Wednesday, December 06, 2006

sweater weather

Winter has finally hit Ottawa... snow last weekend, more snow today, and even more snow this weekend. And cold temperatures too - anywhere from +2 today to -8 tomorrow. no wonder my feet are freezing! (hmm... now where did I put those slippers that I got from my SP6?!!)

Anyway, all this cold had made me realise that my sweater collection is really pathetic right now, which in turn is making me want to knit more sweaters (surprise, surprise!). Well, that and the fact that I have now re-knit one part of a glove that I am making (more details in January) about 4 times now - people say second sock syndrome is bad, what about second glove syndrome?! :)

Whenever I think about knitting sweaters, it gets me to thinking about "the perfect sweater", which is one that I have been designing in my head for several years now. This is, of course, in spite of the fact that I am a hopeless sweater-finisher even when I have a pattern to work from. Don't believe me? Let me tell you about some of my more frustrating attempts at sweater making:
In the spring I started knitting Jemima (even before Helen started hers, which turned out amazing, of course); at present, all of her pieces are still sitting in my knitting basket waiting to be seamed together.
I also have an "only-needs-buttons-to-be wearable" version of this cardigan/jacket made from Bulky Lopi that is (and has been for a while now) buried in my stash box. I really hate the way this turned out. Clearly, when choosing the pattern, I forgot to take into account that the model is probably about a foot taller and way skinnier than me. I took about 8 inches off the length of the cardigan while knitting it, but it still looks awful! The sweater will remain in time-out until I get around to ripping it out and figuring out a better use for the yarn.
Finally, the yarn from the very first sweater I planned to make is still in my stash waiting to be turned into something wearable. It was supposed to be a cardigan with frills on the bottom and cuffs (this was in 2000, people). I got as far as the back and two sleeves (one was about 3inches longer than the other) and then realised that there was no way in heck that I was going to have enough yarn to finish it. So I frogged it. Several years later, I turned the yarn into 2/3 of a Tivoli sweater, until I realised that I messed up on counting my gauge, and so it was going to be way too small. This yarn is now destined to become something from Owen or his soon to be little sibling (due in June - congratulations Tara!) Probably something for the sibling, seeing as the quantity of this yarn gets smaller and smaller each time I have to frog it.

For some reason, my sweater curse only applies to sweaters for myself. I've made a few kid's sweaters and one-piece outfits, and one of my very first knitting projects was a sweater for my brother (started as an Xmas gift, but he didn't get it till his birthday in February!) which i seem to remember him liking quite well... it was a "very easy very vogue" sweater pattern, ribbed turtleneck, long sleeves, originally with a diamond knit/purl texture pattern that was dense along the bottom and thinned out to nothing by the middle of the torso (again, this was in 2000!)... but then I couldn't keep proper count of the pattern so I ditched it altogether after the third time it was frogged... I should ask him if he still has that sweater.

But I digress... my whole foray into the sweater discussion today started with some musings about all those little details that you can add to a pattern to make it that much more special... in store-bought stuff, they're the little bits and pieces that jack the price up so much higher!
Like these gloves, for example, although they only cost me about $6 (gotta love acrylic!)...
the little buttoned strip on the back is purely decorative, yet it makes the gloves just that much more fun. Don't you think?





Then there's my new Abercrombie & Fitch sweater, that I recently bought in Toronto... I so love this sweater - fun little cables, a 1x1 ribbed hood, and super warm yarn that even has a touch of rabbit fur spun into it. The designer also went so far as to add an inside edging that runs along the backside of the button- and button-hole bands, and all around the hood - a plush velvet ribbon on the outer edge, with a satin ribbon right next to it:
(gotta love the little moose logo!)

I've also noticed that a lot of sweaters have different colour yarn on the inside of their collars and hems (a la Nona's sweater, and this Old Navy sweater). Yet another of the many little details that one can add to a pattern to make it that much more special. Considering I want to add all of these details to "the perfect sweater", is it any wonder that it gets more and more daunting everytime I think about it? :)

But I should really end this long discussion now... let me just say this. Once all my gift knitting is finished, I have several months before I'll need to start thinking about knits for little ones... So I'm charging all of you, my knitting friends and supporters, to make sure that I keep up my New Year's knitting resolutions to start knitting sweaters (and only sweaters!) for myself, and to maybe even start working on a pattern for "the perfect sweater"!

1 comment:

Polly said...

I love looking at pictures of snow. It is sunny and warm here during the days.