Knitting

A most unfortunate ending

Cropped Cardigan
Finally finished the Cropped Cardigan. Argh.
Cropped Cardigan Sleeve
But I ran out of yarn on the last sleeve.

It’s been yeeeeaaars since I started this cardigan. And finally, this hot, sweaty summer, I managed to finish knitting it. It’s Amy O’Neill Houck’s Cropped Cardigan design and it’s so sweet looking. Knit with two strands of luscious Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca & Silk on big 8 mm needles, it’s supposed to be ridiculously easy… but somehow, I managed to make it a mess.

I ran out of yarn with about 3 inches left to go on the second sleeve. Of course, buying an extra skein of yarn four years (this is pretty much pre-Ravelry days, so I didn’t track even how many skeins I bought) after I started the cardigan meant that they were no where near the same dye lot. And not only were they different dye lot… they were different yarn lot. The main body of the cardigan is this warm and fuzzy kind of alpaca yarn, but the bit of extra yarn that I joined for the sleeve is all smooth and more silky looking. So it’s a sharp and distinct difference. It’s totally visible.

So now what? Should I wear it and just not care about the difference in the sleeve yarn (even though it’s totally obvious)? Or should I frog it? I’m leaning towards the frogging and knitting a Mini Manu. What would you do?

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About Felicia Lo

founder + creative director of SweetGeorgia // designer + dreamer // wife + mama // dyer, knitter, spinner, weaver, youtuber + author // been writing this blog about colour and craft since 2004 // see what I am making @lomeetsloom and @sweetgeorgia.

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76 thoughts on “A most unfortunate ending

  1. ccr in MA says:

    Oh, dear!

    I would frog it, because it would bug me and eventually I wouldn’t wear it.

  2. ccr in MA says:

    Oh, dear!

    I would frog it, because it would bug me and eventually I wouldn’t wear it.

  3. sweetgeorgia says:

    Yeah, I think it’s going to bug me too… that and the fact that I think I forgot to make the buttonhole. Ohh… it just gets worse. :P

  4. sweetgeorgia says:

    Yeah, I think it’s going to bug me too… that and the fact that I think I forgot to make the buttonhole. Ohh… it just gets worse. :P

  5. Mama Urchin says:

    what about instead of trying to match going with something entirely different?

  6. Mama Urchin says:

    what about instead of trying to match going with something entirely different?

  7. Sharon (Michigan) says:

    Oh, my, what a shame, but I’d frog it if it were mine. It won’t hurt too much…

  8. Sharon (Michigan) says:

    Oh, my, what a shame, but I’d frog it if it were mine. It won’t hurt too much…

  9. Lauren says:

    Could you unpick the BO from the other sleeve, then use that yarn end to knit until both sleeves are the same length? The sleeves would end up shorter than intended, but only by a few rows. The sweater looks really cute–it would be a shame to have to frog it!

  10. Lauren says:

    Could you unpick the BO from the other sleeve, then use that yarn end to knit until both sleeves are the same length? The sleeves would end up shorter than intended, but only by a few rows. The sweater looks really cute–it would be a shame to have to frog it!

  11. Enjay says:

    What about ripping and knitting the ribbing for both sleeves in the new yarn?

  12. Enjay says:

    What about ripping and knitting the ribbing for both sleeves in the new yarn?

  13. jen says:

    I assume you tried searching for matching yarn on ravelry? I have a couple of skeins I’d give you if they’re a match. Otherwise, they’ll marinate in my stash forever and I’d rather see them put to good use. They’re probably about 4 years old, too. Otherwise, Lauren’s suggestion sounds like a good one.

  14. jen says:

    I assume you tried searching for matching yarn on ravelry? I have a couple of skeins I’d give you if they’re a match. Otherwise, they’ll marinate in my stash forever and I’d rather see them put to good use. They’re probably about 4 years old, too. Otherwise, Lauren’s suggestion sounds like a good one.

  15. Kittykitty says:

    Why not pick a yarn that is a completely different colour, rip back the ribbing and stripe it. If you say pick white it would be a little Yohji Yamamoti. I love his wild stripe sleeve on traditional designs.

