I read Yarn Harlot's post yesterday morning, blissfully unaware that later that afternoon I, myself, would become a victim of "the knitting fates". I finished the waist decreases on Auburn Mist, transferred the stitches onto a spare piece of yarn, and tried it on. My nagging suspicion was confirmed. It was too big.
Now, I am a great proponent of swatches and almost always knit one when I embark on a sweater. Once in a while, however, I make an educated guess and cast on, reasonably confident that I will achieve the desired size. Experience has taught me that I will usually require a needle size 0.5mm less than the one suggested. Sometimes I will deliberately knit something at a looser gauge in order to manipulate the sizing to fit me.
This is what I did in this case. I fall somewhere between the sizing for an x-small and a small so I decided to knit Auburn Mist with the suggested needles, in order to achieve a slightly bigger finished product. Instead, I ended up with a more than slighty bigger finished product.
With a sense of resignation, I immediately ripped out the whole thing and rewound the yarn. Happily, despite being mohair, this was achieved with surprisingly little trouble. Then, before discouragement could set in, I cast on again with slightly smaller needles and began knitting. My 5" head start has disappeared but at least time is still on my side. Shhhh...I shouldn't say that too loud.
On the bright side, I spent last evening getting into the true spirit of Christmas. I belong to a group of nine women, who get together once a month for appies and dessert and loads of laughs. Each woman puts $20 in a pot and we draw a name at the end of the evening. The winner gets to spend the money on herself, in which any way she chooses, and hosts the next gathering. Every person wins once during the year.
From September to December we each contribute an additional $5 per month and use this money to adopt a family from the local women's shelter for Christmas. In early December we all meet and go shopping for the fixings for Christmas dinner, additional groceries, and gifts for all. I always feel like "mom" is the unseen tenth member of our Ladies' Night group and somehow it makes our get-togethers seem less frivolous.
It makes me feel good to know that in some small way I have helped to make someone's life a little brighter and helps put things in perspective. Somehow, whether or not I will be wearing a new, red sweater on Christmas Day doesn't seem all that important.