When OK just isn’t good enough

Hmmmm….do you ever have a project that just niggles at you but you can’t work out what the problem is?

I’ve had a few of these recently.  Bad fabric choices.  Poor decisions on patterns. Yada yada yada!

I’ve only myself to blame.

Normally I would blithely carry on regardless, but it seems I’m getting better at listening to the fabric or the pattern, wee voices in my head, and finally making progress towards being the kind of seamstress and knitter that I really want to be.

Case in point….Aislinn.

image from amyherzogdesigns.com

image from amyherzogdesigns.com

Now this time I’m sure I’ve got the pattern right.

I’ve done the mods and knitted the back and it’s looking good.  The fit seems spot on.


I’ve cast on the front and….


I’ve spent the summer holiday procrastinating, prevaricating and downright avoiding knitting this.  I’ve blamed the weather, the kids, the alignment of Mars. Anything but actually looking at the real reason I don’t want to knit this cardigan.

Turns out it’s the yarn.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran is pretty on the ball, but not so much to knit with. It’s almost too soft.  And when it’s knitted up, it pills like a bear!

At the back of my mind has been the niggling doubt that once finished I’d get little wear out of this before it starts to look shabby.  I know that has happened with my red sweater.


The thing is, the red sweater is just for throwing on with jeans and wellies for walking the kids and the dog.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a little shabby.  In fact, for those activities it’s almost de rigeur to wear a shabby sweater.

But for a cardigan that’s to be worn in more polite company…well, I want a certain refinement.  Yarn with a little dignity.  That will show up the stitch pattern more crisply, and that will get some wear before becoming a fuzzy mess.

With all this in mind, it’s become clear that I really want to knit Aislinn…just not in this yarn.

And so I’m not going to.

Simple as.

My days of forcing myself to complete a garment that is just “OK” are hereby officially over.

It’s not good enough.

I want my clothes going forward to look lovely and to make me feel great.

Like the red and blue top I’ve just completed.  Even with it’s “design feature” I feel really pulled together in that top.  I’ve worn it a couple of times a week since I finished it.  As soon as it’s on a hanger, it’s my first choice of a morning.

I want all my clothes to be “first choice” clothes.

Which makes me feel better about pulling the Cashmerino off the needles, balling it all back up and sending it off to the charity shop to find a new home.

This decision is in no way helped by the fact that I’m off to Yarndale in a few weeks with some friends.


20 Responses to When OK just isn’t good enough

  1. Jane G says:

    Oh, have a wonderful time, and I hope you find the perfect yarn

  2. Good for you – I’m getting like that too. Why wear something you’re not absolutely in love with and proud of…you deserve the best after all the hard work you put into it!

  3. Well done that girl! It is so easy to carry on with something that is just OK because you have already put so much effort into it. Much better to recognise a problem even if it means starting again.
    I hope you find the perfect yarn at Yarndale 🙂

  4. Thanks for the yarn review. It´s such a disappointment to buy lovely designer yarn and then have a blob as a result. I second your decision. Knitting takes way too long to just make something. Maybe you could knit a cowl with that yarn. BTW I love that cardi pattern. Yarndale looks fabulous…I want to see pictures when you go. I am so curious.
    Tonight I will be taking my first online knitting class via skype…I am hoping to knit a cardi too…fingers crossed. If you have more knitting tips please do share…I will be all ears

    • You’re welcome. Good luck with your knitting. I warn you…it’s dangerously compulsive!
      I shall take my camera to Yarndale and probably bore you to tears.
      The yarn is gone. I was sick of the sight of it. I’m wishing it a happy home…just not in mine.

  5. Donna says:

    Good motto – there’s too much time and energy invested in self-made stuff to not try to make them all ‘first choice’ clothes! For some reason I don’t mind unraveling stuff all that much. I think perhaps because yarn is so easy to reuse. Well, good quality stuff anyhow will withstand a little unraveling and reknitting. 😉

    • The problem with this yarn is that a) it’s already been unravelled and b) it doesn’t stand up to normal wear and tear very well, so it’s not remotely keen on being reused.
      I’m very much leaning towards yarns that aren’t quite so temperamental going forwards. I want my knits to last!

  6. K-Line says:

    I’ve used that Cashmerino Aran also and it sucks! The pilling is ridiculous! I mean, it is the softest thing ever in the skein but there’s something weird about it. I completely support your “first choice” mentality.

  7. Susan says:

    Ooh, what a spot-on sentiment, I love it! I have thought stuff like that about my closet before too — especially because my few “first choices” often get so much wear, so quickly, that they wear out fast! This post has really inspired me. 🙂

  8. prttynpnk says:

    I love your attitude- I need to get on the bandwagon with you!

  9. Andrea says:

    I’m so with you on this one. After a year and a half of living out of a suitcase I unpacked the clothes I left on storage only to find myself feeling a bit “meh” by what I encountered. Sure, I have a couple of nice outfits but mostly I don’t love the clothes I have (including ones I’ve made) be it because of fit, material or colour. The thing is that even when I know a project won’t be worn too often I can’t bring myself to stop making it. So I salute you for having the courage to frog your sweater and start over with something you’ll really love.

    • It must be lovely to be unpacking again, though. I really want to be inspired by my wardrobe and feel fabulous in everything I have. It’s going to take a while to build a fabulous wardrobe, but I think it’s going to be fun.

  10. Liara says:

    Thank you for this! Time is much to precious to waste on something that you don’t love.

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