Dear Fee – an open letter to my sister

Dear Fee

I made a cardigan for you. Then I ripped it out.

I’m sorry, but I had to. You see, it was crap. I hope you’ll understand. After all, we’ve known each since you were born and I’ve tried to do the right thing by you as much as possible, like when I snuck you into concerts for over 18s or got your ears pierced without asking mum when you were eleven. Remember? I’ve done good things for you!

I was touched when you said you wanted me to make a cardigan for you and that you even knew which one you wanted. You’ve long admired my version of the Chevron Lace Cardigan. It looks, as you know, like this.

Chevron Lace Cardigan Side

You said you wanted black and I obliged. The fact that the Luxury from Bendigo Woollen Mills sat in my cupboard for several months shouldn’t suggest a lack of interest on my part. I’m just a very busy knitter! And your daughter does take up a lot of my knitting related time!

But eventually I got started and things went well. It’s crocheted from the top down and I kept needing to check the arm hole depth on you and each time I did, it wasn’t right, so I waited til the next time I saw you and soon a month had passed.

After a while, I got my butt into gear and began to work seriously on it. Before too long, the body was mostly done. I enjoyed it and found it as easy. I even managed to do the last parts of the body that night we laughed ourselves stupid at the Bill Bailey show. We tried it on you at the pub and I swear it worked. I swear it looked fine and you didn’t say a thing about it feeling weird or not right. So I finished it on the weekend and got on with Alice’s cardigan while it was drying in the winter sun by the back glass door. It was done and I was happy.

But it wasn’t done. It was rubbish. I tried it on once the band was finished and I was mortified. The arm holes were too low and the band was a lumpy, shoddy piece of work. Even Sean looked and said he wasn’t sure it was right.

All that inky black crochet was wasted.

I ripped it out. And I didn’t cry. Against the advice of my brains trust, RoseRed and Drk, I set about working on it right away last night. They said I should work on something for me that night but I thought, no, the horse must be ridden right away. The longer this thing sits around, the more I’ll resent it and as discussed in the post about knitting for Alice, I know it’s important to remember why I’m making something and who it’s for. That, and I’m impatient to get on with something new!

So I’m just asking you to be a little more patient. I’ll have your cardigan for you soon. I think I got the armholes right this time and it’s moments like these I’m really glad of two things. Canberra’s winter isn’t over, and crochet is a lot faster than knitting.

Love Bells


18 thoughts on “Dear Fee – an open letter to my sister

  1. Pingback: Chevron Lace Cardigan – finally « Bellsknits

  2. I’m sure she’ll understand!

    There’s no point persisting it if it’s not going to work, so I think you did the right thing, as painful as it is to rip out a whole garment. And like you said, crocheting’s relatively quick!

  3. I think you did the right thing – hard as it was – it would always annoy you when you saw it.

    As you say crochet is quick before you know it – it will be finished

  4. Oh, my gosh! When I first started reading this I misunderstood and thought you were writing to Alice! (I think because in your prior post you were discussing the sweater you were making for her.) And I thought, oh, no – she frogged the whole thing? And what? She pierced her ears? Oh, my gosh, I was picturing all this heck being wreaked down there… Phew.

  5. Well you’re a better knitter than me. I would have thrown it in the naughty corner and played with some wollmeise instead. Good for you, and I’m glad to hear its working out.

  6. Oh poor you Bells – I’m glad you’re so philosophical about it – just like those little sleeves. It’s interesting to observe how we relate to what we’re knitting and how we can change the feeling. As in knitting… 🙂

  7. I’ve learned from you to rip it out and have another go. So you’re true to your modeling, Bells. And you are a fabulous sister. I just hope my girls didn’t do quite as many favors for their younger sisters in their younger years. ;^)

  8. What a pain in the backside! Did something weird happen to it with the blocking or just in the making? Either way I can’t see how your sister can possibly mind after such a cute letter (and after all the many things you’ve made for her daughter!)

  9. oh, how disappointing! to have finished it too … still it will be satisfying when you finish it again and it is perfect. you’re right, it’s always good to get back on the horse straight after a fall, before you have a chance to falter! hats off to you!

  10. It is a great pattern and will look great in black (I’m quite tempted to make one for myself!!). And I’m sure Fee will understand – much better to have a well-fitting cardi that will be worn than the reverse!

    And yes, crochet is so much quicker – what a relief!

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