I Admit Failure

I procrastinated on seaming Kepler because I had a feeling that it would be rough. Unfortunately I was right. When the armholes are too large for the sleeves, and you have a knitter who doesn’t grasp how to sew set-in sleeves, you know it’s going to be very ugly. There are lots of issues with this sweater, and my guess is that they stem from the main problem of gauge. My gauge was off, and I didn’t do anything to adjust for it. Should have, but didn’t. If my gauge was correct, then perhaps: (1) the shoulders would be the correct width instead of being way too narrow, (2) the sleeves would be the correct width so I wouldn’t have to stretch them out so much, and (3) the sleeve size would have matched the armholes so that there wouldn’t be this awful bunching. And if I knew how to sew in a sleeve, then perhaps the seam line would be straight instead of crooked. Basically I made up my sleeve seaming method as I went along. I definitely need to take a sweater finishing class before I put together any more sweaters. Blocking helped, but blocking can only do so much. Oh, and did I mention that the body and the sleeves are all too long? Bottom line: I need to frog the entire sweater.

Some good things came out of this project, though! I learned how to do the mattress stitch, the three-needle bind off, and make an applied i-cord. As a side note, I referenced Theresa’s excellent tutorial on making applied-cords. I also tried the sloped bind-off at the armholes.

I’m tired of obsessing about Kepler (and you’re probably tired of reading about it!), so as awful as it is, I’ll leave you with a full photo.


Perhaps it’s time to knit another hat.


24 Comments on “I Admit Failure”

  1. Christina says:

    Despite your seaming follies, that sweater looks amazing on you. The color is perfect for the holiday season. Great job!

  2. Cyndi says:

    Are you really going to frog it? I agree with Christina… it looks good on you! The shoulders do look a little narrow, but I think that you could definietly get away with only frogging the sleeve caps and armholes if you must frog.

  3. ruth says:

    it doesn’t look awful at all!! it actually looks REALLY GOOD. i love the color. trust me, it really looks great on you. =)

  4. Angela says:

    Dude, who’s going to look at your armpit? I know you know it’s there, but no one will notice. I think it looks great! Test wear it around some people and see what they say before you decide if you want to frog it. I know we’re all perfectionists in our own rite, but sit on it before you decide to do anything.

  5. Agnes says:

    While there may be problems with the sleeves (I have to trust you since I haven’t seen it in sweater), I think it doesn’t look bad at all. Judging from the photo, it is not “too” long … but that’s very personal. About the seam line, I am thinking how often I would expose the underarm seam line to the public … I wouldn’t be too worried about that!
    I really like the colour … it matches the gloves I am making perfectly!

  6. Mintyfresh says:

    I’m with everyone else–it looks really great on you. The “problems” are negligible and make it something all your own!

  7. Lolly says:

    You are talking about the one in the picture, right? I think it looks great on you! I don’t see any problems at all. I think it is very flattering, and you did a nice job on it! I hope you think twice before frogging the entire thing!

  8. yahaira says:

    I don’t think it looks bad at all in that pic of you. Are you sure you don’t work for IK? Are you trying to trick us? I hope you didn’t frog it yet! Test wear it. Or do the seams and shoulder feel weird? If they do, or if YOU, feel weird about the sweater, then rip the sucker. You can start on your hourglass with me 🙂 and maybe another hat

  9. marichan says:

    I think it looks really good on you! I know how it feels when a sweater doesn’t come out the way you hoped it would, but give it a week and look at it again. I predict that you’ll like it more!

  10. Gracie says:

    So, the picture doesn’t look anything like what you are talking about!! It looks so great! I don’t see any of your mistakes at all!! I would def think about really frogging it.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I have to chime in with everyone else and say that the sweater looks great! I can see the extra length, but I like that. I was thinking of making mine a bit longer as well.

  12. Heather says:

    You are way too hard on yourself, the sweater looks awesome! I also don’t like seaming sweaters and don’t make swatches. But I haven’t made an adult sweater yet, just for the kids which is much more forgiving!

