Pink lady knits

1.03.2008

VJ's Sweater

Yarn: Bemidji Woolen Mills, Original Homespun
Needles: #6 Addi Turbos

This post has been a long time coming! A month after I learned to knit, I went to a sale at my yarn shop and picked out the yarn for a sweater for my amazing husband, VJ. It was the softest wool I'd
ever felt*, and it was in the most perfect shade of grey, which I knew he would love. A month or so later, I cast on for a raglan sweater, but didn't properly calculate the math...so it was a tad too big. A few months after that, I found this pattern, and he approved whole-heartedly. After all, he'd requested a grey v-neck, and wanted it to be simple and timeless, and this fit the bill. I knit the back, and then set it aside in frustration because I realized that my inability to seam would mean that this sweater would never be perfect. My husband values perfection, in the tailoring of his clothes, his car, even our sheets...so I just knew I was doomed. In a fit of frustration I cast on for another raglan, and was again irritated when it was ill-fitted. At this point the struggle began. I could challenge myself as a knitter and knit a garment that would require me to learn new things, practice patience, and purl (a semi-dirty word in my knitting vocabulary.) Or, I could just try to do the same old thing, with the same old results. It wasn't a difficult decision.

Seaming was a skill that I was never taught, which crippled me a bit as a knitter. So, I bucked up and sat down at my computer prepared for hours of frustration as I viewed photos of demonstrations online...only...it looked easy. Nay, it was easy. What had I been afraid of all of these years? All of those patterns I'd passed up because there was seaming involved! What a waste. (Needless to say, my Ravelry queue grew once this discovery was made!)

I also used this sweater as an opportunity to practice purling. See my rows were always uneven, as I'm a very loose purler. The practice paid off, though you can see (or at least I can) where I lapsed here and there. I won't say that I love purling now, because that would be a lie. I still get that little pang of disappointment when I realize that I have to purl an entire row...but I've come to terms with it, and that is growth, in and of itself.

The knitted pieces came out well, and the initial seaming did too. I was happy with how easy it was, but was diligent in ripping back and
starting again when it wasn't perfect (remember the hope of perfection?) but when I came to attaching the sleeves, I was perplexed and frustrated. The sleeves themselves were larger than the holes into which I was supposed to put them. I hear that this is a common problem, which is really upsetting. You'd think that after years of making sweaters (hundreds, thousands of years even) that we would have perfected the math just a tad bit more. Oh well. I did some swift thinking, and solved the problem with some careful un seaming and re seaming of the sleeves to make them smaller. It worked, thankfully, and it fits him beautifully. (You'll have to take my word for that, since he doesn't like having his photo taken.)

All in all, this project is a roaring success...he loves it, and I'm pleased with the result as well as proud of my accomplishment and perseverance. Who could ask for anything more?

*until I touched Malabrigo. :)

5 comments:

Erin said...

Wow Courtney! It's beautiful! Well worth the wait, and all your hard work! Too bad VJ won't let you post a picture of him wearing it! Well done, you continue to be an inspiration to me! One of these days I may actually knit a sweater!

Courtney said...

Thanks Erin!!! He's really happy with it, which means a lot to me. I keep making him try it on!
I think I may have convinced him to let me take a photo, but I need to block this one more time (it's a little short.)

ekgheiy said...

Courtney,

Whoa! That is some fine work there for real! :) Don't even think twice about those lapses you mentioned; I totally don't see any. And VJ hit gold with his timeless new sweater; it will be with him for a good long while. Perhaps you can convince VJ that you won't photography/post his face? It would be so nice to see the sweater in action. ;)

La Cabeza Grande said...

Beautifully done, Courtney! I'm sure you (and your husband) agree that the time and patience were well spent.

Courtney said...

ekgheiy - Thanks so much!!! I hope that he does get some good long wear out of it, I'm sure he will. I'm so glad that I went with a classic style instead of something more "modern"...it would have been out of style by the time I was done!
I'll try to get him to agree with a photoshoot...I'll already got his entire outfit picked out in my head. :) Stay tuned.

la cabeza - thanks dear! He's very pleased, which is rare, as he usually only takes a passing interest in my knitting.
Thanks for the compliments!