Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tweedle-dee-Tweedy

My older brother is a huge fan of Butterfinger Pie. You take six full size Butterfinger candy bars (or a 13oz bag of the small ones), smash the candy up with a hammer, mix it with a package of cream cheese, a tub of Cool Whip, and throw the whole melange into a graham cracker crust. Chill until firm, then serve. The pie is...well...he really likes it. It makes my teeth hurt, but I like making it for him and he likes eating it, so it works out O.K. My favorite part of the process is the candy smashing. I love intentionally pulverizing things with a hammer, and this is the most productive and legal outlet for my urge. I mention this now not to frighten anyone, but because smashed Butterfingers look an awful lot like Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed in 'Espresso'.

This is the Triangle Edge Cardigan from the Debbie Bliss Tweed collection. The yarn was an impulse buy from Elann, and this was the featured pattern on the yarn page. I knew I had to have it. I showed the Elann newsletter to co-workers, hoping to be talked out of buying the materials, but everyone said, "I can TOTALLY see you wearing that!" You know, nobody ever says "I can see you wearing that, but not totally. Really more like 30%." It wouldn't have made a difference if I'd heard something like "Good God, that'll look like automotive upholstery, and you'll look like the bucket seat of a '77 Pinto when you wear it! It's hideous!" I had a strong feeling about this one. I still would have made it.

What makes this project different is that I started working on it almost as soon as I got the yarn into the house. Usually, I get yarn and a pattern book, and I spend a lot of time going over the patterns, and the yarn gets shuffled around the house, until eventually I get tired of looking at it and throw it into a bin in the yarn cave. Last autumn, I decided to turn over a new leaf. No more "better buy fifteen balls of that, because I might want to knit something big with it, although I have no current plans for it" purchases. No more "if I don't buy it now, I might not be able to find it later" hauls. This was my first "I'm knitting this thing, and I'm knitting it in this yarn, and I'm doing it now" projects.

I changed the pattern, but only slightly. I made the medium-sized body, but I made the armholes shorter and the arms in the small size. I don't like the arms of my sweaters to be too roomy, and I like a pretty close fit at the shoulder. Other than that, I followed the pattern to the letter. It fits like my favorite blazer, which is remarkable given that I didn't think to measure said blazer before starting on this cardigan. It's a tiny bit wide at the waist, but that'll be easy to fix later if it really bothers me.

I wouldn'd do anything differently if I made it again. In the beginning, I'd considered knitting the sleeves in the round and the body in one piece up to the arms, but the seaming was actually fun once I got the hang of it. It's a lot more fun to seam when you know that you won't be able to see the screw-ups. There's no way to tell where I might have flubbed among all of those dark, tweedy stitches.

I don't know why it took so long, maybe because it got a little tedious toward the end, or maybe because I knit more slowly than usual. I really didn't want to screw it up. The further along I went without making a mistake, the more I worried about it. I started on Thanksgiving weekend, and I cast off the last bit of the sewn-on edging last night.

Buddy the Cat's happy that it's done. He usually tries to curl up on top of my knitting, or at least right next to me as I'm working, but he stayed away when I was working on this sweater. He didn't like the feel of it, I guess. (It was not soft and luxurious. I'd rather curl up in the bucket seat of a '77 Pinto. Why do you never knit cashmere, the Woman? - BtC)

I'm going to wear it tomorrow, and try to get pictures of it in the daylight. Wheeeee!!! Done!!!

9 comments:

Jerry & Maxy said...

Your head doesn't look disproportiently large, but you must have very small armpits and twiggy arms...anyway, sweet Pinto sweater. :-)Oh, and BtC must talk to AtC. She thinks the very same thing.

mumblingmonkey said...

Hey, nice blazer!

I don't know why I haven't visited your blog before, after being on the WIPalong for so long. But woman, you are funny!

word of the day is mamaaocy. Mama Aocy? Sounds like a hippy to me.

nancy said...

I'm inspired!!!!! That looks wonderful! Now can I see a daytime picture,.....ON YOU?????
DAMN, now I need to go purchase more yarn! I did get the pattern.

Areli said...

I really liked that cardi when I saw it on Elann, it's nice to see it made up. And I really like the color you chose for it, nice and warm.

bradyphrenia said...

wow, that is gorgeous. i love the butterfinger analogy. may you get lots of wear out of your brand new cardigan!

Zonda said...

WOW! It looks like butterfinger...but please don't eat it LOL :) Great job!

Sann said...

that blazer is beautiful! how can I join your "knit chocolate" group?

SuzannaBanana said...

Awww...thanks, everyone! To clarify:

-- No, my arms aren't twiggy. I regularly overestimate the size of my torso. The whole thing should have been a small, not just the arms. Hemming will commence tonight, wearing will happen tomorrow. :-)

-- Sandra, to join the Knit Chocolate KAL, go to www.knitchocolate.blogspot.com, find the very first post from November, and follow NoNoKitty's instructions. It looks like we're picking up steam now that the holidays are over. I can't wait to see other chocolatey creations!

Jenni said...

I like the choice you made about the arm holes. Higher arm holes are so much more slimming--I think that was one of Chanel's tricks.