Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Dream Realized

Over a year and a half ago, I joined a knit along that was supposed to help motive me to knit my first sweater. Let me rephrase that, my first adult sized sweater. I've knit many a baby sweater but I had yet to try my hand at something that didn't take more than a couple of skeins of yarn to complete. I consider myself an equal mix of a process & finished product knitter. Although I love the act of knitting I also have a short attention span. I'll fall in love with a project but then quickly lose steam when I've been knitting on it for too long so finishing this sweater was a real challenge for me. You cannot understand how proud I am that I actually finished a wearable garment! If you've been following this blog for a while, then you would remember that I mentioned this sweater maybe once or twice. Lets take a quick trip down memory lane.

I wanted my first sweater project to be something very special. I also wanted it to be a challenge. Although, something very complex might have frustrated me to no end, miles of stockinette would have likely led to a similar fate. So I searched long and hard and found the perfect sweater pattern in the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Book. I liked the wrapped style of the sweater and the cables & slanted rib pattern would keep me very engaged without driving me to drink.
I started with so much enthusiasm but lost steam after completing the back piece.I think it took about 2 or 3 months to finish that piece so I was just imagining what a daunting task I had ahead of me. I took my Necia's advice and decided to knit a sleeve, then knit the left front, then knit the other sleeve and lastly the right front. It took about a year to complete this process because I would lose focus and abandon my poor project for a while. Then I would revisit the pieces in progress while going through the stash and rekindle my joy and try to dedicate myself to accomplishing my goal. This sweater requires 2 belts to be knit which resembles really skinny scarfs to me. Scarfs are not my favorite thign to knit so it took all my crafty powers to finish one.

My middle name should be procrastination because I swear I have it down to a science. Once I had all the pieces done, the hardest obstacle for me was getting them all seamed together. I knew I could do it but I would get so discouraged just thinking about how much seaming had to be done, and how much I disliked doing it. I also had this nagging feeling that I would do a horrible job seaming the thing and it would come out looking like some mishapen mass of wool. I feared that allmy hard work would be for nothing. SoI kept putting it of for later until one evening I just had to push myself to do it. I seamed the shoulders in one night using slip stitch crochet. In fact, I used that method throughout the whole sweater because its quick and easy. I think the sweater sat for another couple of months until the weather started to get a bit nippy and certain people finished like two sweaters in a week. So I pushed myself to finish this sweater and what an accomplishment it is! There's something to be said about feeling warm and cozy and knowing that you evoked that feeling with just some sticks and string. Now when people ask "Hey, did you make that?" I can say "Why yes, in fact I did!".
Started: January 23, 2007
Finished: October 7, 2008
Pattern: Oscar De La Renta Wrap Cardigan from Vogue Knitting, Ultimate Knitting Book
Yarn: Patons Decor in Sage Green, roughly 6 skeins
My Ravelry Link

This may start a trend. Maybe I'll finish that other sweater I started back in January (2008). I finished all the pieces in about a month but its been sitting in my WIP basket waiting to be seamed up (notice a pattern?). Hey, you never know.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

T minus 14 days and counting.....

Can you tell how excited I am about Rhinebeck? I thought the thrill might be gone being that this is my third year in a row attending but I've still got those first time jitters. My budget is really low this year, mainly because I'm going more to socialize than to burn a hole in my pocket. I should be wearing a green sweater (if I can ever finish seaming it up, but that's another story) so if you see me, please say hi.

This should be a short post. I just have a small knitting & spinning FO for your viewing pleasure. Oh, speaking of Rhinebeck (I know, I'm all over the place) I got these cute shoes at DSW the other day. My SO said that they look "old lady"ish but I don't care, I love them anyway. They remind me of the indestructable Buster Brown shoes that my Mom used to make me wear back in the day. I got them a half size larger than I normally would to accomodate for my hand knit socks. If they only had them in green....

OK, where was I...thats right, FO's. Remember when I posted about the fugly scarf I was working on? Its a basic sheep to shawl item. I scoured the wool, dyed the wool, carded the wool, spun the wool and now knit the wool. It was intended to be a drop stitch scarf but I ran out of yarn so it magically morphed into a cowl. I think I may like it better this way. It's still a bit scratchy but I plan on giving it a nice long soak in conditioner or wool wash or something to soften it up a bit.

I also just finished the fiber I was spinning in my previous post. The colors are still a bit muddled but not as badly as I originally thought. I'm still very pleased with the results.
Fiber Source: Ashland Bay purchased at the Yarn Tree
Weight: 3.75 ounces
WPI: 14, Sport Weight yarn
Length: 217 yards

I don't have any projects planned for this yarn, maybe I'll do something different and knit a baby item instead of some socks. I'll just wait for the yarn to tell me what it wants to be when it grows up.

I guess thats about it. I told you it was gonna be a short post. I just finished knitting a cowl for a swap but I'll wait until my swapper receives it before I post a pic. Oh yeah, I almost forgot.......

I'm getting married! Yeah, my fiance (I love saying that) proposed to me on our anniversary and I was totally surprised. It was very romantic and I couldn't have pictured anything more special than the way he planned it. And the ring is freaking GREEN! What more could I ask for? See you guys in Rhinebeck!