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I've been saving up this one until it was seasonally appropriate!

When the Spring 08 issue of Knitty came out, I got all excited about the Tempest sweater. I picked out my colors, swatched, blogged, and knit myself into a frenzy. I should have carried the colors up between stripes, a lesson I learned the hard way as I wove in about 3,000 yarn ends.

I have a bad habit of finishing sweaters to the 99% point and then leaving them to languish without buttons for ages. Even though I knit it up pretty quickly, this sweater fell to the same fate and I stuffed it in a corner of my craft room for about a month before finally picking up some appropriately-sized wooden buttons.

Here's the part of my story that'll make a knitter's blood run cold:

Let's just say that I have a dear, plump little cat in my house that likes to nibble on fancy fibers. Her name is Annie, we call her Kittenboo, and she is a holy terror when it comes to chomping big ol' holes in my finished garments.

Time for some knitting triage! First, I grabbed an antique can of Pattern-Sta, wetting my fingers with a little of the stuff and applying along the edge of the kitty chomp. Tempest calls for fingering-weight yarn knit at 5 stitches to the inch, which is pretty loose, and I was worried about everything coming undone.

Next, I picked up and knitted new foundation stitches along the edge of the chomp, trying to even out the edge of the fabric.

I knitted a tiny strip of fabric in the color of the button band, adding a little extra length so I could turn it up like the rest of the sewn hem.

I grafted the little strip into place, then sewed my edges down into place and turned up the bit at the bottom to mimic the hem on the opposite side.

Once everything was in place, I added a strip of grosgrain ribbon at the bottom of each inside front edge. I thought about running it up the full length of the front, but I was concerned that the ribbon would make the edge too inflexible and that it would interfere with the natural stretchiness of the loosely-knit fabric.

Whew! Here are some pics of the final sweater after my rescue attempt.

Pattern: Tempest from (Ravelry link)
Needles: KP Options Interchangeable Needles, nickel, size 6
Yarn: Shadow in Snorkel and Spring Green, Shimmer in Bayou

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Comment by Roxane on January 30, 2009 at 5:58pm
Oh, but he's so handsome! And his neutral coloring sets off your rovings so well! You just have to accept that your handspun will be at least 10% cat hair.
Comment by Alison on January 30, 2009 at 10:56am
Don't even get me started on all my pre-drafted roving that my other cat, Eddie, compacts with his rump.

From Get out of my spinning basket!
Comment by Roxane on January 30, 2009 at 9:28am
Maybe if you had found a way to stabilize the whole mess, you could call it "deconstructionalism." Then you could rent Annie out to anyone who wanted to copy the look.

It's amazing that so many knitters love cats, when one considers that the cat is the natural enemy of knitting.
Comment by Alison on January 30, 2009 at 9:19am
No kidding! Once I made a wrap sweater, and she chomped a mouthful out of the right front, left front, back collar, one sleeve, and then ate the i-cord drawstring. In our house, sweaters are kept on the top shelf of the closet.
Comment by Roxane on January 30, 2009 at 9:12am
I'm glad you included a photo of the "perp" in your post! "Awful Annie" deserves to have her photo in post offices all across America!
Comment by KKBacon on November 2, 2008 at 7:48pm
P.S. My daughter has my camera so I can't take a picture of the mess to show you.
Comment by KKBacon on November 2, 2008 at 7:46pm
I commiserated with you yesterday over your sweater. Today I get up to find that my adorable black toy poodle, Ambrose, a 9 month old, had found my knitting. It was the beginning of a pi shawl that I had just gotten that center after a million tries. He not only chewed the yarn, but also chewed the options 40" cable into 3 pieces, got the needles off the cable and chewed up my harmony size 9 needles. He ate them! Needless to say, he is on my s%$# list. I'm not going to restart it now--I have other projects that need my attention.
Comment by Julie on November 1, 2008 at 5:09am
I love your sweater! It is beautiful. I must say after seeing your kitty, I would just have to forgive her ooops. I love hearing how you went about correcting and it turned out so well. Thanks for the inspiration, for when I dear love ones oooops our projects.
Comment by KKBacon on October 31, 2008 at 9:19pm
Wow! I can't believe that you were able to repair that scary sweater. For you it's a garment eating cat...for me it's a garment eating toy poodle.
Comment by Melissa on October 31, 2008 at 1:46pm
Whew! That is a scary story. I have yet to see you wear your Tempest though...I want to see it in person!

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