I never cease to be amazed by the ways in which people convince themselves that something that is clearly not right is actually okay or even good.
You might think that this is a very successful knitting project in the works for a very sweet young man.
But you would be wrong.
I spent the better part of the week not knitting on this sweater, while telling myself I had plenty of yarn to finish the sleeves and the ribbing at the bottom. Briefly, I entertained the possibility of finishing out the sweater with a solid gray yarn — a moment of deep practicality. Then I pushed the notion aside and reminded myself I still had three partial balls of yarn and everything would be, well, okay. Or even good.
Last weekend I hedged my bets by starting in on the sleeves early. I knitted the body of the sweater just far enough to do the last button hole, leaving a couple of inches of ribbing at the bottom to be done. I started one sleeve, and then I told myself that just to be sure, I would start the second one. At this point I had three circular needles and three balls of yarn attached to the sweater, and knitting the third sleeve was an interesting dance of needles and tangling balls of yarn.
And then this happened:
Two partial sleeves. Two rapidly diminishing balls of yarn in ziploc bags.
I can "catch up" the shorter sleeve on the left to the length of its mate is on the right with the remaining yarn. But that is about it, as you can plainly see.
Really, I knew. I knew this day was coming. After I exhaust these two little stubs of yarn, I'm going to have to bring out the gray — I have some lovely Alpaca — and pray that I can get gauge. And that it doesn't looks stupid, a sort of a "hey, I ran out of yarn but I'm trying my best" sweater. I'm hoping I can embrace the mistake and that it will look like an intentional design element or at least that it won't look like a total disaster and become the kind of sweater all children fear their mother may knit them some day. In the future, I will try to keep myself from ignoring the impending train wreck, or maybe just recognizing that when the math on yardage is a little bit tight at the outset of a project, it likely won't improve with time.
Despite all of this, I am oddly delighted with this sweater. I like the bulky Elliebelly Talia Merino yarn and I love how the colors play together. The Ragman pattern is simple, but a joy to knit and not in any way boring. So I'm going to suck it up, start knitting with the gray yarn, hope for the best, and trust that another solution will present itself if the gray yarn doesn't work out.