Hi, welcome to String Revolution. I'm Léan, I live in Dublin with my husband and two little boys, and I am a dangerous stringy subversive.
My job is to radiate my creative truth, and to help you radiate yours. I create, without exception, every day. I write here when I have something to say.

(learn more about me).

The 9-Year Knitting Project

Léan in her grey cardigan, August 2004

I am not the world’s greatest finisher of craft projects. I am also, truth be told, not the world’s greatest starter of craft projects. In fact, far too many of my projects reside only in my head, where they are no use to man or beast.

But let me talk about finishing.

The photograph above features me in the summer of 2004, a couple of weeks before I had the Oyster. I am wearing my trusty grey cardigan, which I love very much. (Indeed, I’m wearing it as we speak.)

I knitted this cardigan in around 2000, when Niall and I lived in our flat in Dublin 4. One day, seized by the feeling – you know what I’m talking about, yes? – I dashed to the late and much lamented Needlecraft on Dawson Street, and enlisted the help of one of the doughty proprietresses in choosing that grey Tivoli Aran and the pattern. “Something a bit fancy,” I said. I had a thirst on me for cables. She understood at once.

Back home, I cast on as soon as I could and knitted feverishly until I had finished the back, fronts, and sleeves. I sewed them together, made and attached the button bands, then picked up stitches for the collar. As I began to knit, it became clear that I wouldn’t have quite enough wool to make the six or eight inches called for in the pattern.

Not to worry! I would go and find some contrasting wool, in a darker grey, perhaps, or even green, and use it to finish the thing off. Then I’d add buttons. Job done.

I went and bought the wool – charcoal, I decided. I bought buttons.

They sat there.

The cardigan sat there.

One day, on a whim, I cast off the collar – just temporarily, you understand – and put the cardigan on.

And there the matter rested. I wore my grey cardigan with the not-quite-finished collar for years. I didn’t much like the way the two front halves arched towards each other at the neck (you can see that in the photo above), but it wasn’t a completely obvious mistake. If you’ve known me in person for any length of time, you’ve probably seen the cardigan, in the above state, many times.

I say “in the above state”, because that’s now a thing of the past. A few months ago, I finally sat down and tackled the finishing I’d planned all along: rolled edgings on the cuffs and bottom edge, extended collar. I even knew where to find that ball of charcoal wool, which in my house is nothing short of miraculous.

Grey Aran cardigan with moss stitch and cables

Here’s how it turned out. Look at it, in all its chunky-cabley-double-moss-stitchy glory. Aren’t those edgings just the thing to set it off?

Grey Aran cardigan, cuffs with rolled edges

I love the cuffs best, I think. I have a fiery nerdish passion for 2×2 rib rising from rolled stocking stitch (even better if it’s corrugated rib, as in Down in the Woods).

Shame about the collar, though. Impatient to finish, I cast it off after only a couple of inches. As anyone could have told me, the skimpy little thing refused to lie down, instead flapping weakly around my jaw and irritating the hell out of me whenever I passed a mirror. Not the effect I was after.

Léan in her grey Aran cardigan, this time with a big enough collar

So I fixed it – after only another month or two of procrastination. Go me.

I still haven’t sewn on the buttons, by the way, because when I went looking for them, there they were, gone. Perhaps I’ll pick up some nice ones at the Knitting & Stitching Show. With fair seas and a following wind, I may even manage to sew them on before the cardigan’s tenth birthday.

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