Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Knitting Funk

I've been in a knitting funk since the new year. It stems from trying to make a sweater for my older son's fiancee for Christmas. I chose the cute sweater from Interweave Knits' Spring '06 issue called "Sunshine Circle Jacket." It was a fun design to knit, and quite creative in its use of partial circles for the fronts of the jacket to give a bolera shape to the garment. But it turned out WAY too big, in spite of my knitting the smallest size. So I partially ripped it out and made those circles somewhat smaller and re-did the ribbing around the whole thing (I had decided that ribbing would be better than a bulky hem as called for in the directions). Still, again, the sweater just swallows her up. So, for the third round I marked various key spots while it was on Lauren. It's just sitting near my favorite knitting chair waiting to be re-done yet again.

You may wonder why one little set back would cause such a funk, lasting over two months now. I have lots of other knitting projects (not to mention weaving and spinning projects) to take my mind off this one knitting fiasco in the long span of my knitting history. I can't say for sure why this is so traumatic for me. This is certainly not the first project to turn out less than perfectly for me!

I think it was the knitting "tight rope" I'd strung for myself this holiday season. I have been spinning and knitting a sweater for my younger son. I ordered roving from one of the Orkney Islands off Scotland, from sheep called Ronadlsay that I'd never known of before. I never intended that sweater to be a Christmas present for Chris, but I had hoped it would be done in time to give him for Thanksgiving. As Christmas approached and Lauren's Sunshine Circle jacket dragged on, I realized I'd be lucky if I finished Chris' sweater by the end of January when he returned to college. Then there was also my little niece's Christmas sweater, a wonderful Dale design called Marihone.

It has adorable little red and black lady bugs interspersed with multi-colored stripes of different widths. Back in Dec. it was just zipping along lickety-split. When Lauren's sweater went down the path of (I'm tempted to say failure, but will refrain!), the path of do-over I had to put both Madison's and Chris' sweaters aside. When I returned to Madison's sweater, it had lost it's zip. Somehow it's become a drudgery to work on it. There really is no time to dawdle with a toddler sweater if one expects the toddler to wear it for more than a nano second. But now it's March and it's still not finished! Help! I did plan for it to fit her next fall/winter as well, but I was sure hoping she'd get two seasons out of it. Now the first season is ending.

So, back to Chris' sweater. He's home for spring break now, and he's asking me to work on it. I had finished the body and started one sleeve. The steeks on the body were still closed so today I decided to cut them open so Chris could try on the sweater. I was practically paralyzed with a lack of confidence about this sweater fitting. Also, although Chris would fervently deny it, I think he is quite picky, and I was almost certain he'd find something not to his liking about the fit of this sweater. While I was spinning the yarn (for months) we had discussed very carefully what this sweater should look like. Chris had very strong opinions about what this sweater should NOT look like! Anyway, on to the punch line!....
I cut open the steeks, and he tried it on and loved it. I mean really loved it! I wanted to faint from relief. Something has turned out very well. Now I have just the bit of impetus I need for tackling those sleeves. I don't know if he'll be taking the sweater with him this weekend at the end of his spring break, but surely he'll have it another week later. It's a good thing he's in Rochester, NY, where it won't be truly spring weather for some time to come!

And so I did finish it! Less than a week before Easter! A friend of mine took it to him on Maundy Thursday since she was going to Rochester. Rochester has had two snow storms since then, so he has gotten to wear it a few times!

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