You didn't think it was going to be a 2 parter, did you.
Neither did I.
I'm almost finished with my vest, probably. All signs point to yes. I divided for the shoulders yesterday and finished the front and back today. All that's left is the 13" of collar that stretch along the back of the neck.
I wanted to make sure that everything was hunky-dory, so I decided to steam block each panel and measure the whole garment before moving on to that final step. I still think this was a good idea.
I set up the ironing board, filled my iron, set it to "lots and lots o' steam," and let it heat up. I started gently blocking the band, trying to get the cable to roughly the appropriate width. But then I smelled something. Turns out the iron hadn't gotten the steam memo (or so it claims) and I had burnt a large swath of cable that would sit roughly over my belly button. Burnt it to a crispy, yellow-orange, which stood in sharp and unappealing contrast to the blue-purple-grey tone of this yarn. The color contrast was so stark that my husband could identify the problem area in low light with no prompting other than, "Do you see what I just did?!?"
Upon lifting the iron back to vertical, steam started to pour forth again (I swear to you it had been steaming before I used it the first time), so I blocked the rest of the garment, trying not to scream or cry or throw the iron across the room. I had ruined my vest. I was 13 inches--just 4ish repeats of cables away from going out and buying hook-and-eyes to close the sucker. 13 inches away from being terrified of my mathematical fallibility. And I burnt the dang thing with an IRON.
It's not like I could rip back to the section or cut out the bad yarn--I burnt rows upon rows upon rows (about 16, in fact) and I would need to throw away about half of a hank of yarn which I'm not sure I could replace. I put the cable stitches on some waste yarn and took the sucker to the sink, wetting the offending (offended?) section and agitating it a little to force the fibers into small clumps. I got my snippers and cut away the larger bits that weren't integrated into the fabric.
I am currently sitting with a damp vest in my lap, picking away at the fibers 1 stitch at a time with a pair of tweezers. I think I can salvage this thing.
Oh please let me be able to salvage this thing...