Knitting Fail: The Lauriel Cardigan

5 Feb

It was only a matter of time before I knitted something that was completely unwearable. And here it is. Woof. I’m actually surprised it took me this long to get to that point – this is my sixth sweater, ffs!

Lauriel fail
This is the Lauriel pattern by Ysolda Teague. I fell in love with the pattern after lurking Tasia’s golden version. I used Cascade 220 sport (the color in these photos is definitely off; the swatch picture on my Ravelry page is much closer to the true color) and even bought me some of them fancy flexi-cable bamboo needles. I learned two new techniques for this sweater – a super stretchy bind off (my bind offs are always soo tight, no matter how much I go up in needle size. This method is awesome!) and Magic Loop for knitting the sleeves. I actually really enjoyed knitting it, although knitting the button bands almost broke my brain. I have no idea why the instructions were so bad for that part, but they were TERRIBLE. I spent about 3 hours on just one of the bands – I know this because I watched 4 episodes of Breaking Bad during the harrowing process.

Lauriel fail
So what’s the problem? Well, it’s too fucking big! I mean – holy shit, look at that sleeve length! I can’t cuff the sleeves back. I mean, I could, but there is a lace detail right above the cuffs and it would suck to cover that. Actually, the sleeves are the least of my problem. The entire thing is just huge huge huge. It swallows me, I look like a kid playing dress-up in her mom’s clothes. I know it looks semi-ok in these pictures, but trust me on this. This sweater is way too big, and I can’t wear it.

Lauriel fail
So where did I go wrong? I knit it correctly as indicated by the pattern – knitted my little gauge swatch (actually, I knit 3, just so we’re clear here), properly blocked it, checked my gauge frequently as I knit. So my knitting itself isn’t the error.

First of all, I admit that I knit the wrong size. The pattern has you knit by your underbust measurement, so I went with the 30″ since that’s what I measured at. Unfortunately, I must have measured wrong because I was checking that shit the other day and my underbust is actually closer to 28″. FACK. Even then, this thing is too huge.

I also suspect that this pattern simply runs big. Go look at Tasia’s sweater and notice that she said the sweater ended up very loose? Uh huh. Shoulda heeded her advice right there. I’ve actually now discovered, upon actually researching, that a lot of people have reported the thing problem – specifically in the bust/shoulders area. Which, yeah, that’s exactly the issue with mine. The shoulders droop down past my shoulders, the underarms are at least a couple of inches below mine, and the bust just swallows me.

Lauriel fail
Here I am pointing my finger at where my actual underarm is. Look at how low the sweater goes! The arms are huuuge on me – and I don’t have pencil thin arms, y’all!

Lauriel fail
The back is really a shining example of this sweater being too big.

Lauriel fail

Lauriel fail

Lauriel fail
Just for the record, this is how it is *supposed* to fit. I originally thought I might be able to just whip up the side seams with a backstitch, but the underarms are so low that I can’t do that. Wah.

Anyway, the knitting itself is really pretty:
Lauriel fail

Lauriel fail
(fuck that button band, forreal tho)

Lauriel fail

So yeah. I’m pretty bummed – I spent a little over 2 months knitting this (not to mention the money I spent on the yarn, pattern, and new needles) and I just can’t wear it. That’s the sucky part about knitting – you never really know the full extent to the fit until it’s finished and blocked. I’m afraid I can’t salvage this one.

That being said, I don’t regret knitting it. It was a fun pattern to work with, and I learned some fun new techniques. I am considering selling it for , I dunno like $50, just to recoup my costs. Anyone interested? The bust is 35″, waist is 31″ (with lots of stretch) and the length from shoulder to hem is 20″. The sleeves are also 20″ (underarm to end of cuff). I didn’t bother to sew the buttons or snaps on as I’m kind of over this sweater; I’m sure y’all understand. It has been finished and blocked, though. The sweater has found a new home! Thank you everyone for your interest 🙂

Lauriel fail
Sooo… what have you failed at lately? Let’s commiserate!

105 Responses to “Knitting Fail: The Lauriel Cardigan”

  1. Andi February 5, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Sure, it’s too bif, but the great thing about knitting is you can frog and knit something else! Or, you know, the same sweater again in the right size. Despite the size you did an excellent job!

