It is an ok looking sweater, a little shorter than I wanted and the fronts were a little wider than I really needed but it looked reasonable. Not great enough to really really enjoy wearing, but decent enough not to want to rip back. It was merely OK. Except for one fundamental thing.
A woman of a certain age, should never ever, ever, no matter how much she likes the look, knit herself a sweater with a shawl collar. You can take a shawl off if you get too warm, but unless you take the whole sweater off, you are stuck with the shawl collar. The shawl collar was unbearable even in the very cold office I was working in when I knitted it.
For months, the plan has been to re-invent this sweater. Now that I have time on my hands where I am severely limiting my sock knitting hours, I decided to pull it back. I pulled off the collar at home and was planning to surgically remove the upper part of the sweater for re-knitting to fix the width before doing a narrower simpler button band.
I left the body intact so I had something to do instead of knitting at Knitting last night. I was chatting about the fit problem and FrazzeledKnitter asked how I planned to close the sweater. I had not quite decided but knew it had to be narrow because without the band, the sweater was almost perfect. 4 stitches, an inch, off either sweater front was all that was between me and a perfect fitting front.
And then she said, 'why not put in a zipper?'
It took me a second to process what she said. I had such a complete picture of this sweater in my head from the start. Wide collar, short sleeves, silvery buttons. It was finished in my head before I started knitting it. I never really formed a picture of what it would be without the shawl collar. I just knew it had to change because the collar was too darn warm.
The idea was brilliant. It solves both the closure problem and the width problem in one fell swoop and it means I don't have to re-knit half of my sweater. It means the collar yarn and the 3 leftover balls can go to the bottom to make it the perfect length. Or I can add the 3 balls to the bottom and use the collar yarn to make the sleeves just the tiniest bit longer so that the ribbing doesn't flip up as easily.
I can turn back the excess width and use it to create a nice finished edge and facing fabric for zipper installation. I could even steek off some of the width if I wanted too and then install the zipper!
My eyes have been opened and all of a sudden. There it sits. A vision of what this sweater will be right there in front of my eyes.
That is the thing about the way we think isn't it? That sometimes we (meaning me) can be stuck in a rut on one path, that our imagination fails to see what is sitting right there before our eyes.
And that is why I go to Knitting Groups. It helps me to see the world with more open eyes.
Speaking of worlds and open eyes, if you are praying people, you can certainly pray for Ukraine and we would be glad of it. But because they really need more than praying people, please also contact your local MP, your senator, your whoever in your federal level of government and advocate that the western world do more than we are right now, and put pressure in the right places.
I worry for them. And for us.