Monday, March 12, 2007

The Saga of the Blue Sweater

It took five years... but it's finally done! I finally finished the first major knitting project I ever started! I did lots of major knitting projects in between, but this one is the biggest, and it's for me! Here's the story of the blue sweater I never thought I would finish...

March 2002: I pick up knitting again after a 12 or so year hiatus, knit a couple of scarves, then decide that I wanted to do a sweater... and not just any sweater, but a sweater with a complicated cable-knit pattern.

June 2002: The gauge is a nightmare... the back of the sweater is finished (with a couple of major mistakes in the pattern), and when I got halfway through one of the front pieces, I realized that it was significantly smaller than the back piece. Grrrr! Not to mention, the back is also smaller than it's supposed to be. In my frustration, I begin work on another major project, a vest, which doesn't have any fancy cable knitting stuff. Consequently, the new project goes a lot better.

January 2006: I discover the beauty of blocking: simply by getting a piece of knit fabric wet, it is possible to stretch it to precisely the right dimensions, and it STAYS when it dries! I've also picked up quite a few more tricks along the way...

August 2006: This blue sweater is taking up space in my closet, and I'm feeling pretty guilty about buying all that yarn and then not using it. I have a conference with my mother, the expert, on what is to be done with it. I try making a swatch, and look, I have the right gauge!

September 2006: I rip out the unfinished front piece, keeping only the finished back piece... and start all over again!

October 2006: The front pieces are done, and I'm working on the sleeves...

November 2006: ...and the hood. I'm also learning to knit without looking. This is helpful; I can get a lot more knitting done when I do it while reading for class. The added benefit is that my mind stays more focused when my hands are active!

December 2006: (brief break, as I'm busy making Christmas presents)

January 2007: I look at the pattern with puzzlement, realizing that the button and buttonhole bands are to be knit separately and sewn on. How dumb is that? Note to self: never, ever follow the pattern. I can always improve it. Patterns always make you sew too many seams. I hate sewing seams.

February 2007: The lengthy process of sewing the sweater together. I cannot imagine a stupider pattern in terms of construction. Next time I will rewrite the pattern if it's this dumb. And I've found that most patterns ARE this dumb. Oh well, it still turned out okay... I find that I can use the detached button and buttonhole bands to jump rope while I'm wearing the partially assembled sweater.

March 2007: I finally find the time to dump my sweater in the bathtub, get it all wet, and stretch it out... amazing, the sweater is the right size! It's done! Hooray! Now where am I going to put it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it looks awesome =)