    • Andi February 5, 2013 at 11:32 am #

      Er, that’s supposed to read too big…

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      I considered it, but I don’t think I’ll ever get over the trauma to knit this sweater again. And the thought of frogging aaaaall that work makes me want to cry!

      • Eleanor (undeadgoat) February 5, 2013 at 11:39 am #

        Well (1) no one will ever buy it from you and (2) what kind of world would it be if every fit model used by every sewing pattern designer, knitting designer and RTW designer fit you, Lauren, with no modifications? Like fucking nothing ever fits me but I’m almost done with a Lauriel that looks like it’s going to be exactly perfect for my wide-ass shoulders that never fit RTW ever.

        Anyways you’re much more likely to get someone to offer you money for the yarn than the finished sweater FYI.

        • tinygoldenpins February 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

          Hmmm. I don’t know. Some people might want a sweater knit by the fabulous Lauren. I would buy it , but it would be too small for me. I think it looks fine on you, but I understand that you don’t care for big sweaters. It is SUCH A DRAG when a sweater doesn’t work out. There’s just too much work for it not to.

          • Amy February 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

            I actually want the sweater! I’ve seen other people knit it and I love it, but I have no patience for knitting.

            • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

              Take it! Please! Ha it’s not doing me any good here 🙂

        • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

          Someone sounds mad.

          • Molly February 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

            lol, I think that might be the first bitch comment I have ever read on a sewing blog!

            Oh PS, your fail stories have made me want to start a tab at the top of my blog to recount all my “epic fails”- I was looking at them after your last post and laughing at my own poor taste/stupidity for waaayy too long! Fun fun!

            • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

              haha right? I’ve never had someone be quite that mean in the comments before. I must’ve hit a nerve somewhere!

              And yessss to sharing fail stories! It sucks to have a fail, but sometimes it feels good to just make fun of it and move on. Well, for me at least :B

              • Becky February 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

                I thought that person must be a friend of yours and was kidding. I thought it was a joke, because why would your post anger someone.

          • theknittingarchaeologist February 7, 2013 at 8:40 am #

            Someone sounds jealous.

            Moving right along… It is a bit of a yikes, but if you’re willing to send it to someone, you could make it a giveaway. I’m sure the workmanship is fab, though the sizing and arms are a bit large. You do great work on everything you make! Also, are those THE jeans? I swear, I’m becoming a bit obsessed with them over here… :/

            • LLADYBIRD February 7, 2013 at 8:58 am #

              Oh yeah, anytime you see me wearing jeans, they’re I+W. It’s the only pair I own now 🙂

        • Hey Asia! (@twittysuch) February 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

          y u mad tho

    • KristiEllKay February 5, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      This is exactly what I was gonna say. The sucky thing about knitting is you can’t really know until you’re done (or at least well into a garment) if it’ll fit. The best thing about knitting is if the whole thing sucks you just frog it and have all that yarn to work with again! I’d say you’re doing way better than me if you aren’t pissed about knitting it in the first place and wanting to set it on fire. You came out ahead! =D

      • rachel February 5, 2013 at 11:57 am #

        I have to say, once I got a dressform, my knitting fails decreased to almost zero. It’s hard to try on knitting as you go, but being able to see it on a form makes a HUGE difference. They are expensive but what’s more important? Your time or $200?? And you can find them on sale and second hand.

        • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

          I have a dressform, but it is actually too big for me in the back/ribcage (it was the smallest one they had), so it doesn’t do me much good except to hang clothes off of when I don’t want my cat using them to nap 😛

      • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

        I’ll frog it as a last resort, but I’d much rather see someone wear it after all that work I put into it. I may give it to my mom, assuming it fits her anyway haha

  2. Maggie February 5, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    That sucks! So much time and energy gone. I recently finished a dress for my niece that was too big, but since she is 6 it didn’t take me that long to sew it. And it was my own stupid fault…I didn’t heed any measurements at all! So sorry about your sweater. It is beautiful and I am sure someone would love to snap it up!

  3. Jennifer February 5, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    How sad and disappointing to have spent so much time and yarn on a sweater that doesn’t fit! I always try on the various components of my sweaters repeatedly throughout the knitting process to ensure a good fit…

  4. Becky February 5, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I know it’s prob too devastating to contemplate at the moment, but you could rip it all out and at least salvage the yarn for another project. Put it aside until the pain subsides and then reconsider in a few weeks. I think I’m about ready to call this one a fail That’s me on the project page with the teal-colored beast and I’ve only worn it ONCE since then. To a bar. Where it was dark. Not that it didn’t fit, I just didn’t take into consideration that I do not have the body of a model.

