Pockets – they seem such an uncommon feature of cardigan patterns. The notion of the pockets on my Clarity cardigan made my little heart happy. A teensy flash of blue when you lift up the pocket flap. Another lovely, playful addition to a cardigan that already had several fun and quirky details. But wholly moly, I could not get the pockets off of my needles fast enough. They just were really not that fun to actually knit. In the round. Attached to 500 lbs of sweater. On a day where the temperature was in the high 80’s. And I don’t have any air conditioning in my apartment.

It constantly felt like I was just wrestling with the sweater getting it situated for each round of the pocket without tangling it in the working yarn. But as they grew, I got more and more excited about the prospects of having them. And I knew they will get good use in this cardigan, so I pushed through and finished them – the last finishing touches to the cardigan – around 10:40pm last night. After a quick soak in the sink, I had dreams of a cardigan blocking overnight and awakening to a lovely finished sweater with bright blue pockets.

And then blocking disaster. It happened. I should not have teased the universe last week with my knitting confession because the universe has a cruel, but admittedly funny, sense of humor. After a soak, the whole thing had grown over 5 inches in length. (On Ravelry, people had politely declared the yarn tended to be a bit “drapey” after blocking. A bit of an understatement if you ask me.)

After laying it out on a towel, I thought it looked a bit amiss, but it wasn’t until I decided to go ahead and try it on – while still wet – that the hysterical laughter bubbled up and spilled out. The sweater fell practically down to my knees. Pockets at your mid-thigh and sleeves beyond your fingers are a bit less than useful. At about 11:30, I declared to Andy that I will likely be very angry in the morning.

And his reply, “Well, just stick it the drier.” Five words any knitter shudders to hear in the context of a woolen sweater. But it was just late enough. And I was just desperate enough to take the risk. It was either give it a try or undo the whole thing and knit it all again (which would not have occurred for a long, long amount of time until after my frustration abated, if at all).

So I stuck it in a pillow case and put it in the drier on low heat, checking on it every 10 minutes. By 12:20am I pulled it out and declared it much too late for this nonsense and if it wasn’t fixed by now, then it never would be, and good riddance.

But looking at it this morning, I think it may have worked. Mostly. I lost some of the beautiful stitch definition with the minor felting, but I would rather have a properly fitting sweater than all the stitch definition in the world. (Now, I just have to wait for it do dry, which is taking forever with the 150% humidity in my apartment currently.)

So, take that universe! You gave it a good shot. Looking forward to what you have up your sleeves next.

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10 Comments on Pockets and shrinkage

  1. Oh boy, this sweater sure is giving you some adventure. The blue pockets look adorable though, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the stint in the drier has done the trick and it nicely fits now.

  2. Wow, I can’t believe you dared to shrink it in the dryer! So glad that it all turned out fine – imagine if it had gone on and turned out too small!

  3. I cannot believe you put it in the dryer! I would only put in superwash….you are a brave knitter! I do hope that you wear it and love it the way it is 🙂

    • I actually love it. It’s one of my favorite items! I just sewed on the buttons today and it is splendid. I think it will get lots of wear this winter because it is quite soft and cozy.

  4. sometimes the dryer works wonders, but it totally depend son the yarn- I’ve done the too-big wet blocked sweater into the dryer trick a few times, but only once was it a disaster- the yarn pilled horribly in the dryer, which says a lot more about the yarn. I never used that yarn again.

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