The Joy of Sleeves (Not)

Note from Sandi: I'm sick with the stomach flu, and although I tried and tried to write a coherent blog entry for you about the wonderful pockets of the Farmer's Market Cardigan I'm knitting, unfortunately, coherency eludeth me at the present time. I do have a backup post in my bag of tricks, however. I wrote the below a while back but held off on showing it to you out of a bit of embarrassment, shall we say. Nonetheless, I thought it might amuse you whilst I am ill…therefore, I present to you: The Story of Two Sleeves.

Report: The Bolero, from Feminine Knits

Regarding my progress on this cute wee cardi, I may have to have a tiny wee tantrum. (Or perhaps a tiny wee drink. Except that I don't really drink. Much.)

I finished all the pieces of the Bolero, and did the ribbed borders, and got to the point where it was time to block all the pieces prior to seaming things up. I happily laid out the back first, pinned it down, then pinned out the left front, and the right front, and then the left sleeve…and then the other left sleeve.

Yes, the other left sleeve. As in two of them. As in, I only have one left arm.

I am breathing. I am breathing. In with the healing pink air, out with the nasty two-left-sleeved orange air…

There are separate instructions for each sleeve, and I had written each of these out, line by line, carefully checking to make sure my own line-by-line instructions were mirror images of each other.

So what happened? I think…I think that I may have just Gone ClueFree for a bit and knitted the same set of notebook instructions twice–those for the left sleeve.

We shall pause this blog whilst Sandi goes off in the corner and wails for a few moments. Thank you for your patience.

The question is: How long will the poor second left sleeve have to sit in the meditation pond before I have enough patience to frog it and knit a proper right sleeve?

Whilst the woebegotten sleeve marinates in the pond, the rest of the pieces are beautifully blocked and ready to be seamed. (Semi-final score: Bolero–1; Sandi–4.)

Anyone have any wise words here? Please share them if you do. I mean, really. Don't hold back. I might need a few wise words to steady me before I attempt that sleeve again.

P.S. From Present-Day Sandi: And no, I still haven't ripped out that silly second left sleeve…and maybe I ought not to try working on the sleeves for my current sweater project either right now if I'm sick. I might end up with a cover for my snow shovel.

Knit with joy…

– Sandi

P.S. Let me know what you think! Comments welcome!

Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily every Thursday. Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, follow her tweets: alpacasandi.

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19 thoughts on “The Joy of Sleeves (Not)

  1. Sandi, you are a saint for trying to knit at all when you are sick. You only need a teaspoon of courage as the “little book ” says. You can surely frog the wrong sleeve, that’s the easy part. I’ve ripped out the same sock three or four times and now it’s going well. Put your teaspoon where you can see it and pick up your needles and begin a sleeve. You CAN do it.

  2. Sandi, you’re so sweet and so hard on yourself – it’s only a little sleeve, and literally a little sleeve at that. You’ve conquered much worse, even just in the past winter.

    Accept you made an error (like every one of us do!), that everyone still loves you, pull it out of the pond, look at it squarely and show it who’s boss!!

    Atta girl! 😉

  3. So, how similar are the right and wrong sides of that lace pattern anyway? Close enough to sew the second sleeve in wrong side out? I’d at least try it before froggin’.

  4. Poor Sandi, hope you feel better very soon 🙂 Gulp, at least you’ve adjusted to the situation by now so just go ahead and unravel it, then when you’re ready (mentally), just go ahead and knit the right sleeve – easy peasy!! Just do it! A couple of days ago I decided to take the plunge – I just unravelled a whole sweater that had ended up too huge – only took a few hours one evening ………… remember, we are fearless!!!!

  5. Sandi,
    Funny you should write this right now, as I am home struck down with a very same (close relative) of your bug!
    Get well soon. We will all still be here, so get some rest.

  6. Sandi,
    Funny you should write this right now, as I am home struck down with a very same (close relative) of your bug!
    Get well soon. We will all still be here, so get some rest.

  7. I made a similar goof years ago when making mittens. I was using left-over yarn, so one mitten was green and the other one was yellow. I made 2 for the same hand.
    My fix: Since they were going to look different, anyway, because of the 2 colors, I just decided to wear one wrong-side out. After a while I’d turn them the other way. People noticed the difference in color much more than they did the difference in the stitches–smooth vs. bumpy.