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      I’d prefer to not frog it if I can help it, but that will definitely be a last resort. At least I have options ha! And I think that teal sweater looks beautiful! But I totally get it; how someone thinks you look in something does not affect how it actually feels wearing it 🙂

      • Becky February 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

        Thanks for the support! To be fair, it hasn’t really been warm enough for this cardigan. Maybe as spring approaches and I am actually able to wear it, love for the friendship modular cardigan will bloom in my heart. On the plus side, I just made another fabulous Renfrew. You win some you lose some.

  5. Grace February 5, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    That blows hard, but you should be able to find someone to buy it since the color is gorgeous and you did a great job knitting it. BUT, I think $50 is too little. Maybe for jus the materials, but you did take all that time to knit it. Time is money! 4 episodes of Breaking Bad alone is like $25 minumum wage (I think).

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      Haha, yeah, but I’m not trying to make money. Just wanna recoup the money I spent on the yarn and supplies.

  6. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! February 5, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Oh Lauren! I’m so sorry you had a fail. 😦 It’s so pretty, too. If you don’t end up selling it you could always hide it away until you feel ready to frog all that work. I’ve done it before, not on a fully complete sweater but on large portions, and it’s only painful for the first minute. lol

    I have a little tip for always avoiding too-big busts if you want to email me sometime, I’ll be glad to explain and it will not solve all fitting issues, but definitely overly-large or overly-tight boobage ones. (I use it every single time I knit a sweater.)

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      Oooh, I may have to email you for that. I think I may need to start doing some shaping, since my bust measurement doesn’t correspond with all my other measurements (and knitting by bust is like sewing by bust – the back and shoulders end up too big).

      • Miriana February 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

        There is a knitting equivalent to an FBA – short row bust shaping.. It is probably preferable to have Tasha explain it to you as I’ve only done it once.

  7. rachel February 5, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    Big bummer. I had a lot of knitting fails the first 10-12 sweaters I knit – I’d have a few turn out, get confident, then fail. It was humbling because you’re right, you don’t really know until you finish.

    One word before you sell it and move on, Have you tried soaking it in lukewarm water/wool wash, then putting it in the washing machine on SPIN? It should spin it for like 12 minutes. It will slightly shrink it – I do it with all my sweaters except yarn that has not been dyed like Malabrigo Natural (it felts). When you wash sweaters that are 100% wool (like Cascade Sport) and use towels to get the excess water out and lay flat to dry, it just doesn’ get enough water out so they stretch under the weight of the water. Just a thought!! If you are worried about felting in the spin cycle, just stop the machine halfway through to check but I’ve never had a problem with Cascade.

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

      I considered that, but it’s seriously too big by about 2-3″. Will it even shrink down that much without getting all felted?

  8. June February 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Although you didn’t say whether the pattern had schematics with measurements, I am wary of patterns without them. Sorry about the fail (sucks!), but frogging isn’t all bad if you want to salvage the yarn. If you’re feeling brave, you could cut it apart (separate front, back, sleeves) and seam it w/a sewing machine to get a closer fit, just like you see people refashioning huge t-shirts into smaller ones. The yoke could merge into the sleeve cap area, since it looks like it goes past your shoulder point, and you could maintain the stylishly broad neckline. It’s not hard to cut and seam handknits (look up steeking), just be careful with the edges. With all-wool yarn such as Cascade 220, it shouldn’t unravel (much). You could even wash and gently agitate the sweater as is to felt it ever-so-slightly, (do this by hand only!) this will help “seal” the fabric and prevent it from fraying and unraveling after cutting.

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      It had lots of schematics, I just didn’t look at them too closely (which was my fault!). Otherwise I would have realized that those arms were waaaay too long. Ugh!

      Is it even possible to steek a sweater that is woven this loosely? I thought that only worked on stuff knit with fingering weight yarn. Mine is DK knit with size 4 needles. I may actually try that. Thank you!

      • June February 8, 2013 at 11:09 am #

        I’ve steeked worsted-weight before. I did decide chalk the cutting lines and sew around them before actually cutting, though, because I was paranoid about unraveling. I handsewed the actual seams with yarn (mattress stitch, how I love thee). Does that make sense? So the edges were sewn down to prevent raveling.