    I can’t imagine how frustruating this has been for you and especially to have it not turn out how you want it too. It takes a long time to knit such a large project and you want it to be something you LOVE! But I really do think it looks good from the pictures.

  13. Diana says:

    I am going to have to agree with the other commenters that this sweater looks great on you! Maybe don’t frog it right away.. set it aside and revisit it when you take that finishing class. I know photos can lie, but I think the full sweater looks lovely 🙂

  14. Marin says:

    Caitlyn, your sweater looks great. You are too hard on yourself. Even though the process didn’t go perfectly, the outcome is wonderful even with it’s “said” imperfections. That’s what makes it unique and handmade. Anyways, I like the length. Don’t frog it just yet…give it some time. Hope to see you at a meetup soon–

  15. Nyasha says:

    Hi Caitlyn!
    I understand about the perfection. It looks perfect to me, but the ultimate test is, if you don’t fix what is bothering you, will you wear it? If the answer is NO then by all means fix it, but if the answer is YES leave it alone. Whatever choice you make, just know we will all be behind you.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I’m with the group here. I think it looks nice and you shouldn’t frog right away. Wear it and ask a trusted friend what he/she thinks. You might be letting your frustrations cloud your vision a bit. That said, if you truly don’t like and will never wear it, frog it and use the beautiful yarn for something else.

  17. Heather says:

    Hmm. it doesn’t look that bad. First off, do you like the sweater enough to try to save it or would you rather frog it? If you want to try to save it then here are my humble suggestions – The neckline looks a little more raglan then set in. Why don’t you go with that. You could keep it that way, cut the neck back a little (or rip it) cut the tops off the top of the arms, pick them up and knit it all together with some raglan decreses. You’d never be able to tell it wasn’t supposed to be that way. As far as the bunching goes, I had to fix that one time and as scary as it sounds I just used my sewing machine and sewed under the armpits to bring it in. If you like you can cut the excess seam allowance, if you don’t like it, rip your sewing stitches and frog the whole thing. It’ll be ok! 🙂

  18. Elli says:

    Maybe you should just find a tall non-knitter type person to give it to for Christmas? Otherwise I fall into the “put it away for a while and see how you like it in a few weeks” camp. But if it isn’t right, it isn’t right. I have to say that you took some pretty flattering pictures of it though!

  19. winnie says:

    HELLO?!? what are you talking about? aside from the shoulders being a little small, i think the rest of the sweater looks great on you. Maybe add some short rows to lengthen the shoulder? Of course that would involve ripping some seams.. just give it a few days before you decide anything drastic k? When in doubt, let it simmer for a little bit and I’m sure you’ll come up with the best solution for you.

  20. Lori says:

    Hey Caitlyn~

    It looks GREAT!

    LOVE the cable work.

    Keep it the way it is. 🙂

    Take care,


  21. Purly Whites says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry you aren’t happy with it. I don’t think it looks bad, but if you don’t like it, rip it. I’ve ripped out too many sweaters that have been finished, blocked and seamed too even count, so I know how sad it is. But it’s always been for the best for me.

  22. i love the cable work in this project! very pretty! i see what your saying about the sholders….. i agree with heather on this one… rip out the neck line and make it ragalan instead of set in sleeves… this one it too pretty not to wear! good job caitlyn 😉

  23. V Knits says:

    I love the color you chose and the cables on the cuffs and bottom hem. I think it looks great, but you probably know your piece the best. If you don’t think you’ll ever wear it do what you have to do to fix it. It might suck but it’ll totally be worth it!

  24. Holly says:

    I just started this sweater. I’m not a novice knitter but I’ve alway knit easy things so I guess I could be considered a novice knitter since I’ve never been to willing to travel outside of my comfort level. Anyhow, I’m wondering what problems I will encounter while knitting this sweater. I am guessing that your dissatisfaction with the sweater stems from the fact that it doesn’t fit you like the one on the instructions fits the designer. Just because that is different, doesn’t mean it’s bad. It could very well have been designed to turn out to fit like the one you made. I think it looks awesome! Good job!