Hi ho, hi ho! It’s off to the [frog] pond we go…

It was almost three years ago when I started the Fairfield sweater.


This image is from the pattern page. My sweater is red. Bright red.

I knit the back to the armholes, then started the sleeves, knitting them both at the same time in an effort to ensure that they would be the same.

When I got to the sleeve armholes, I discovered that, while the sleeves were identical, they identically were both missing a number of increases along the way — ten, to be exact. The sleeves would not fit into the armholes properly, and they would be too tight around my upper arms.


The sweater went into time out while I pondered what to do. The obvious fix would have been to frog the sleeves back to the beginning of the increases and try again. But doing that required a fair amount of courage and perseverance that I couldn’t quite muster at that moment. So Fairfield sat in time out.

And sat.

And sat.

While it languished in its basket, almost but not quite out of sight, I began to reconsider the color. While I wanted a red sweater, this yarn was really, really red. It occurred to me that I would look like a fire truck — a really big firetruck — when I wore it. And my enthusiasm for the sweater began to fade.


Clearly, someone does not understand red.

The sweater sat some more.

Eventually I came up with a potential solution: overdye the yarn a darker color of red. (Duh.) I have had some success with overdying; it is not difficult, and I would start with a half-strength dye bath. I don’t want to end up with a dark, dark red sweater.

I think I can manage to make that yarn a better color, don’t you?

And so off to the frog pond I went. It will be a while — probably a long while — before I actually dye the yarn and reknit the sweater, but I feel good about it now.

Note: if you are wondering why I didn’t just frog to the beginning of the increases, finish knitting the sweater, and dye it then, there is a reason. It is difficult to get the dye to take evenly across a garment. But if the yarn has a few lighter and a few darker spots, that is okay. It’s called tonal, and I’m fine with that. 

Note 2: I found a better method for marking my increases in the sleeves than using a row counter. So that little problem is also solved.

This entry was posted in Dyeing, Fairfield sweater, knitting, Yarn. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Hi ho, hi ho! It’s off to the [frog] pond we go…

  1. ninlouise says:

    What a nice pattern! I searched for it and found it already saved in my Ravelry favorites! Good luck with your eventual version. :))

  2. Melissa says:

    What a clever plan to rescue what will be a beautiful sweater.

  3. gayle says:

    Woohoo! It’s all about what makes us happy, after all. 8)
    I use a similar method of row counting with a length of scrap yarn, but I just send the yarn front to back at one marked row, then bring it back to front on the next marked row. That also gives me how-many-times counts at a glance, too – each vertical length of scrap yarn will mark two increases (or sets of rows or whatever we’re marking for.) I do the same thing when I’m working a pattern where the beginning-of-round moves to a different stitch – much easier than shifting a marker.

  4. k says:

    Thank you for the tip. My life is better!
    Maybe I should commit to a sweater.

  5. mlegan says:

    I put a cluster of markers of the correct number at the first increase, then take one out and put it in the increase – so when I run out of markers, I should be there.

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