    Like Daniela@4 said, flip it over. At least, baste it together, see how it looks. One thing to your advantage is the fact the yarn is black. It’s much harder to see the individual stitches when they’re black. ……On a more serious note–I’m a bit of a perfectionist with my work. I would be of 2 minds on this. Do I want both sleeves to look the same? Or would I turn one wrong-side out, just to see how many people would notice? It could be quite a conversation-starter. It would take a real knitter to notice the difference, anyway. You could end up making new friends. 🙂

  8. I agree with Cindy about being human. I love it when I or even more experienced knitters make a mistake. Not because it causes us heartbreak, but because I can use it ti encourage my students. I teach handwork and as you can emagine, there a lots of mistakes made by the kids. So if you don’t mind, I would like to share your story of the twin sleeves.
    P.S. Those mistakes are a bummer though when they happen to you.

  9. Think Twice, Cut/Knit Once

    Long long ago, before stretch fabrics, when I was a teenager, I made money with a bikini business ( l lived in so. cal). Clients would give me fabric and I made the custom fit bathing suit for a shockingly low price. One too many times, I would space out and not reverse the top pattern pieces, thus ending up with two rights/lefts. After a bad lapse and having to go out and search for/ buy more fabric , I pasted a big sign on my machine “think thrice, cut once, think twice, sew once”

    thanks for your post. I’m going to put a friendly fiber reminder on my knitting kit, maybe in crossstich .. of one of these quotes, as I am prone to the same thing.

    “Quality is not an act. It is a habit.” — Aristotle
    “To err is human; to try to prevent recurrence of error is science.” –And I Quote saying

  10. Just rip it already. It’s wrong and you know it. So don’t let the sleeve grind you down…..just RIP IT. Then the error will be gone and you will only have a single sleeve left to knit, rather than a bratty wrong sleeve taunting you from the frog pile.

  11. First, I hope you feel better soon!

    Second, I agree with those above – you are human! I love reading your posts. You’ve given me courage to rip, redo, whatever, to be proud of the end result. Even when it is painful. Even when my husband says – you’re ripping that out again?!

    You’ll never be happy with the left sleeve turned over and sewn on backwards. It’s not that big a piece. When you are ready, you’ll rip, redo and be happy.

  12. Hi Sandi!
    I just knitted this and there are a ton of errors in it! I reversed the instructions for the sleeves- but after I seamed everything together, the fronts just laid weird! So I frogged the whole thing. It was a pain to knit, I had to re-work the entire pattern just about! I even called and emailed (3 times!) Interweave, I received confirmation emails, but alas, they never wrote or called back to help with the corrections. So glad I saw this post! I thought I was crazy too!

  13. Hi!
    You really should go through the effort to rip it up and finish the bolero. I have made it and I love it. I knittet it from the original dansih book and there was absolutely nothing wrong with the directions. It was fun to knit – and nice to wear. Looking forward to se a picture of you in the finished bolero!

  14. Hi, I’m a new reader to your blog and… what can I say? For me it’s incredible that you didn’t do a larger mistake.One does need courage to knit when so sick, I do hope that you’ll get well soon and find the enthusiasm to re-knit the wrong sleeve. It looks so nice already – it would be too sad not to finish it!
    I personally often have to redo great parts of the work – usually because of the wrong sizing. One I made a mistake similar to yours – only it was not a sleeve, but a front piece…

    Once again – get well and show us the finished cardi with both sleeves!

  15. I can’t tell you how many mistakes like this I’ve made. When I used to sew a lot as a teenager I frequently did things like sewing the collar of a shirt in backwards, going all the way to the finishing steps and getting ready to iron it before realizing. I do it with knitting too. All. The. Time. I get cocky and think I remember the next step and I do it wrong, or backwards, or forget the intervening purl rows in lace. What do I do when I discover the mistake? Well, I know that if I try to make do with it, it will ruin my happiness with the finished product and I’ll end up never wearing it. I always frog – it’s so worth it in the end. Thanks for sharing, though – I’m glad I’m not the only one who does things like this!