I've had the most extraordinary experience over the last month or so with a UFO.
It started with a compliment and ended with a gorgeous sweater.
What the hell is the crazy lady at knitacular talking about?! About a 3/4 finished sweater, a very nice and fantastic knitter and some detective work. Oh, and the UFO we are talking about is not exactly the kind with little green men, but rather the much more terrifying...(cue spooky music) UN-FINISHED OBJECT. Ahh!
So, I'm working on a Campside Cardi by Alicia Plummer, and cruising around Ravelry for some ideas on the button band, when lo-and-behold, I come across the gorgeous shawl collar by a fabulous knitter, Jessica Singer (you can browse her truly amazing projects here and the project page for the Campside Cardi here).
It's gorgeous! I write a little nice comment about what a great idea it was to add that shawl collar to the pattern. Next thing I know I get back a message saying that the sweater didn't fit her quite right and she was "looking for a new home for it. It lacks a single sleeve, but I have all the yarn wound up. Do you want it? I'll just mail it to you free."
I'm a little hesitant to say yes, because it's such a nice offer with all that beautiful yarn and hours and hours of work. But, we go back and forth, and I eventually give her my address and wait as patiently as a knit & yarn-addicted person can do.
It arrives!! I show it off to my office mates, try it on and set to work to figure out how to finish it!
As I take a closer look at the sweater, it seems she didn't quite follow the pattern to the letter. She's a master and from her Ravelry page, it seems she modifies everything based on her taste. She used a smaller gauge on a larger size, picked up extra stitches at the arms, made them longer, alternated skeins due to the variegated yarn, etc. to make it just as she liked.
But I wasn't quite sure what all the changes were, so I had to do some detective work. The first thing I did was basically put in an afterthought lifeline to ascertain how many stitches she had for the sleeves (the mustard yellow yarn below). This helped me figure out how many she picked up under the armpit.
Then I got to knitting, working in pattern. I reached out to Jessica once, when I was unsure if she alternated skeins on the arm--I thought she did, but just did such a seamless job, it's hard to tell!!
I worked a few inches and was relieved to find out that I was getting the same gauge as her with the same size needles. I'm not quite as good at alternating skeins, so I ended up with a little bit of a seam down the underarm, but not too bad.
I struggled with the cuff for some reason. Finally got it pretty close to right after switching between needles sizes a few times.
I was in need of a sweater, so as soon as it came off the needles and I finished up weaving in all the ends, it immediately went to work keeping me warm whenever I was home and I was lazy about blocking it. But, I finally got it blocked and some photos taken--the end of the tale of this UFO...for now.