So, as usual (damn, I need to break this habit) I have not finished the sweater I was trying to get finished on time. I'm good with test knitting deadlines, but not gift/at home deadlines. This however, is only part of the problem.
All I had to do was get the zipper in. When putting in zippers, I tend to hand sew them in to make them go in perfectly. Well, as this one was DK as opposed to the worsted weight sweaters I've done in the past, I wanted to get the thing done, so tried machine sewing it. I could not for the life of me get the zipper and sweater to stay straight. Maybe if I didn't put the foot of the machine down, it would not have pressed the sweater out so much, causing it to overshoot the zipper, but that doesn't matter now.
What does matter is that I screwed up putting the zipper in, so pulled out the trusty seam ripper. Figuring it would take a minute or two, as I have gotten very good with it during my couch slipcover project, I went at it. And promptly cut a hole in the sweater, making a sound that caused my husband to ask me if I sliced off a finger or punctured an artery, in his words. I told him it was worse. He didn't believe me until I showed him the hole. He agrees that it is worse, and would only have been worse if I had punctured an artery/cut off a finger in the process of creating the hole, thus rendering the sweater stained and/or me unable to complete it.
This is NOT GOOD. Now, I have an overdue sweater that needs to be fixed and have the zipper put back in, correctly this time. I will not give a sweater that has a zipper put in so badly that it's obviously homemade. I can do this. I know I can do this. The cut stitches are two purl stitches (from two separate rows) that divide the I-cord and the body of the sweater, so isn't in a highly noticeable spot, but will be somewhat difficult to fix due to the I-cord border and the fact that it is only a 4-stitch I-cord from the end. I have five options.
1: Rip out all of the ribbing up to the hole, knit back down those couple of inches. No thanks.
2: Pull out the four ends a bit, weave those in, double knit over the opening like darning a sock and weave those ends in. Probably not.
3: Only pull out a stitch or two, felt the cut ends together and darn over the smaller hole. Probably.
4: Pull out the strand of yarn that makes up the end of one cut row and the beginning of the other, felt the other two ends and re-knit one row, seam up the next. Also probably not.
5: Cry. Knit a small patch, needle felt it in, hope no one notices. Nope, as I'd have to buy more needle felting stuff because I left mine in the States. Not a bad option though if I were to make sure to solidly felt the cut ends.
I'm planning to go with Option 3, but that really depends on how many stitches I have to pull out to get the ends long enough to fix them. I wish I had a felting needle, as it would be so much easier to needle the small ends of the yarn together instead of trying to pull out enough to weave in or wet felt. I'll be trying to wet felt only the ends, not any of the rest of the sweater, and keep it small enough that it's not pulling weirdly and can be easily hidden. I'll probably pull the ends, making the neighboring stitches tighter to felt them, and use a crochet hook or other implement to loosen the stitches back up, pulling the felted ends tighter in, and double knit over a stitch or two to make it look better when fixing.
The sweater is currently waiting for me to be awake and level headed enough to go back and fix it. This will be tonight, and it WILL be out in the mail tomorrow, come hell or high water!