  9. K-Line February 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    It was my third sweater that was unwearable (the style was horrendous for me, what was I thinking??) – and 4 others since then have been sub-optimal to the extent that I’ve given them away (well-knitted, “successful” outcomes that either don’t look good or have been too big on me). Seriously, if you read my posts on knitting you will find that now, routinely, I knit with 5 to 7 inches of negative ease. And I’ve still not come up too small. Sometimes I add an inch of extra stitches under the arms until the bottom of the bust (which is longer on me than it would be on someone with a smaller chest – so I’m always adding extra fabric between the armpit and the waist) just to ensure that I’ll have a bit of extra ease there.

    It was bound to happen eventually – and may even happen again – but you really have learned more than you’ve lost by not being able to wear the finished garment. It totally sucks, don’t get me wrong, but as soon as you start on your next project, you’ll forget the pain.

  10. Lee February 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    The lace details ARE really pretty. Commiseration: I recently made a Cobblestone ( The fit seemed fine at first– I wanted it kind of loose and boyfriendy– but I’m painfully confronting the fact that I need to rip the yoke and sleeves and reknit the sleeves with far fewer increases and thus the yoke with fewer stitches. You never can tell for sure until after it’s all sewn up and blocked and even then my sweaters seems to grow over time. Boo.

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      Oh, I think it looks lovely! But pictures can definitely be deceiving.

  11. disparatedisciplines February 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Why don’t you try steeking it, but with your sewing machine? Cut the sleeves off & narrow them, nip in the side seams, then reattach the sleeves to be the fit you want. It would be a shame to have to toss that pretty knitting!

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      I may do that. Is steeking possible with such a loose (well, not loose, but not fingering-weight) knit?

      • disparatedisciplines February 8, 2013 at 11:57 am #

        I think steeking is usually taught along with traditional fair isle knitting, which generally uses fingering weight yarn. If you’re worried about it unraveling try running a line of basting stitches around everything before cutting.

  12. Isabel Hendry February 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Hi Lauren,

    I am a fan of your blog, old enough to be your…mother, yeah, let’s say mother, and I’ve been knitting for 50 years. I am “izhendry” on Ravelry. I just had to respond to your post about your failed sweater. I do feel your pain. I understand you not wanting to rip it out. But I did want to tell you that there is an easy (easier) fix for shortening the sleeves than ripping out. However, fixing the too large in the bust thing isn’t going to go away without ripping.

    So for the future, you should know that when you knit, you should compare the schematic of the sweater with your measurements, just like you do for sewing, and make necessary adjustments. If there’s no schematic, we figure it out from the stitch and row gauge given and draw it out. If one is truly anal, you wash and block the swatch as you will the finished pieces so that you don’t get surprised by stretching issues. Getting knits to fit is complicated only in that there are lots of methods for achieving good fit and if one doesn’t have an experienced mentor available to help, it means having a few fails under your belt. So take heart, you knit beautifully and have great skills that will help you get sweaters to fit the way you want. Don’t give up!


    >________________________________ > From: LLADYBIRD >To: >Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 11:27 AM >Subject: [New post] Knitting Fail: The Lauriel Cardigan > > > >LLADYBIRD posted: “It was only a matter of time before I knitted something that was completely unwearable. And here it is. Woof. I’m actually surprised it took me this long to get to that point – this is my sixth sweater, ffs! This is the Lauriel pattern by Ysolda Teag” >

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      I did check the schematics and wash my swatch, I think the main issue was that I just knitted the wrong size to begin with 😦 Oh well, I just need to pay more attention in the future. And yeah, my finished sweater was a fail, but I feel like I learned a lot and I definitely don’t regret knitting it up. At least it was fun during the process 🙂

  13. uglybeat February 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Dammit, I’m pissed for you and I don’t even knit! I think if I did, I would’ve torn all my hair out and stomped on the damned thing. It’s soooo beautiful and I’m so so sad for you that it doesn’t fit. Hope you’re able to move on, and take some pride in the fact that you’ve created many other lovely things to wear!!! Hugs.

  14. Lynn February 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    That is so very sad. I have taken whole sweaters apart after knitting because they looked weird. I have one that grew after I washed it. You could try wetting it slighty or putting a wet towel in with it and drying it at medium heat. That is how I saved mine. It might draw up enough to be wearable. Or F@#$ it and just give it away. I was hopeful it might fit me until you got to the 20 in. arms. I have short arms even for a short woman — 16 in. is full length on me. I hope it finds a good home with someone who appreciates your hard work.

