Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mom's Sweater

Almost a year ago, while I was visiting my mom in CT we talked about me knitting a sweater for her.   We must have looked at a zillion patterns and she chose this one
 Kimono Cardigan to Knit
 The pattern comes in many many size options.  I took her measurement then went home and dyed some merino/bamboo DK yarn in a tonal silvery grey since that is what she wanted after looking at this pic.  I also thought it would be a simple fast knit.  

HA! It sure was simple.  So simple I was bored after 10 inches plus the color put me to sleep.  Add some stitches, knit a row,  knit a row,  knit a row,  purl a row, etc.   This is not to reflect badly on the designer.  The pattern clearly stated "Easy".  I just thought it would be a great social knitting item.  HA.    

For several months I tried to keep knitting on it.  It would come with me to Knit Night each week, get taken it out and sometimes an inch or two was added before I just had to knit on something else.  Then it languished in its carry bag at home for many months.  Finally I had to admit that this item was never going to be completed.  All these months my mother kept asking how her sweater was coming along and I'd say something like, "OK, but slow". When I realized it was not to be I had to think hard.

Finally it dawned on me that maybe some color would help.  I thought and thought about what colors my mother wears and dithered around with ideas until I came up with one I thought might work. The two silvery hanks still unballed were overdyed to denim blue and a variegated red.  These I liked very much.  Ahhh now there could be progress.  

Then I realized that even striping this sweater/jacket would not alleviate the knitting boredom.  (I am easily bored which gets me into many new ideas to keep myself amused -- that's for another day).   Finally, into the frog pond it went. Gosh that action takes a lot of decision and courage.  About 8 ounces got unknit and reballed.   The silver next to the red/blue yarn looked good.  Not really red, white and blue, more casual, at least I hope so.  

Since the pattern my mother picked had a kimono look I wanted to retain that feel and went searching on Ravelry.  Gosh I love the pattern section there--- I can look at what other people made and their comments too.  It's one of my favorite areas.

Finally after several afternoons of not working ummm searching, this Crystal Palace number won out -- wondrously called Kimono Jacket with Stripes.
Perfect.  Stripe with the silver, then the rest with the multi colored yarn.  It is put together rather oddly in a semi modular mode (On Ravelry I was warned about this odd construction) which kept me interested and also let me see progress. 

After the 4 sections were completed I asked Ruth A, of In Stitches, to sew it all together for me. She's a great seamstress and knitter and loves doing those kinds of things while I could have a sweater languishing for years while I avoided the seams. Ruth doesn't have a website but if you live near Ithaca and want your item finished I can pass her email on to you.

Next were the neck and edgings. The bottom was easy.  BUT the one thing my mother insisted upon was a shall collar. I took the sweater to Knit Night but no one there had a good idea so I did some Elizabeth Zimmerman research. Sheesh the shawl collar vest in Hand Knitting with Meg Swansen I am working on right now has a Shawl Collar! So Meg Swensen, instead of EZ but they are certainly close. When I was picking up stitches along the edging I made an invisible diagonal line and proceeded to pick up stitches along it. I really enjoyed all the short rows too.

Next were the buttons and holes.  I don't like making button holes no matter what they are in.   Again, Meg to the rescue.  In the very same booklet as the Shawl Collared vest is an Icord button thingie.   Pick up 6 sts, knit for 3 ridges, then on one side dec 3 to 2 and proceed to Icord until the cord is long enough to go around the button, then kitchener the remaining sts to the 3 on the needle.   Very simple, very good use of Icord too.

The buttons are hand made by Bonnie at Joyful Adornments. Bonnie has many glass buttons and recently has been creating them to match my colorways. I do believe bobbin earrings are in the offing too. We will have them all at the RI Fiber Festival.

I was going to wait until I saw my Mom Mother's Day weekend to finish this but just could not so here it is all blocked and ready for wrapping.  I sure hope it fits.

1 comment:

ankles said...

Super awesome! I wish the picture was bigger, I double clicked on it to zoom, but the zoom was the same size.