I began anew, looking over my shoulder after each stitch, lest The Universe should sneak up on me and thwart my sweater attempts yet again. This pattern was the easiest I could find while still seeming moderately attractive: a single piece of garment, not requiring separately made sleeves, or a separate front and back. Bliss! No universe would be able to destroy this sweater, let alone The Universe.
I was a bit too confident in that regard.
Days passed. The sweater grew beneath my hands. Gauge was more or less followed - along with The Universe, Gauge is a mortal enemy of mine, and, I believe, The Universe's personal henchman. It is very ignorant of the garments I make and always throws them off course. I follow the requirements and measure, as I must, but then Gauge will jump out from behind a trash can in a dark alley (wearing a dark cape of indeterminate size) and shout, "Ha HA! You have been thwarted once again, sad little knitter! Thusly must you rip apart your stitches and begin anew, because I am Gauge, thwarter of sizes!"
Thusly do my garments suddenly and inexplicably freak out on me.
I began with the back of the sweater, and the size seemed right on. Perhaps it was a bit short, but it would do; after all, my first sweater would not be perfect, even if The Universe was too busy drawing up blueprints for its next plan of attack to throw me off course right now. Sweater was content in my hands and purred rather like a small kitten. In the middle of the road. Who doesn't know it's about to be attacked by a velociraptor.
Then came the sleeves. The pattern's example picture showed sleeves that reached just above the wrist, which was unacceptable. I threw in an extra couple of stitches to add length, that I might stretch the sleeves over my hands or roll them up as necessary.
The sweater bunched up on my circular needles, and I entered the terrifying Radio Silence zone. Gauge couldn't even be measured to detect foul attempts on my lovely project. But as I went along, back and forth, back and forth, and the sleeves detached themselves a bit from the needle, I began to worry. Perhaps the sleeves were a bit too long. But that was fine; they weren't that bad, were they?
As you can see, the sleeves are more than a bit too long: they are enormous. They are despicable. They are four feet long. Each.
A closeup of one sleeve, for your amusement. The bend up at the top is my wrist. I am not pleased.
Needless to say, I do not have a wingspan of eight feet. And now I must either unravel and start over yet again, or learn how to cut and sew that which has been knitted. Sweater is now hissing and spitting like a cat on crack (or Lucky Charms, whichever term you prefer).
How silly of me, to think I couldn't see The Universe lurking over my shoulder as I worked. I am now convinced it makes its evil lair in the yarn itself, and the reason this project is doomed to failure is that if I work up any kind of completed project on this yarn, The Universe will be trapped, unable to leave its lair and strike other knitters around the world with its dark and deadly touch. As long as I have a loose end, it will be free to roam the earth.
I need a cape, because there is evil afoot, and I must fight it. Time to cut those sleeves.
I'll get you next time, The Universe. Next time.