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      I think I have short arms too. I cannot believe how long those sleeves are!

  15. ShanniLoves... February 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    That’s a real bummer! It’s a lovely sweater. Too bad you can’t wash it in hot water and dry the shit out of it until it shrinks to your size! I’ve had some real doozie’s myself the past couple weeks and it’s really put me in a slump. But I guess you can’t win them all.

  16. pacifikate February 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    I was reading this and drooling over this sweater and my heart was ACHING for the time and energy you obviously spent on this project, and how well you conveyed how it feels to get lost and in love and fight and make up with a project and then find it wasn’t meant to be…

    And then I got out my tape and took my measurements. IT WOULD FIT PERFECTLY. And the color is gorgeous, and the price is *way* too little for all the time and effort and love you’ve put into this project, but is within my meager budget, and I would be HONORED to own and love and wear this sweater.

    I was recently told by means of a story that every art piece finds its own home, and its so hard to know when and how that will happen, and none of us really have any control over it, at the end of the day… so if you’re actually serious, Miss Lauren, I would totally take that deal and give her a well-loved life in California!

    Big thanks for always inspiring me in sewing and such, and putting it all out there!


    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      I am totally serious! I would much rather see it be loved and worn, than frog it (or ruin it in attempt to fix it). I would really just be happy getting my money back for the cost of the materials; I mean, I did enjoy knitting it 🙂

      Shoot me an email if you’re truly interested and we can hash out the details. I’m also happy to send you better pictures and all the little measurements so you can be sure of the fit.

      • pacifikate February 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

        lovely!!!! emailing you now. so excited 🙂

    • Lynn February 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Yay, Kate! I hope you get it and love it to death. It is a beautiful color and sweater with a lot of effort put into it. It deserves to be loved.

  17. Lisa February 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Frog it. There’s no point wasting that lovely yarn on a sweater you’ll never wear. It’s a complete bugger when you’ve spent ages on a project that looks like a bag of hammers though. Done it more than once myself. Especially with Nora Gaughan patterns – she draws me in with attractive, wistful looking models, the cow. But nicely knitted!

  18. Elisalex - By Hand London February 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Oh man that is soooooo annoying. You don’t want to frog it to salvage the yarn? But actually the effort would definitely be worth it if you knew it were going to a loving new home! Very pretty cardi though.

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Naw, I’d rather someone else wear it. Especially since I already have more yarn in the exact same color :B. Frogging is a last resort!

  19. Lisette February 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Such a bummer. This is why I’m terrified of knitting sweaters!

  20. Rochelle New February 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Aww what a bummer!! It’s a gorgeous sweater. At least you learned some new things, but I can imagine how much it would suck to put all that time into something and have it not fit! Live and learn I guess? Hopefully someone will buy it 🙂

  21. Carly February 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    If no one else has snatched this up, how much are you looking to sell the sweater for? I might be interested buying it.

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

      $50+shipping. I just want to cover my costs.

      • Carly February 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

        I think I’m going to have to pass, because I don’t have the cash at the moment. I’m sure it will go to a good home. It’s beautiful.

  22. Reethi February 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    If you are still looking to sell it, I think the measurements will work great for me! I notice you have a couple other comments ahead of me offering to buy it, but if you still need a buyer, I’m in! It’s a lovely sweater!

  23. Rachel Mercado February 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Wow, that’s a beautiful sweater. Too bad it didn’t work out for you. I would totally buy it and it would fit me perfectly, but I don’t have the extra cash:( It’s beautiful though:)

  24. Tasia February 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    You’re right, I had the exact same problems with mine! Too-long sleeves, too big through the bust and shoulders. I also swatched and followed the instructions but mine is too big as well! Not too big to wear, I’m totally going to wear mine anyways, but it’s not the cute, fitted tight cardigan I was going for. The colour and the detailing is too pretty to have it just sit in a drawer. I’ll just have to wear it with dresses that have bust gathers and such to pump up the volume.
    I am so glad people are interested in buying it off you! And also glad you can get past some of the frustration to see it as a learning experience. Isn’t it annoying not to be able to just take it in at the sides, like you would with a sewing project?

