Sunk Cost Fallacy

I may have spent more hours working on this cardigan than it will be worn. By “may” I mean to say “almost certainly”. I harbor no resentment.

Investment > Utility
Pattern: Saffran Cardigan by docksjö design
Size: 3 months
Yarns: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Mill Worsted in Chocolate Milk & Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in Lavendar

Every knitter has had the experience of making mistakes that could have been avoided had she read the pattern in full ahead of time. In this case I didn’t make a mistake, exactly. I misunderstood the scope of the project.


I’m not a stranger to colorwork or steeking. I know all the extra steps entailed and the stamina required to complete them when a knitter’s brain, after the knitting is complete, is screaming “Done!”. I was ready for that.

This pattern completely blindsided me, however. I finished the knitting and, like the experienced, conscientious, and dedicated knitter I am, put this project in time out for a few months while not dealing with the next set of instructions.


See that? THIS TINY BABY SWEATER IS FULLY LINED. I know, right? What?!

I didn’t have to do it. I could have sewn the button band steek selvages with ribbon. But the pattern writer made a compelling point about baby fingers getting caught in yarn floats and I had visions of the baby’s mother cursing as she tried and failed to get intractable little hands down these tubes of finger-twisting-peril delicately patterned sleeves. Besides, sometimes once you’re already deep into a project it only makes sense to keep going deeper, however “irrational” that logic may be.

On the one hand, go me! I persevered! I did something I’d never gone before! On the other hand, while the lining may protect sweater and baby fingers from one another it also adds a lot of bulk and removes one of the best properties of the knitted baby sweater – its stretchiness and ease of fit. I didn’t make a sweater. I made a jacket.

And that’s OK. I don’t rue the time invested. I’m not sure the jacket itself is worth it, but I am sure that the recipient and her mama are.

2 thoughts on “Sunk Cost Fallacy

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