It used to be that I would cast on for a project, work it through, like it or dislike it and move on but, these days,Β  it seems no matter what I’m working on I will have to do it more than once. It’s not a question of getting it “perfect” just of getting it “right”.

Such is the case with my “Sylvine”. I cast on for this the other day with Rowan’s “creative focus worsted” in hot pink. I got about three inches past the armhole, tried it on and decided the cardigan needed to be made smaller or my bust needed to be made larger. Time, money and surgery being what they are I decided to pull the sweater out and redo it in a size down (medium) and in a different yarn.

The designer states this sweater is intended to be fitted but I doubted her. I felt that “fitted” would just accentuate my non-bust curves. My mistake. The lace pattern doesn’t stretch out enough when it’s loose and ends up looking frowsy and sad. Can I get a “rippit”?

I have now cast-on a new Sylvine, a size medium in the old purple “Princess” yarn (previously the ill-fated “Blake” cardi) that has been teasing me for the last two months. This is the second incarnation for this yarn (which I love, BTW) and my second time with the “Sylvaine” pattern (which I’m also pretty much in love with). So I’m hopeful, if not all out confident, that this will work.

That beautiful Rowan yarn, the hot pink stuff I can’t get enough of, has now been started in three different patterns. First was “Rhinia“, the pattern for which the yarn was purchased, then “Sylvaine” (see above) with slightly better success. After much experimentation, I’ve come to the conclusion that this yarn looks better with lace than with cables and it wants to be a pullover not a cardigan. It has now been cast on for “Falling Feathers” by Joanne Scrace. This is a basic, raglan, top-down sweater with some delightful lace details along the raglan lines. So far so good but since this is my first go at this pattern, I’m only cautiously optimistic.

I have other yarns in my stash that have been knit and frogged many times, just waiting for the perfect pattern to bring out their particular beauty. While I sometimes find this system frustrating I think I’m generally happier with my knitting for taking the time to do it and redo it as often as necessary. I just have to remind myself once in a while that knitting “is a journey not a destination”


  1. So glad I saw this…for 3 reasons.

    First I am really glad I am not the only one who knits a pattern more than once – not intentionally, but to get details worked out! Feel a little more normal now. πŸ˜‰

    Second I like the fact that you are letting the yarn decide what it wants to be. I have a project I have been trying to force and think it might be time to frog and let that Habu N-80 have a new lease on life. I love the pattern it is currently in and I love the yarn, but together they are just – meh. You’ve inspired me to be bold.

    Third I love a good chevron and hadn’t seen Sylvine yet! Looking forward to your rendition in purple.

    • I read about “listening to your yarn” in Maggie Righetti’s “Knitting in plain English”. I try to remember this but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes I only “hear” what the yarn is saying after I’ve tried to force it into something. I swear, these days, everything I knit gets done at least twice! Thank god I’m not alone!

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