    • Tasia February 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      Oh yeah, I also had a really challenging time with the button bands. Definitely did them multiple times before they turned out OK – and even then I sewed ribbon to the back to give them proper shape. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone!

      • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

        Oh man, both of these comments make me feel so much better, you have no idea!! Those button bands were the worst! Whyyyy couldn’t she just give us a stitch count instead of making it all about the weird maths (and then m1ps after picking up the stitches… why wouldn’t you just pick up those stitches before? whyyyyy).

        I have so many feelings about this sweater haha. Such a bummer that I couldn’t just take in the side seams! Oh well, hopefully someone will end up with it… and it will fit them and they will love it and wear it forever 🙂

        • Tasia February 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

          That was my first button band too, so I thought that make 1 business was normal! Now that I’ve done other bands, I wonder why it was so complicated and what special benefits there were to doing it that way, there has to be a reason right? And yeah, no stitch count! Just a guess! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice sweater pattern but I think a little too complex for fairly new sweater knitters maybe.

  25. soisewedthis February 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    I’m sure you’ll get a buyer! And it looks like you already have a few offers. If not on here, then take some pretty pics and post on etsy. Or throw it in the wash in warm or hot and into the dryer and see if you can shrink it to fit. I once shrunk my fave lambswool sweater down to doll sized, oops. i’ve tried to learn from that mistake though =)

  26. Bec February 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Oh no, how devastating:(
    Looks very cute when you’re holding it back!:)
    The details are gorgeous..
    I fail at too many things to mention haha

  27. Louise February 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi, it really is a beautiful cardigan and to bad it doesn’t fit. But if no one has bought it yet I would love to know more about the mesurements, but I have no idea what your email is. Mine is lollo(dot)baxter(at)gmail(dot)com.

  28. Craft Sanctuary February 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    It is so pretty, too! I love the little leaf details! You did a great job with the knitting, even if it doesn’t fit 😦

  29. CGCouture February 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Sorry about the sweater, but take heart, you got a bitchy comment from an undead goat! 😉 How many of us can say that?

    • LLADYBIRD February 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      It’s true! I’m feeling extra super special right now 😉 hahaha

    • K-Line February 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm #


  30. Elisha February 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    I once saw a knitting blogger take her weird-fitting sweater and overlock it on her Serger from cuff to waist, down the sleeve and sides. She chopped the extra off. Sort of how you would fix a too-big sewing project. I specified knitting blogger since she seemed experienced in knitting issues as opposed to sewing.

    Also, goat woman, jeesh. As others have said, I’ve never seen so much bitchiness on a sewing blog. That was like, enough bitchiness to cover ALL sewing blogs.

  31. Marie February 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Noooo, what a shame! You clearly worked hard on this as it’s so beautiful…stupid pattern!

  32. Becky February 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Just FYI, I have washed sweaters I have knitted, then put them in the dryer on low to medium heat for 5 minutes at a time to shrink it to fit. It is a process that must be watched closely if you don’t want to end up with a doll sweater, but it can be done. After it is the size you want, you lay it flat to dry. This technique is particularly helpful with alpaca as it tends to get out of shape due to the weight of the yarn, and alpaca doesn’t felt as badly as wool. There are a couple of problems with you doing it with this sweater. First, if you love the pattern, it might disappear some if it is felted, even a little. Secondly, it probably would not shrink enough in the sleeves to correct the fit. You could sew the side seams on your sewing machine; that’s how a lot of RTW sweaters are done, but again those damn sleeves! I hope you find a good home for it, or a solution. It is a very pretty sweater. I bet you learned a lot of good lessons with this, and your attitude about it is wonderful!

  33. Anonymous February 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Something that should have been simple !! Measured twice , cut once , hemmed blouse in same curve and quess what ! Yep , toooooooo short !!!!!! UGH really liked this blouse too. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Fwaire February 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Aw rubbish 😦 Glad it found a new home though! 🙂

    I once made a tie for a customer but completely messed up some of the stitching. I fixed it as best I could but, although it didn’t look terrible and the mistake can’t be seen when worn, it was still noticeable. In the end I just gave it to my boyfriend. He likes it (and I think is secretly hoping for more tie failures…haha)


    • LLADYBIRD February 6, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      Yes! I only wish I had more fails that could be passed on to my boyfriend… it’s a win-win situation haha

  35. weefrills February 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    I knit a hat and it turned out HUGE. I checked the gauge before knitting. The pattern is “Urchin.” Sorry about the cardigan. Maybe someone with a too-small sweater could trade you!

