Emily's Comfort Fade Cardi Take 2

My mom requested a Comfort Fade Cardi, so I made a Comfort Fade Cardi. I enjoyed making this sweater the first time around and by the time she asked I had forgotten the pain of picking up stitches. Much like, I'd imagine, mothers forget the pain of childbirth. 

So we picked out the colors and after a little bit of a CFC respite (I needed to spend some time on something--anything-- else), I began. 

Choosing the yarn: The first time around I bought some lovely colors from Tanis Fiber Arts . It's hard to pick out colors online-- and while I'm happy with what I ended up with, it's not what I would have chosen if given the opportunity to select them in person. So we headed to the LYS and were able to choose from a nice selection of Madeline Tosh DK. 

We picked a lovely (expensive) assortment. She wanted a cozy XXL--that's a lot of yarn. 

The biscuity cakes got jammed into a project bag. And in this project bag grew an overwhelming wool-smell. I don't love wool-smell, and this was a lot of wool-smell. Every time I opened the bag it smelled like there must have been a little baby lamb inside, nestled among the needles and paper directions. I tried to embrace the smell. 

The time frame: My goal was to get this done in 8 weeks. I got it done in 10. XXL means a lottt of knitting. 

The process: I only made two little mistakes-- both somewhat camouflaged. The biggest stress came from knowing that I was making this for someone else. With really expensive yarn. And that if it didn't fit, I'd have to rip back weeks and weeks worth of work. 

Oh. And the part where you have to pick up 300+ stitches in a somewhat even manner. That part sucked. I stopped counting my attempts-- probably upwards of 10? I finally just said 'fuck it, that's gotta be close enough.' And it was. 

I would knit this sweater again in minute... if it didn't involve picking up all those GD stitches.

The blocking: Oh, the blocking. Here's where things get realllll dicey. I submerged the sweater in the water and squirted in some Method dish soap (because I forgot about the step about using real wool wash and this shit was gonna get done TONIGHT).

Speaking of shit.

The waterlogged wool started to smell not good. It wasn't the wool-smell that I had grown accustomed to. It was something more pungent. I let the sweater soak for awhile (until I went to check on it and all of the water had drained out of the washing machine because-- see above-- I am also too lazy to buy a proper soaking container).

The smell, as I squeezed the water out from the heavy mass of wool, was not good. And the sweater itself, being an XXL, was quite unwieldy. Once I got enough water removed (ie my arms were too achy to do any further mashing), I took the sweater into a room I could close off and began blocking the thing. It still smelled bad. Really bad.

At one point, after the sweater had been closed off to dry for some time, I opened the door to the room, and was hit by an odor that can best be described as noxious. I began to worry. I began to get angry. What if I couldn't get the smell out of this beautiful (have I mentioned expensive) gift sweater?

I texted Greta. I googled the shit out of "really bad wool smell" and all of it's variants. I emailed Madeline Tosh (and never heard back, btw), all in the hopes of the reassurance that this sheep-shit-200-year-old-decaying-barn-smell would disappear. Or at least fade

And it (mostly) eventually did.

End results: I am told that the sweater fits exactly as it was meant to!

And I will never use Madeline Tosh yarn again.


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