But what would I do with my hands? I do love television, but it's not the same without knitting. So, after a whole programme of Strictly Come Dancing with not a stitch knitted, I switched on the light, got out my tape measure and had a look at the situation.
It's bad. It's pretty bad. Not only have I gone wrong in the cable AGAIN (see the ugly lump on the left?) but my tension is all over the place. I used to knit larger and larger and larger as the garment progressed. By switching to Lucy Neatby's method, I now seem to be knitting smaller and smaller and smaller. No wonder the sleeves seemed tight. Also, I have been mislead by the boxy nature of this garment's design. I thought it was the same width, as a favourite sweater, and so it is, until you get to the arms. From the armhole up it is about four inches too small.
I looked at the original swatch. No doubt that 4mm needles gave too open and stretchy a fabric. Maybe 3.5 needles would have been better, but I went for 3mm partly because I'm used to my fabric getting bigger and bigger, but also because it gave the best result in the swatch. But the sleeves, in particular, are tiny! Note to self. If your Addi needle is on the front of the sweater when you decide to start the sleeves, for goodness sake go and put the front on a piece of yarn and use the same needles for the sleeves. Don't bunch them up on an old pair so that the tension changes from - are you ready for this - 30 rows per 10 cm to 44. 44!! how can I get it so wrong? So often? I so nearly threw the back, front and sleeves out, along with Tangerine Alef for good measure.
But then I counted the stitches across the cable panel and they were exactly right. It's taken me nearly a year to master the art of getting the right number of stitches, and even though I was so absorbed in the panel, that part is still correct. And if I give up now, I'll never be able to knit. I should be used to the fact that it takes me ten years longer (at least) to master things that other people can pick up and do straight away. Giving up does not cure dyslexia. And if I don't finish this sweater, then I won't learn things that will make the purple version a success. So, I will finish this sweater. Then I'll sit in the bath wearing it and see if the cotton relaxes.
I sat up until midnight and finished the cable panel. One stitch went slightly wrong somewhere at the top, but it's so invisible I fudged it! Enough already.