  36. Nyssa Jayne February 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    i am trying to finish up all my UFO’s and came across one sweater i had started. it doesn’t fit, and part of me thought, well, i could salvage the yarn, but the other big problem for me is i HATE the colour. i think i went a bit mad when i saw lots yarn in the same colourway and dyelot… anyway, i’ve been struggling with what to do with it. i think i might just seam it up and donate it — hopefully some other knitter can salvage the yarn. 🙂

  37. Lucy February 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Ah, the knitting fail. I just finished Date Night – and it ended up something like two sizes too small. It’s all lace, and it looks fantastic…but it’s sized for a 12-year-old.

    And, like you, I looked at comments after and that was a common issue other people had. Sigh.

    Probably also didn’t help I used a cotton/acrylic blend so it didn’t stretch in blocking like it should have. Lesson learned!

    • LLADYBIRD February 6, 2013 at 9:14 am #

      Oh nooooo, Date Night is so beautiful!! Maybe there is a, hm, very stylish 12 year old you can pass it on to? Ha!

      • Lucy February 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

        I bought one ball too much yarn, so I MAY be able to frog and start again in a bigger size…but at the moment it’s sitting in a cupboard until I’m over it enough to bring myself to do that. I did an incredibly good job on it, which is one reason it hurts.

  38. Maddie Flanigan February 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    hey that’s okay. We all have those projects. Out of all the projects you complete (seriously girl, you finish garments in record timing), you don’t even have to feel bad about this being a flop.

  39. paisleyapron February 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    My last fail was a sweater I knit from hem to hem. It was beautiful and fit perfectly, but as the day went on, the neckline began to sag…and sag until it was well below my bra. It was hilarious because I spent months knitting it and had no way to fortell how it would behave on a warm body. I still don’t know what I am going to do with it.

    I have frogged a sweater twice before getting
    it right. Don’t be afraid to reclaim your pretty
    yarn in the future. Top-down, try-em on as
    you go for me from now on.

    Glad your sweater found a new home. Happy ending!

  40. Jo February 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Awww my commiserations! I can’t imagine how I’d feel after putting in all that effort!! I admit I’d have a freak out. lol…. Well done for making it funny and moving on. Your next knitting project will turn out better I’m sure! 😀

  41. Liz February 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    The knitting is lovely, pity it doesn’t fit. But on the bright side, this is in my queue so hopefully you will have prevented me having the same problem. Looks like you have a buyer too, so brilliant news. I hear you on the frogging, I hate undoing it and it is never as easy as it should be.

  42. didyoumakethat February 6, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Oh, I feel your pain. I agree with you re finished items – it can take weeks or months of work to discover if something fits or even suits you, and sometimes it doesn’t. Boo! I also totally agree that life is too short for frogging back an entire sweater or cardigan. Talk about boring! Glad the make has found a home. I admire you very much for posting about this fail. Kudos!

  43. sallie February 6, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Oooh No! Saw this on instagram last night – total bummer dude! I’m glad to hear it’s found a good home because it’s seriously so SO beautiful! That little lacy leaf detail is just about the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.

  44. sengagalvin February 6, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    I have an idea, it won solve all your your problems, but it might help the sleeve length. Could you cuff them INSIDE? That way the lace would show but the sleeves would be shorter.

    • sengagalvin February 6, 2013 at 8:59 am #


    • LLADYBIRD February 6, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      I did try that, it just make them a bit bulky. It’s ok, though, the sweater is on it’s way to a new home now 🙂

  45. Debbie February 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sweater woes, but glad to hear it’s going to make someone else happy! I’ve actually tried what another commenter mentioned – used my sewing machine to take in a few inches off of a too large knitted top, trim off the excess and serge the edges. The seam is pretty sturdy and doesn’t appear to be in any danger of unraveling. My top was cotton yarn, but if wool was used serging might not even be necessary because the fibers should stick together better.

  46. missjoiedevivre February 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    I would have cried I suspect. So much time! So much “you’ve got to be kidding me!” Oh the pain! You did a beautiful job of the knitting and it looks so pretty, lovely yarn and pattern combo. At least you had a hilarious bitchy comment from crazy goat lady to cheer you up! I’m glad to hear that you can be so pragmatic about it, enjoy the process, and move on, and so pleased you found a new home for it.

