This beautiful yarn, sparkling with water droplets, used to be my Colourscape Cabled Jumper.
The yarn was a gift from a friend, and I loved it so much that I invented a jumper pattern for it almost straight away. However, over the last two years I’ve kept taking it out of the wardrobe and then putting it back in again, because the pattern wasn’t quite right. The body’s a little bit too short, and I always end up with a draughty gap around the top of my jeans. The sleeves are very wide, and I always end up dangling them in my dinner.
While I was in hospital, I was reading Knitting Rules! by Yarn Harlot. There was a section on what to do if the hat you’ve been knitting turns out not to be a hat after all. There’s a list of suggestions… is it a bag? a tea cosy? but the last of them asks is it a skein of yarn?
That might seem like a bit of a weird question, but it did serve to remind me that what I have in my wardrobe doesn’t have to be a badly-fitting jumper in the most beautiful colours. It can be five skeins of yarn. Which means that eventually it can be something else.
I do have something of an emotional difficulty with unravelling something that I’ve spent hours and days and weeks making, but it turns out that two years of stuffing the jumper back in the wardrobe creates enough distance for me to be able to manage it. Mind you, I’m also having something of a practical difficulty with unravelling this particular jumper, because once I’ve knitted something, it’s really not designed to come undone. Not ever.
So, I’m taking it slowly. I’ve undone the giant polo neck, and one of the sleeves. Those two skeins of yarn are now wound around a clothes-airer in my sunny back garden, drying gently. (I did briefly consider not wetting-and-drying the yarn, but it unravelled looking like a telephone cord, and whilst I might be lazy I don’t want my next jumper to be crap.)
I can’t quite face tackling any more of my own indestructable seams today, so once these skeins are dry I can wind them into balls and start knitting the next jumper. I’ve found a terrifically 1980s pattern, knit sideways on one 4.5mm and one 12mm needle. That should give me vertical stripes and a nice airy jumper, which is what I fancy this time around.
And if I fancy taking it all apart in another two years’ time and starting again? That’s fine.