Monday, 29 November 2010

A failure in the making - the infamous "3-hour sweater"

Finally, a knitting post.

I am trying to do some stashbusting and as a result was searching Ravelry for something to use my three balls of pink worsted on.  Not enough for a cardigan, I already have scarves...and so what was the only vintagey item that I had enough for and that wasn't knitted on the dreaded circular needles...the "3 Hour Sweater".

I tried to knit this originally way back at the start of this year, in fact just when I first started knitting, because it seemed easy - just stockinette, ribbing and basic increases and decreases.  Also, if over 200 people have made it, surely I could, right?

Wrong.  I made a basic schoolgirl error and supplemented a chunky for the worsted stated in the pattern, didn't do a tension square, and ended up with something which I thought was much larger than required (though looking back it probably wasn't that bad).  I frogged it and had a cry and put it down to a learning experience.

So now I'm facing the beast again, and it is a beast.  The pattern calls for very large needles (10mm for the main body) and these are very tiring to knit with; the tiredness somewhat slowing down what should be a quick knit.

As it's going I am not halfway through and 5 hours in, so lets call this a 12 hour sweater, 10 hours of knitting and 2 hours of sewing up (I loathe sewing up).

So far it isn't looking too bad, a very loose knit but this is a 30's pattern and I've seen some original items with this kind of gauge.  I am worried about the sewing up though (did I mention how much I hate it?) as it is so loose and I'm concerned about gape.

So anyway - watch this space and I'll let you know how it turns out.  I really don't have high hopes for this one.

I also don't believe ANYONE, EVER could have done this in 3 hours.  Well, apart from this lady:


  1. Working my way through this pattern right now. Probably will take me 3 months, struggling with the front opening... *sihgs* Love to see how you're getting on!

  2. I think my mum could do it in 3 hours but that's it, me I haven't knit in years, it just takes too blumming long for my liking!

  3. Stashbusting - love that phrase! Something I need to do with my fabric!!

  4. When it comes to sewing and crafty things, I always take about 4 times as long as most people - which is why I gave up on all of that years ago. So good for you for keeping at it! I don't think your sweater will be a failure at all - the first half looks great!

  5. You'll always be a hero to non-knitting me.

  6. Looking good to me and a very pretty colour- it’s also on my ever increasing ‘to knit’ list but probably for the New Year! Are you going to use a back stitch for the sewing up? Happy Knitting…. Tups xxx

  7. Thanks all. I'm not actually sure how best to sew this wee blighter up. Mattress stitch won't work as I think its far too loose knit.

    So maybe a backstitch would that what you would recommend Tups?

  8. This was really interesting. I loved reading it.