  47. gingermakes February 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Awww, BOOOOO… no fun… I HATE when that happens. 😦

  48. PendleStitches February 7, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    It makes me want to spit when this happens. Especially when otherwise it’s just a beautiful knit. I’m a bit spoilt in that my mother actually enjoys frogging sweaters!!!! Bitchy goat lady is definitely having a bad day…WTF! 😉

  49. wundermary February 7, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    HooWee! You’ve got a hater waaaay back there!

    First off, What beautiful knitting. Just beautiful. How supremely disappointing to not be able to wear it. I was going to suggest that you try to round up the folks who’ve posted review problems with the fit and see if they’d all like to swap. Then, I got to the end of the post to see it had already moved on.

    My latest fail is sitting in the dining room, curing. I’ve never learned to knit, I only crochet. This summer, I thought maybe I should check out the Nook, to see if I’d like that. Because, let’s face it: knit always looks better that crochet. That lead me to a tutorial on Tunisian crochet on YouTube, which led me to a bunch of crochet stitch tutorials. Not too much later, I said to myself, “Mary, for someone who has been crocheting for 40 (!) years, you sure don’t know shit about it.”. I then crocheted a scarf with a modified basket weave stitch that came out lovely. Emboldened, I decided to learn Solomon’s knot.

    I envisioned a long, wide, open scarf that could be worn loosely on warmer days and folded and wrapped more tightly for colder weather. I imagined it to be flowing and versatile. I practiced first and once I had the hang of it, I worked a scarf. I did decreases to a point on each end and it was just waaay to long. So, I ripped part of it out, shortened it and worked the end, again. I was reasonably happy. Then, I started trying to figure out how to finish the edge. I had it in my mind all along that I’d do fringe. I tried it and didn’t like it. So, I started working a scallop. I am not so happy with that, either.

    Then, I visited a friend who knits beautifully. She had me modeling several of her recent projects. One of them was an infinity scarf. I’d dismissed the infinity scarf as trendy and never even considered one. Except, hers was marvelous. So, now I am considering ripping out this whole affair ( 2 1/2 skeins of fabulous Peruvian Cascade wool ) and down grading to a one skein infinity scarf. Maybe I can get a scarf and hat out of this deal. I dunno. It’s just a UFO at this point.

  50. verna February 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    OMG before I even made it halfway thru the post I was thinking “That would fit MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE . I WAAAAAAAAAANT it NOOOOW”

    damn, too late 😦 Lucky sweater owner I is jealous 😦

  51. Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Please have a mental memorial and then frog that thing. Gorgeous yarn deserves to be loved and worn! And there are fantastic blogs out there on how to de-kink frogged yarn. As one who waited 10 FLIPPIN YEARS to frog an old item- it is worth it. I love love love what I ended up doing with the yarn.

  52. Max February 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    Oh man bummer! It takes forever to knit anything anyway, and for it to come out all wrong 😦 It would have been a cute little cardi too. At least it has ound a new home!

  53. Kait February 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Lucky person-who-fits-it! =) It’s lovely.

    For your future projects, I think you need Maggie Righetti. She was this kickass knitting instructor who wrote books about how to make sure your knitting projects will fit you and stuff. I actually enjoyed, understood, and retained her lessons. And that’s saying something, because when it comes visual tasks, I usually prefer to learn kinesthetically.

    Anyway, I recommend Maggie’s Sweater Design in Plain English, if you want like, your very own wise old knitting mentor in book form. XD

    • tracy February 12, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      oh what a shame, such a beautiful colour! this had made me feel a wee bitty better as I’m wearing a dress today that I made, it looked ok this morning but now it just looks wrong, too big but that’s my fault cos i didn’t make a muslin i just went on ahead thinking how smart I am, ha! So I’ll just take it to pieces and do something with it, but it is disappointing and not nice when you spend a lot of time and effort and its not rightx 😦

    • LLADYBIRD February 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      Oh, lovely! Thanks for the recommendation – I see my local library has a copy, so I’m going to pick it up and have a look. It sounds perfect to me 🙂

  54. Pam March 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    I know I’m way, way too late commenting here… but here goes! Sometimes I’ve knitted things that turn out too big so I tie them in a pillow case and put them in the washing machine, in a cycle that’s not suitable for wool. Every time they have come out a size or two smaller and they fit perfectly!


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