But let's focus on the positive! My White Pine Cardigan is finished and blocked, and I am absolutely in love with it! My plan was to have this finished in time for the cold weather... oops.
I learned a great deal from this pattern -- primarily twisted rib. Lots, and lots, and LOTS of twisted rib! I tend to dislike ribbing in general, but you'll not find me complaining about "regular" rib in the near future. I also became quite expert at fixing small errors made several rows back. In the past, such a discovery would have resulted in my tearing out every row until I reached the mistake, but now I know how to undo a few stitches (and put them back once the mistake is rectified!). I also know that this technique only works a few stitches "wide," a discovery which cost me several hours of work and re-work.
Sadly, I also learned that I did not like the way the pattern was written! After looking around a bit on Ravelry, I soon discovered that I was not the only knitter to have serious issues with the pattern. I ended up "rewriting" the pattern for myself, dividing up the steps clearly and using only the stitch counts for my size (not that there were many, which is one of my issues with the pattern). I still don't know how you are supposed to decrease in seed stitch without ending up with really wonky patches. Perhaps I need to consult a living, breathing knitter to find that out, but my solution was to simply omit the decreases (except in the sleeves, which fortunately are relatively hidden!). I am so very glad this was not my first sweater, because otherwise I think I would have been totally lost! Coupled with some errors on my part, it made the going very tedious. In fact, five months into the project and part-way through the first sleeve, I put the sweater aside.
I was eventually roused to finish it because I had other projects to start (notably a blanket for the baby-on-the-way!), and didn't want to leave this project in limbo. The last thing I need is an unfinished project cluttering my craft space or my mind. With renewed vigor, I finished the first sleeve and attacked the second. Fortunately, it didn't take long to pick up the pattern again, and I was soon humming along nicely. After bravely tackling the shoulder decreases, I was ready for the button band. That complete, all that remained were buttons and blocking.
I finished it off with the pewter buttons from Colonial Williamsburg that I mentioned recently. I'm so pleased that they're out of my stash and back in my closet!
So that's the White Pine -- but what about the Prejudice? I'm so glad you asked! Quite simply, it was listening to the audio book of Pride and Prejudice that helped me persevere through those last steps. I have the version read by Rosamund Pike from Audible.com, and I highly recommend it! Rosamund has the most amazing voice, and reads with what I'd describe as "sedate variety" -- far from monotone, but also not distractingly dramatic. Apparently I'm on a kick of listening to books read by actors who have featured in Jane Austen film adaptations, because I immediately started Agnes Grey read by Emilia Fox once I'd finished Pride and Prejudice!
White Pine -- so many emotions knitted up in a single sweater... *wink* I will probably not be making another White Pine in the future; I am too scarred to voluntarily subject myself to the experience a second time (even though I'd doubtless have more success a second time around). But I'm glad I made the one, because I really do love the way this sweater looks! It's one of the patterns that prompted me to finally take up knitting, after all.
I must say, my manifold frustrations were nearly forgotten when my husband (who has patiently listened to me winge about this pattern many a time) observed it drying and commented on how nice it looked. I think he is still a bit surprised -- as I am myself -- when something I knit turns out looking... well, real! Fortuitously, our warm Spring weather gave way the very day after blocking, and it was dry in time to wear on one of the (presumably) last cold days this year. It may have missed most of the action this year, but it will be primed and ready to serve as a wardrobe staple next winter!
I still have three skeins of yarn left over, so at some point I'll be making myself a winter hat for next year. I realized this past winter that I need something to keep my ears warm on windy days! I can't remember the last time I had a winter hat/cap; I never really needed one in Florida. But in the meantime, I've already cast on a Blue Blanket by LondonLeo...