Friday, October 28, 2011

The Varsity Sweater

100_8790

Well.  This isn’t the sweater I wanted to make.  I hope this isn’t a trend.  I have to take the full blame on this one—I made a poor yarn choice.  Not that it isn’t a nice yarn, this tweedy DK-weight combination of silk and wool, because I’m sure it works out well for some people, but I have to say I am just not a fan.  And it definitely isn’t the right yarn for colorwork. 

100_8786a

This was supposed to have been Oranje by Ann Weaver.  I’m sure you’ll notice right away that there are some significant differences between her very interesting design and the sweater I ended up with.  Here’s what happened:  several years ago, I was tempted by the sumptuous raspberry color of this yarn, and I bought a heap of it and made a sweater.  It took ages on size four needles and was really design-y, if you know what I mean.  It had a whole bunch of fancy techniques and weird shaping and even though it turned out well, I just never wore it.  I am, it turns out, a plain old sweater kind of girl.  The raspberry sweater was unraveled and the yarn rewound, and went back in my cupboard to await Plan B.

100_8789

Much later, I saw this and was a goner.  A turtleneck cardigan?  With colorwork?  I thought that was just fascinating, and I wanted that sweater with a burning passion.  The search for the right yarn began, and I eventually concluded for some reason that the raspberry yarn would be just the thing.  Most likely because I already had it in the house.  The clarity of hindsight can be bitter.  I dropped everything and cast on, knitted four hundred miles of stockinette stitch in the round, made both sleeves, with these interesting lined cuffs:

100_8787 

Then I joined them together at the yoke and started the color section which is where the first band of stripes shows up and where the first signs of trouble appeared.  Oh dear.  It was just not good.  It was bad.  It was a mess.  I hacked my way through four of the charts (and by the way, three colors in one row?  No!)  and finally I just had to rip it all out.  I decided to leave the stripe and just work the yoke in plain one color stockinette, threw in another stripe, gave up on the turtleneck because by that point I knew it was going to be huge, and knit all the way to the bind off, still trying to decide if it would be more work to rip it all out again or just go ahead and finish it.   Since I am ultimately lazy, I decided to finish it.  Here’s what you have to do to finish it.  You have to take your scissors and cut it in half.  Whaaaat?  Okay, first you assemble your supplies:

100_8780

Then you take your scissors and you cut it, from hem to collar.  I don’t mind telling you my hands were shaking.

100_8782a

So now, at this point, there’s no going back.  There’s no unraveling this hopeless yarn to be re-used yet again, so going for broke and getting it done is the only option.  Backed into that kind of corner, I did the only thing I could do.  I knit the button bands and called it a day. 

100_8783

It looks like something Richie Cunningham might wear.  It kind of looks like your boyfriend’s sweater.  Your boyfriend the basketball player, who is taking you to Inspiration Point in his dad’s DeSoto.  He sees that you’re a little chilly, so he gives you his varsity sweater to put over your shoulders.  He’s hoping to fog up the windows a little, so he wants you to be comfy.  And you are, because his sweater is big and sloppy and wooly and warm.  Just like a sweater should be.

Oranje, I’m not through with you yet.  We will meet again.

6 comments:

  1. Ok, first of all Kristen, I can't believe how fast you knit!!! Second....I loved your supply list...the wine...what a riot! And third...you CUT it????? I would have passed out to watch that!!! I think this sweater looks very cozy!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jeez you had me holding my breath while I was reading - wondering what you were going to do! Love the wine pic - hilarious. It was a totally inspired fix. And I agree with Kris above, boy you knit fast!!! Have a fab weekend hon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Holy Cow! Cutting that sweater was crazy and brilliant all at the same time. I don't even want to know how you kept it from unraveling. It's going to look great with a pair of jeans and a wine glass. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love it and agree with Lynne, it will look fab with a pair of jeans. You really do make gorgeous stuff.

    Melanie x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hmmm. Call me crazy, but I do like this. A lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much! I won't call you crazy, I'll just think it. ;)

      Delete