Melina 1, sweater dreads 0, public transport 1 (inch of knitting thereabouts)

Victory is mine! I have conquered the mighty sambuca sweater! Sort of.


This post may have been at least a week of two earlier had my sweater and the greater public transport system not conspired against me to grant my first transit loss. Yes, I had some yarn lost in translation.

Here’s what happened, I finished the colourwork on the body and started to get a a little antsy about whether or not I would have enough yarn to complete the sweater in full. As this was a discontinued yarn that I got in a sale a while ago,  it was very likely I would indeed run out thanks to the sneaky laws of knitting.

So I did what any prudent knitter would do, I knitted to a point that would be just long enough to get a decent, albeit short sweater, then started on the sleeves. Once both sleeves were done, I had a small ball of wool left over that I could add to the bottom of the sweater after ripping back my ribbing. Thanks to a convenient break in the wool at the start of the ribbing, I had two small balls of wool that were roughly the same size and I figured that would grant me an extra inch in length to my sweater. I vividly remember deciding that the extra inch was much needed as my sweater really was too short. I should have realised then that my careful planning was for naught…

So I blissfully knitted on using the sleeve ball to give the ribbing ball time to relax, getting more and more smug with each extra row added, when I suddenly came to the end of the ball and couldn’t find the ribbing ball in my knitting bag! My first thought was that the second ball was at home somewhere and I had better find something else to do on the train home. When I got home, I searched all the usual places, but it wasn’t there and so I packed some sock knitting for the train ride in and decided it must be at uni instead. But alas, it wasn’t there either. It was at this point I started blaming Cleo and resolved to go looking in all the cat hiding places that night.

A part of me still thinks it’s the bloody cat, but she has a habit of parading around with my knitting trapped in her mouth or paws right in front of me, as if to say “look I’m a knitter too!” but she hasn’t gloated over her prize yet which makes me think that the second ball of wool must have somehow made a break from my knitting bag in transit and I never noticed at the time.

So, that left me with several options, I could admit defeat and cast aside an almost complete sweater, or I could rip back for a second time and reknit the ribbing with my remaining wool giving me roughly the same short length I had originally, or thirdly I could approach “the man” and ask if someone had turned in a really quite small ball of wool to the lost and found at Metro, or whatever the public transport company’s name is.

Naturally I did option one for a week or so. I’ve been busy, and I realised that a few of my socks have holes in them, one such pair being the recently knitted jaywalkers after I put my thumb through the leg of one. I also may have a problem with finishing things, maybe I’m not quite sure yet it could just be a general lack of motivation to do things.

Anyway, I realised after a few days of cheating on my sweater with a sock project that I was being silly, and I probably should call up Metro and ask. Admittedly, I put off doing that in case I was laughed at by the person at the other end of the phone, because really any non-knitter would probably consider that piddly ball of wool as rubbish and no use to anyone, it might also be returned to me covered in unidentifiable and unremovable gross stuff. But the idea of witnessing a warehouse of lost and found for Melbourne’s public transport is quite intriguing…

So I went with option two. I ripped back and started ribbing, and ribbing and using up my remaining bit of wool. I cut short my ribbing by one or two rows since I didn’t think I had enough yarn and started to cast off using a really stretchy cast off similar to this, I got about half way through my stitches when I ran out of yarn. I had a small amount of yarn still attached to one of my sleeves so I cut that and added it in and kept going. It wasn’t enough.

Needless to say I had to rip back all of my cast off stitches. I didn’t want to rip back another row and shorten my sweater even more than it already was, so I tried casting off again, but this time omitting the yarn overs between stitches. Let me tell you, it was the most nerve racking knitting I have done in a long time. I was on a train heading in to uni and, at first I made sure to keep my yarn in my bag because I didn’t want to see just how tiny the ball was getting. But then I started to get really nervous, and kept checking it every two seconds like a crazy person with an eye twitch. I also started scanning the floor of the train in the off chance my missing ball of wool was trying to make it’s way back to me. Crazy much?

I quickly approached the join I had made when adding in that extra piece of yarn and I still had at least a third more to cast off. I started to knit tighter and tighter, and then faster and faster because you can totally out knit a ball of yarn if you knit fast enough. True fact. I had a dozen or so stitches left to go when the yarn got too small to loop over my fingers. I knew that if I didn’t have enough yarn I would start crying or screaming in public whilst ripping my sweater to shreds with my switch blade on my bottle opener. Yes I carry a bottle opener in my handbag at all times. Judge me all you like but you’ll thank me when you need it later.

Thankfully I had just enough yarn. I may or may not have said “F*ck you sweater!” a little too loudly on a crowded train but I was grateful for the extra breathing space when people started to back away from me. In the worlds worse weaving in of ends you can see just how little I had left over below.



It took me a few days to calm down enough to be able to weave in the ends and preblocking it is probably too short to be comfortable. Is it wrong that I am hoping like crazy that the damn thing grows like a weed? I mean even if the sleeves just stretch out a few inches, I would probably rip out those inches and add them to the body quite happily as long as I stapled the wool to my forehead first so it couldn’t go walkabouts again.

I refuse to call Metro and ask about their lost and found. I have also been avoiding Morris and Sons in the off chance that they have a matching colour in another line. And I have a new rule, no yarn in transit that isn’t securely attached to my needles at all times. I’m also watching Cleo like a hawk, I do not trust that furball at all.




6 thoughts on “Melina 1, sweater dreads 0, public transport 1 (inch of knitting thereabouts)

  1. That is beautiful Molina!!! You finished it on time for winter!!! Emma, you still got plenty of time to knit before winter hits!!! Missing you both heaps!!!

  2. That is the most nerve-wracking knitting story… The fact that I was holding my breath while reading about you casting off probably says something about me. But, congratulations! It’s beautiful and I’m sure it’ll block just fine. You have thoroughly shown me up – my jumper only has one half a of a sleeve.

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