When last we saw our Azalea Vintage Cardigan, its fate was in question. Would it go to live with someone else? Could I find a solution to make it work for me? Would it return to stash form? Would it really be cut into pieces and then burned? Since I was much closer to cutting and burning, I set it aside. When I put it a few days later, it fit. How? That is a mystery, but a happy one.
While I wondered whether it might turn back into an odd, unwearable piece within a week, I decided to believe I had a victory, and worked on it a bit more. I was not super-pleased with the neckline. I had worked crocheted slip stitches around, but it needed more. I considered adding a picot finish, but rejected that idea after a bit of experimentation. Then I thought about the rolled stockinette others had done, but I just was not feeling that, either. The pattern calls for working i-cord and then sewing it to the cardigan, and just thinking about doing that was draining my will to live. Still, i-cord is a nice finish, so I decided to do applied i-cord. I did not even have to think about the rate of picking up stitches because of the crochet finish I had already worked. A little while later, it was finished with the exception of buttons.
I got out my button stash and tried out styles. The coconut shell ones would have been perfect if they were smaller. Then there were the pearly ones that looked so nice, but were too small. The wooden ones really called to me, but would not fit, either. I found another set of pearly buttons that seemed perfect, but I did not have enough. So, it seemed it would need to wait for a trip to the store.
The next time I went out and found myself near a Hancock Fabrics, I did not have the cardigan with me, but I did not let that stop me. The wall of buttons mesmerized me, and it took me a while to notice that they were on sale for 50% off the regular price. It did not take long to find several styles that I wanted for future knitting, as well as some possibilities for my GVC.
Then it was time to repeat the process of trying to make a match between the nearly finished cardigan and the new buttons. If I were really into having a bunch of kitty faces on my sweater, I could have stopped looking almost immediately. They actually looked nice, but it is not the look I was going for with this project, and those were purchased for future knitting. Anyway, as I worked to find just the right buttons to work with this, I picked up the wooden set from the stash again, and now they fit. I really do not know how to explain any of it.
After I sewed on the buttons, it was time for the photo shoot. After about fifty pictures I decided that if none of them were good, it was not likely I would ever get a nice photo. Once I had them all loaded to the computer, it was interesting to see how really dreadful this nice sweater could look. Then there were the shots where the sweater looked fine, but I had a horribly pained (or irritated, angry, annoyed, bored, confused, or out-of-touch) expression on my face, or a ray of sun was shining on me in an unfortunate way, or the body-image-issues-gremlins tried to ruin everything.
While just short of a year is a rather sorry start-to-finish time for a cardigan, I am pleased that it is finished, and that it fits. We even had some of that cooler-than-average weather over the weekend, which gave me several opportunities to wear my new sweater. I still have mixed feelings about it after some of the ups-and-downs I had with it, but I am thinking about calling it a win.