  16. Kittykitty says:

    Why not pick a yarn that is a completely different colour, rip back the ribbing and stripe it. If you say pick white it would be a little Yohji Yamamoti. I love his wild stripe sleeve on traditional designs.

  17. Jean says:

    yeah, in this case, instead of frogging, I’d rip back few inches in the sleeves (both) and put a ribbing in the new yarn. And then maybe stitch over a row or two in the body section?

  18. Jean says:

    yeah, in this case, instead of frogging, I’d rip back few inches in the sleeves (both) and put a ribbing in the new yarn. And then maybe stitch over a row or two in the body section?

  19. Sarah V. says:

    I had a very similar thing happen to me! I was making the Featherweight cardigan with some handspun I had bought at a Farmer’s Market, so obviously no more yarn to get when I ran out. So, I worked the ribbing on the sleeves, the bottom, and the collar in a different yarn, a contrasting colour. I really like how it came out, so maybe that’s an option?

    (My sweater is here: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/SarahVV/featherweight-cardigan-2)

    1. sweetgeorgia says:

      @Sarah V Ohh your Featherweight turned out beautifully. I actually love how the trim is all in a contrasting colour… provides some “grounding” for the variegated body portion. Looks great!

  20. Sarah V. says:

    I had a very similar thing happen to me! I was making the Featherweight cardigan with some handspun I had bought at a Farmer’s Market, so obviously no more yarn to get when I ran out. So, I worked the ribbing on the sleeves, the bottom, and the collar in a different yarn, a contrasting colour. I really like how it came out, so maybe that’s an option?

    (My sweater is here: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/SarahVV/featherweight-cardigan-2)

    1. sweetgeorgia says:

      @Sarah V Ohh your Featherweight turned out beautifully. I actually love how the trim is all in a contrasting colour… provides some “grounding” for the variegated body portion. Looks great!

  21. Elaine says:

    Assuming you like the cardigan otherwise… I would either undo both sleeves a little bit and then knit them both to the same (slightly shorter than called for) length, or failing that, do the ribbing for both sleeves in the new yarn. Or possibly another entirely different yarn.

  22. Elaine says:

    Assuming you like the cardigan otherwise… I would either undo both sleeves a little bit and then knit them both to the same (slightly shorter than called for) length, or failing that, do the ribbing for both sleeves in the new yarn. Or possibly another entirely different yarn.

  23. Lisa says:

    Rip back the offending color and the other sleeve, find a contrast for both sleeves.

    Or over dye the whole thing!

  24. Lisa says:

    Rip back the offending color and the other sleeve, find a contrast for both sleeves.

    Or over dye the whole thing!

  25. Gemini says:

    Definitely rip back the sleeves and either make them shorter or find a contrasting colour, as some others have suggested. It would be a shame to frog the whole thing!

  26. Gemini says:

    Definitely rip back the sleeves and either make them shorter or find a contrasting colour, as some others have suggested. It would be a shame to frog the whole thing!

  27. Laura M says:

    I wouldn’t frog it! I think it looks great….but yes a bit odd on one sleeve. So cut back the other sleeve a bit and add that yarn! It will give you a cute border on both sleeves! I think it would great that way!

  28. Laura M says:

    I wouldn’t frog it! I think it looks great….but yes a bit odd on one sleeve. So cut back the other sleeve a bit and add that yarn! It will give you a cute border on both sleeves! I think it would great that way!

  29. Diana says:

    oh no! what about stealing some yarn from the completed sleeve and making both sleeves a bit shorter?

  30. Diana says:

    oh no! what about stealing some yarn from the completed sleeve and making both sleeves a bit shorter?

  31. Donald says:

    Argh! I feel for you. All that work! I would not frog it though. It’s been 4 years in the making and now it’s done. That would be a total shame. I agree with others that you should just go back to the original yarn and make the sleeves a bit shorter and then wear with pride!!!

  32. Donald says:

    Argh! I feel for you. All that work! I would not frog it though. It’s been 4 years in the making and now it’s done. That would be a total shame. I agree with others that you should just go back to the original yarn and make the sleeves a bit shorter and then wear with pride!!!

