Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Who's Afraid of Ripping?

 Cafe Au Lait Cardigan

This beautiful baby is a sweater that I ripped out. I cast on this second iteration of Cafe Au Lait at the beginning of the summer, along with Andi Satterlund's Outfit-Along. I had a mysterious, sport-weight, probably-mostly-cotton yarn in my stash, and I wanted to use it. A finite, but undetermined quantity, and I wanted it all. gone.

Maybe it's because I live in a rented apartment, and therefore my living situation is, by all definitions, "temporary," but I do not like to have yarn stashed. So having a sweaters-worth of this mystery cotton laying around, when I could have a sweater laying, felt unacceptable.

I cast on this tried-and-true pattern. The grey version of this sweater is a staple in my wardrobe, and the combination of cables and lace are a delight to knit and wear. I blissfully starting knitting the back, from the bottom up. I knit the entire back of the sweater, which probably took 15 hours... and then quickly realized I would not have enough yarn to finish this sweater as-is, and I threw it in a corner, giving up on the Outfit-Along.

But the knitting community is nothing, if not motivating. The FOMO of Instagram led me back to another knit-along, this time Shannon's Summer Sweater Knit Along. And I packed this half-knit sweater and took it on a family trip to Rhode Island. The focus of travel knitting and the motivation of my fellow SSKAL-ers led me to rip out most of my progress, and reknit it again, with a shorter body. Yarn problem, solved. 

I probably spent upwards of 50 hours working on this sweater. When I posted a photo on Facebook, a family member asked, "How much could I pay you to make me one?" The honest answer is something along the lines of, "30 hours wages times mystery yarn cost." Or "a bottle of whiskey and three new episodes of Game of Thrones," aka the time and encouragement it took to rip out hours of work. But I won't quote anyone this price (or really any price), since I didn't knit this for money. 

I think this means I have become a process knitter, right?

After a few wearings, I think I will rip out the cuffs and re-knit them smaller...

Cafe Au Lait Cardigan Cafe Au Lait CardiganCafe Au Lait Cardigan


  1. This sweater is so great! I keep meaning to knit this pattern, but I haven't found the perfect yarn for it yet. I don't think I'll ever love ripping progress back, but it's so worth it to end up with something I really love.

    1. Thank you! Yeah, the two yarns I have used for mine have been less than perfect, which I think speaks to how versatile this pattern is - they both still look great!

  2. Amazing job sticking with it and getting it to work with your yardage! It looks so nice on you.

  3. Is it weird that I think of your natural Cafe Au Lait often? I want a cotton one, too. I think I’d wear it so much more than I can wear most knitted items. Good for you for sticking it out thru the re-knit. I am finally catching up on blogs, answering emails, searching Etsy etc- all to avoid my re-knit:/

    1. No! I think when something really inspires like that, it gets stuck in one's head! And it is a really nice, light layer for our hot climates, so I highly recommend your own version.


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