As I mentioned last week, I finished my "Tinder" cardigan. And I really, really love it! When Tom comes home, I'll get some photos and do a proper post. But, for now, I'll tell you the story about how a couple of 2-inch button bands and 7 22 simple buttonholes kicked my butt.
Once upon a time, there was a cardigan that was nearly finished. The pieces were knit to specifications. The seaming was complete. The fit was perfect. The collar picked up and knit.
All that remained . . . were the buttonbands! Simple, straightforward, 2-inch buttonbands.
When the first of the buttonband was complete, The Knitter could see that she probably hadn't picked up quite enough stitches, because it pulled in just slightly more than expected.
I can Live With It, The Knitter said. It'll block out.
But after a day of thinking, The Knitter knew she was Kidding Herself. The buttonband Wasn't Right. She would Regret it Forever. So she ripped the buttonband out and Knit It Again.
Now The Knitter was ready to move on to the second buttonband -- and the buttonholes. Because The Knitter is also a Sew-er, buttonholes do not cause fear and dread. For The Knitter, buttonholes are just Another Step in the Process.
So, The Knitter carefully marked the placement of the buttonholes. She studied the directions for Elizabeth Zimmermann's one-row buttonholes, which were exquisitely and clearly described in the pattern (Jared Flood does not scrimp when it comes to direction!).
The Knitter made the first buttonhole.
Kind of wonky, she said. Maybe it will Look Better when the next row is complete. (As is often the case with buttonholes.)
So she went on. The second buttonhole looked the same. Kind of wonky. Must be The Way They Are, she said.
The third buttonhole, once more, looked the same. Kind of wonky. Defintely The Way They Are, she said.
The fourth buttonhole? PERFECT. (Oh. So the first three WERE wonky, then.)
Give it a rest.
Start again two days later.
The Knitter made the first buttonhole. Kind of wonky, she said. Didn't it look better than this the other day?
Still, she pressed on. The second buttonhole looked the same. Kind of wonky. (Does she never learn????)
The third buttonhole? PERFECT.
Rip back. Again.
The next day, seven PERFECT buttonholes in a row!
But it became immediately clear that The Knitter had miscalculated the number of rows to knit in the buttonband before beginning the buttonholes. The buttonband was clearly going to be too wide if the buttonholes were to be in the center.
What an IDIOT! The Knitter said to herself. And outloud, too. (Many times. With maybe some other more colorful words thown in for balance.)
Rip back. Again.
Many days rest.
Seven more PERFECT buttonholes. (Bringing the total to 22. . . if you're counting.)
And a perfectly finished buttonband.