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December 16, 2007

From Susan — Free at Last, or “It’s Good Enough for Me”

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 1:22 am

I am so amazed: I finished my Kauni Cardigan.  I’m not amazed by the finished Kauni — what amazed me was that I allowed myself to BE FINISHED with it! 

As I described to my knitting peeps on Thursday evening (at a wonderful Christmas soiree hosted by Mary!!), I had major Kauni concerns:

1) The sleeves were not going in as planned.  The seaming looked like crapola.  So I decided to pick up around the armholes and graft in the sleeves.  This step was completed this morning.  They did turn out looking better than the seams did.  I should have picked up and knitted down after all :(. 

Note: I chose to knit the sleeves from the cuff up so I could control the color of the cuffs.  It didn’t even work out that way!  I ended up with strange-colored cuffs anyway!  Here’s a pic to prove it:

Dec408003.jpg picture by lv2knit

2) I did not like the front bands AT ALL!!  I had spent 12-15 hours knitting the front and neck bands in one piece on 60″ needles (seriously!).  I did not like the band for several reasons: band too wide, neck opening too small, top buttonhole not centered, blah, blah, blah; yada, yada, yada.  My plan was to redo the band completely, even though many, many hours of knitting would be involved.  I wanted the sweater to turn out, of course. I spent most of Saturday evening pouring over my new, improved approach to the band to “fix” all the stuff I did not like about it, but could not come up with a plan. 

Drum roll, please.  I decided to do nothing.  I bound it off and it is blocking at this moment.  I tossed in the towel.  I gave up.  I caved.  I decided that enough was enough.  AND IT FEELS FANTASTIC!!!!  I did not want to spend umpteen hours re-knitting the bands when I wasn’t even sure they would look better.  I decided that it was GOOD ENOUGH!  I did not strive for perfection or to be the best that I could be — I didn’t care!!  Woo Hoo!  Susan made a breakthrough :).  And, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that I ever get to perfection, but at least I do try to do my best — except for today!!  [Susan is now doing her ‘happy dance’ around the room]

Here is the Good-Enough Kauni:

kauniComplete001.jpg picture by lv2knit

kauniComplete005.jpg picture by lv2knit

So I am 95% done with this bad boy!  I need to do some inside finishing and find buttons (always a Ruh Roh! ;)), BUT the main part of the Kauni is behind me.  I’ll post more pictures when it is off the ground!

It feels so good to be bad! 😉


  1. I need to remind myself (on Ravelry) to make myself a Kauni sweater. Wabi Sabi-wise I think your sweater IS perfect. And so are you. Have you seen the book Kimono knits? Some of those patterns might be adaptable.. Oooh, or an Einstein Jacket!! Thanks for the lucious photos.

    Comment by painterwoman — December 16, 2007 @ 2:01 am

  2. Yikes! What have you done to Susan 😉

    Seriously, the “good enough Kauni” looks pretty, d@mn good.

    #1 – “seaming” as in cast off and sew or 3 needle cast off or something else? I really would like to see up close somebody’s 3 needle cast off seam. Wouldn’t you need to pick up stitches around the sleeve first? Any pictures?

    Using the grafting method, don’t you end up with 2 lines without pattern? With the Kauni, that’s OK, but most FIs don’t have that.

    #2 – I would have done it like that!

    Comment by Marina — December 16, 2007 @ 8:07 am

  3. My motto? ‘Near enough is good enough’, and that Kauni is ‘as near as damn it is to swearing’! Yay! Must put mine on the list for 2008, I have the yarn ALL I need to do is the knitting Muwahahahaha.

    Comment by jam_mam — December 16, 2007 @ 8:29 am

  4. Susan- I love it! It will a fun sweater to wear. Would you share how you did the neckline? My neck openings in steeked cardigans are always too big. So for months my Kauni is up to the point of how to handle the neck and has been in a basket quietly waiting.I too am ready to be free of the Kauni!

    Comment by Tonia — December 16, 2007 @ 9:54 am

  5. Your bad is my good. Looks great to me. Wooden buttons?

    Comment by Kay — December 16, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  6. One of the hazards of reading knitting blogs is that they exacerbate my own striving for perfection–which I never, of course, approach, let alone achieve. You do us all a service by allowing yourself to say, “good enough.” However, judging by the photos on your blog, your “good enough” is my “very very good indeed.”

    Comment by Dorathy — December 16, 2007 @ 11:08 am

  7. Woo, hoo! I think it looks great, by the way!

    Comment by Octopus Knits — December 16, 2007 @ 11:46 am

  8. Your “good enough” is probably better than anything I’ll crank out on my best knitting days. I love your neckline and button bands.

    Comment by Susan — December 16, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

  9. It is totally gorgeous!!!!

    Comment by Romi — December 16, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

  10. It looks really great! I’d love to have your good enough skills.

    Comment by Vanessa R — December 16, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

  11. Such a rebel — that’s my sister. I think it looks great!

    Comment by surly — December 16, 2007 @ 4:48 pm

  12. excuse me while I finish my standing ovation! BRAVO!!! and btw….. its fabulous! (as far as kaunis go)! 🙂

    Comment by Michelle — December 16, 2007 @ 5:04 pm

  13. It’s good to be free.

    It’s good to have a new sweater even if it isn’t perfect.

    It’s good that I don’t live closer or I’d try to abscond with your less than perfect sweater, I like it that much.

    Comment by anmiryam — December 16, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

  14. Yes, your “good enough” would be my perfection. The button bands look great to me. What a fun, colorful sweater — you will turn many, many heads when you wear it.

    Comment by kmkat — December 16, 2007 @ 5:10 pm

  15. Susan, I used to work in a yarn store and taught many classes. Some students would rip and re-knit many times because of what they perceived as their ‘less-than-perfect’ work. I tried to teach them that sometimes “good enough is good enough.” And your Kauni is more than good enough. well done.

    Comment by Brenda — December 16, 2007 @ 7:18 pm

  16. I agree, it’s good to know when to say when. Sometimes good enough is more than enough, sometimes it’s just plain more and sometimes it’s just plain good. Your sweater is lovely.

    Comment by Kelle — December 16, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

  17. Your Good Enough Kauni Cardigan looks great to me, and I’m a perfectionist! (My Kauni Cardigan is just in the wound-ball stage.)

    I finished two Pea Pod Jackets for twins last night, and I decided that they looked good enough to me also. I have been slogging along on those two jackets for months now, interrupted by charity knitting and Christmas stockings with deadlines, and I breathed a sigh of relief when I sewed on the last button. Yea!!

    Comment by Katie's Granny — December 16, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

  18. After all, ’tis the season to forgive imperfections! I once had a co-worker who was a painting therapist. She claimed that I needed to paint watercolors on soaking wet paper with a huge brush so that I could learn to give up control and welcome chance. I tried it once and it drove me nuts! I think the Kauni was your ‘big brush’, and it came out wonderfully.

    Also, I recently finished an Icarus Shawl, and used your method of laying out a guide string and blocking to it. It worked wonderfully, so thanks for the tip! Hmmmmm, just realized that laying out a guide string is probably not the best way to embrace chance…

    Comment by Natalie — December 16, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

  19. BEAUTIFUL! An inspiration! Thank you for maintaining this blog which give me so much pleasure. Is there any way the Kauni cardigan can be made as a pullover? (I do not like cardis as much as pullovers and wonder how difficult it would be to modify the pattern.)

    Comment by victoria — December 17, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

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