An ode to the Driftless that never was...

Alas, dear Driftless, we could have been such good friends.

The heartbreaking tale of one woman and a pile of &@£@£ expensive fabric that met a bittersweet end.

As a self-proclaimed fan of Grainline Studio and the Lark Tee and Scout Tee patterns - I thought it was about time I tried out the Driftless Cardigan.

Now I don't think I've ever made a cardigan before so this was new territory - and in deepest December (2016!!) when I started this, it seemed like a great idea. (Oh how wrong I would be). A soft cosy thick knit cardy - what could be better right? Hmmmm....

I found some great sweater knit fabric (aka stupidly expensive horrendously itchy fluff maker) a while back from Fabric Godmother - wool knit in black, red and grey, ex-designer stock. It's beautiful (it was beautiful) but wow does that get messy fuzzy thread everywhere.


A bit of Pinterest stalking later I settled on size.... After reading some reviews of the pattern I lengthened it by about an inch or so because - leggings. I also widened the sleeve pieces by just straightening them up (they are tapered) as this gal has arms.

I should have read the signs at this point. Turns out even doing that I could barely get my arms in the sleeves without feeling like I was having my blood pressure taken. And.....oh....the...itching.

Apart from losing myself under a million tons of fluff and thread, the second disaster was the pockets. Now, this is not the pattern's fault - the pockets are beautifully drafted and actually really simple to construct - if you can see what you're doing. This fabric was so thick I couldn't sew it with a regular machine as it just wouldn't take it so the whole thing was serger based. Not ideal when the pattern calls for a lovely sharp corner. So one pocket was bigger than the other and hangs out a bit strangely :-/


The third epic disaster was that it then destroyed my overlocker. I'm not sure if  I hit a pin or what but the loopers full-on bent out of shape!!! No amount of messing with it could fix it so off to the overlocker-hospital it went. :(

And there the Driftless sat for 2 months...my overlocker came back fixed but with a warning, it should be replaced soon - and I just daren't break it again with the same project! The cardigan got resigned to UFO status whilst I desperately got the satisfaction of making something...anything...before my overlocker broke again. However, a couple of projects later I braved it and tried again.

NO PINS SHALL GO NEAR THY OVERLOCKER EVER AGAIN!!! I made sure clips were used on all of it. Then the &@£$%$ thing broke again and chewed up a sleeve.


The whole thing got shoved in a carrier bag and back into the UFO pile for another good few months. I have no idea why but a few weeks ago it began to niggle at me - I could feel its presence in the cupboard calling out like some weird telepathic tribble.

Time to bring it out again and deal... to finish or not to finish it, that was the question. Expensive fabric and a £250 bill for repairs makes this hands down THE  MOST EXPENSIVE NON-CARDIGAN in the known universe. This is what £300 looks like people...... :(


I'm an avid fan of Yoga with Adriene (bear with me there is relevance here) and I received an email with the phrase "Out with that which once served but no longer has a place. In with practices that serve, me now." This resonated a bit as this year personally has been one hell of an ordeal and overhaul and I like the notion of just bringing some calm back - but also in respect to all these things we hang on to just because we feel we have to, but serves no real joy. 

OUT THE CARDIGAN WENT. Free from its fluffy shackles it was released back into the wild and donated for recycling of threads to be reincarnated into some other state. God speed fluffy pile of fabric, god speed. May you warm the feet of some other soul in the form of socks...

All was not lost then, it left a parting gift of wisdom. So thank you dear fluffy nightmare, for you have taught me well...some things just do not work out the way we want. Walk on. 



Amateur dramatics aside, I'm still not sure how I feel about making heavier knitwear. For a start, and despite my disaster of an attempt, any kind of sweater knit style fabric seems to be very scarce and hard to find. It's also very expensive when you do find it - so in the end its probably costing way more than a really good quality RTW would - which I know is not the point but...it has some relevance. I love a good cable knit sweater or cosy cardy, I'm just not sure making them is the way forward for me yet.

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12 comments:

  1. I love your post. Sometimes you have to just move on. It was a lovely fabric!

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    1. Thanks Linda - can't win them all! :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Hahaha happens to the best of us right?!

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  3. You poor thing! Such a shame you couldn't salvage the fabric but well done for walking away. Do you have to buy yourself a new overlocker now?

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    1. Fortunately not - however I fear I may have cursed it by even typing that - fingers crossed its behaving itself so far ;)

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  4. Hilarious post yet I feel bad for enjoying it so much. Perhaps it's because we've all been there! Roll on your next project

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    1. Heehee thank you glad you enjoyed it! Moving on...

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  5. Ahhh, we've all been there before! At least some good has come of it, this post has made everyone who reads it smile and think, well at least it wasn't me. Not this time at least...

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    1. Hehe cheers Beck - I was hoping it would make someone smile! x

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  6. Never mind! At least it’s a lesson learnt (no to heavy knits!) It’s a shame it didn’t work out as it would have been lovely. Thanks for the post, it really made me laugh!

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    1. Heehee glad you found it funny ;) such a distaster - on to the next! Must try a Linden, loved your version

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