  33. CaraCara says:

    I agree with the folks above. Personally, I would rip back a little on both sleeves, knit as long as you can. Finish it. Then give it away. After the aggravation, I would never be able to wear it. Or, if you love the yarn, frog it. Good yarn shouldn’t be wasted on a sweater you’re angry at.

    1. sweetgeorgia says:

      @CaraCara “Good yarn shouldn’t be wasted on a sweater you’re angry at.” That made me laugh out loud. So true, so true.

  34. CaraCara says:

    I agree with the folks above. Personally, I would rip back a little on both sleeves, knit as long as you can. Finish it. Then give it away. After the aggravation, I would never be able to wear it. Or, if you love the yarn, frog it. Good yarn shouldn’t be wasted on a sweater you’re angry at.

    1. sweetgeorgia says:

      @CaraCara “Good yarn shouldn’t be wasted on a sweater you’re angry at.” That made me laugh out loud. So true, so true.

  35. Megan says:

    I agree with the other comments: I would either rip back and even out the sleeves, or make the ribbing on both sleeves the 2nd yarn.

  36. Megan says:

    I agree with the other comments: I would either rip back and even out the sleeves, or make the ribbing on both sleeves the 2nd yarn.

  37. sweetgeorgia says:

    Wow! Thanks for all the very thoughtful suggestions! I think most of you lean towards not frogging … so it seems like the best solution might be to rip back the first sleeve by about an inch and use that yarn to knit on the second sleeve for an inch so that they both match up… then (optionally) finish both sleeves with the new yarn.

    Amazing. I have just witnessed the internets saving the life of a sweater. :)

  38. sweetgeorgia says:

    Wow! Thanks for all the very thoughtful suggestions! I think most of you lean towards not frogging … so it seems like the best solution might be to rip back the first sleeve by about an inch and use that yarn to knit on the second sleeve for an inch so that they both match up… then (optionally) finish both sleeves with the new yarn.

    Amazing. I have just witnessed the internets saving the life of a sweater. :)

  39. kat says:

    i’m late in chiming in, but wanted to way that I would rip back the other sleeve and make it match the two tone sleeve.

  40. kat says:

    i’m late in chiming in, but wanted to way that I would rip back the other sleeve and make it match the two tone sleeve.

  41. Therese says:

    This happened to me. I didn’t rip the other sleeve to match. In fact, I chose a contrasting yarn when I ran out and wore the sweater with aplomb!

  42. Therese says:

    This happened to me. I didn’t rip the other sleeve to match. In fact, I chose a contrasting yarn when I ran out and wore the sweater with aplomb!

  43. Sarah says:

    Make the two sleeves match, and add an inch on the bottom hem in the contrast yarn.

    I think the contrast looks good!

  44. Sarah says:

    Make the two sleeves match, and add an inch on the bottom hem in the contrast yarn.

    I think the contrast looks good!

  45. Jennifer says:

    Leave it, wash it, wear it. Tink back the sleeves and fiddle if you must, but that’s too much work to frog.

    Only you will notice anything less than perfect with it.

  46. Jennifer says:

    Leave it, wash it, wear it. Tink back the sleeves and fiddle if you must, but that’s too much work to frog.

    Only you will notice anything less than perfect with it.

  47. Sooze says:

    I agree with Jean and Sarah. Keep the contrast as a design element. Make the other sleeve match.

    Darn yarn requirements!

  48. Sooze says:

    I agree with Jean and Sarah. Keep the contrast as a design element. Make the other sleeve match.

    Darn yarn requirements!

  49. Jeanne B. says:

    Put me in the Camp that says, rip out the ribbing and reknit with contrast. Save the sweater. It’s cute. It’s finished. It’ll take an evening to rip and redo the ribbing, versus frogging the entire thing.

  50. Jeanne B. says:

    Put me in the Camp that says, rip out the ribbing and reknit with contrast. Save the sweater. It’s cute. It’s finished. It’ll take an evening to rip and redo the ribbing, versus frogging the entire thing.

  51. Kerry says:

    I would totally try Ravelry. I ran out of yarn a couple years ago while finishing a sweater I had started YEARS prior and I found the same dye lot! I was so psyched! Give it a try. I hope it works for you as well as it did for me!

