve look, with the puff unaccountably shifted to the front. I don't think it's my sewing. I don't think it's my knitting. The measurements are all correct. I followed the finishing directions. And yet...there is most definitely Something Still Wrong.
I was momentarily tempted to soldier on and assume it would all come out in the blocking, but even a moment's rational reflection convinced me that this is not the case. There isn't enough blocking in the world to fix this. And I'm at a bit of a loss for any other solution, short of re-knitting the whole thing. And truthfully, I'm not even sure how that would help, since my pieces all match the pattern measurements perfectly. Clearly I have missed something important--some detail that would make all the difference in the finished product. But I'm afraid I lack sufficient interest at this point even to attempt to figure out what that might be.
Into every knitter's life, an occasional accursed project must fall. That is what the back of the yarn closet is for.