I am putting the final touches on a sweater I started back in November, Wenlock. As with all big projects, I'm pretty excited to see it finally on the blocking board, but this one is particularly exciting because I was able to repurpose some yarn from one of my first big knitting fails.
When I was a newer knitter, I attended a knitting retreat with friends sometime around 2007. I enjoyed the classes, the fashion show, and uninterrupted knitting time with knitting friends. With my new confidence, I bought enough yarn for a sweater.
I happily cast on and about halfway through felt like things weren't right. When I looked closer I realized that the back of this sweater was a mid-back cropped length while the front was not. Huh? I'd never wear that! My back would be cold (sidebar: a weird pet-peeve of mine is to be cold on my lower back. Go figure.) and it looks strange! Ugh... I was so frustrated. I shoved it in a bag and later frogged it.
Lesson learned: Read the pattern all the way to the end. Check the photos. Check the schematics. Check Ravelry.
This was before I was a big Ravelry user. Since then, I don't think I've ever cast on a new project before checking others' results on Ravelry.
Years later, I find this pattern in Pom Pom magazine and decide this will be the one to take the place of that weird cropped-back sweater. It's turning out to be lovely and I'm so excited to wear it (6 months from now when it's not 100 degrees in Austin).
With that, let me recommend Berroco Ultra Alpaca. It is a consistent, beautiful yarn with so many colors to choose from; it was easy for me to find the right colors for the pattern repeat. With 50% wool and 50% alpaca it is light and warm, but holds its shape. It feels great while knitting and wearing. And now, because I have so much leftover from the accent colors, with another skein or two, I get to knit another sweater with it!
Let me also recommend VeryPink's video on repurposing yarn. Once I realized I should use my winder, it was much faster and the yarn was in much better condition.
Let my early mistake save you from frustration and frogging.