  52. Kerry says:

    I would totally try Ravelry. I ran out of yarn a couple years ago while finishing a sweater I had started YEARS prior and I found the same dye lot! I was so psyched! Give it a try. I hope it works for you as well as it did for me!

  53. Astoria says:

    I love the way the coordinating trim looks on that sleeve. Pick off the bindoff and make the other sleeve end the same way, with an inch or two of the coordinating color.

  54. Astoria says:

    I love the way the coordinating trim looks on that sleeve. Pick off the bindoff and make the other sleeve end the same way, with an inch or two of the coordinating color.

  55. Ivete says:

    I would undo the ribbing on the other sleeve and redo it with the same contrasting yarn and then it will look like it was done on purpose!

  56. Ivete says:

    I would undo the ribbing on the other sleeve and redo it with the same contrasting yarn and then it will look like it was done on purpose!

  57. paola says:

    I would frog back the matched yarn and add a bright contrast trim – chartreuse green? bright teal? maybe also add a bright button to the sleeve to make the contrast colour a real design statement. do it on both sleeves or it might even be fun to have just one sleeve with the bright contrast

  58. paola says:

    I would frog back the matched yarn and add a bright contrast trim – chartreuse green? bright teal? maybe also add a bright button to the sleeve to make the contrast colour a real design statement. do it on both sleeves or it might even be fun to have just one sleeve with the bright contrast

  59. christine ann haynes says:

    Okay admittedly this would cause me SO MUCH ANGST!

    But I still say that you should wear it with some “hip” jeans and an outrageous bag and call it a fashion statement!

    Of course, it is beautiful!!

  60. christine ann haynes says:

    Okay admittedly this would cause me SO MUCH ANGST!

    But I still say that you should wear it with some “hip” jeans and an outrageous bag and call it a fashion statement!

    Of course, it is beautiful!!

  61. Whooops …. didn’t get to finish.

    And I know it will look beautiful on you!

  62. Whooops …. didn’t get to finish.

    And I know it will look beautiful on you!

  63. Laurel says:

    I would go with the idea of using a different yarn to trim the sleeves on both sides. A lot of Habu garments use this effect with the yarn grafted on somewhat underneath the first layer to give the appearance of wearing two layered garments, the second showing under the first. In fact, I think a Habu yarn could be perfect here–something a little finer-gauge, maybe black.

    Don’t frog it, though–that would be a shame. It has some lovely details!

  64. Laurel says:

    I would go with the idea of using a different yarn to trim the sleeves on both sides. A lot of Habu garments use this effect with the yarn grafted on somewhat underneath the first layer to give the appearance of wearing two layered garments, the second showing under the first. In fact, I think a Habu yarn could be perfect here–something a little finer-gauge, maybe black.

    Don’t frog it, though–that would be a shame. It has some lovely details!

  65. Joan says:

    I would rip out the odd little bit at the end and re-knit with a totally different color- make a point of it! If you knit the last three inches in a different/contrasting color, it will be a design point; it only looks like a mistake if you pick something too similar to the main color.

  66. Joan says:

    I would rip out the odd little bit at the end and re-knit with a totally different color- make a point of it! If you knit the last three inches in a different/contrasting color, it will be a design point; it only looks like a mistake if you pick something too similar to the main color.

  67. Keya says:

    If it were me, I’d tear out the other cuff and knit it with the new yarn, too. Give it a purposeful appearance. There’s enough similarity that it would simply look like a design intention. What’s a few more stitches?

  68. Keya says:

    If it were me, I’d tear out the other cuff and knit it with the new yarn, too. Give it a purposeful appearance. There’s enough similarity that it would simply look like a design intention. What’s a few more stitches?

  69. yvette says:

    Why don’t you just make both sleeves shorter? Borrow a bit off the other sleeve to add to this one. Ta da! Cap sleeves!

  70. yvette says:

    Why don’t you just make both sleeves shorter? Borrow a bit off the other sleeve to add to this one. Ta da! Cap sleeves!

  71. Mady says:

    I agree with Diana!

  72. Mady says:

    I agree with Diana!

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