At long last…I managed to crawl the last two centimeters, shape the front and back necks, do the funky little ridge thing for the shoulder (I’m still not 100% convinced I like that bumpy thing at the shoulder – I know it’s a “feature” in the Dale of Norway knitting, but I think I may be a rebel next time and skip it in favor of a more subtle seam), and cast it off.
Viola. “Finished” sweater. Except for, you know, the two sleeves, steek cutting, front plackets and neckband detailing.
Now. Do you see that thing on top of the sweater? You might be tempted to think that was a sleeve. Ha! No, silly child.
It’s a very fancy shag rug. Look closer…
This is one of the things that makes me wrinkle up my nose and swear that I’m never going to do one of these again: all those yarn ends. Every single one of those has to be woven into the fabric, carefully tucked in amid the stitches so that it doesn’t show, won’t pull out, and in general pretends it doesn’t exist.
I try to consider it part of the experience. I try to make it a good exercise in patience and stick-to-it-ness. I try rewarding myself with wedges of dark chocolate for each successfully run-in end. (You’d think that would make this my favorite thing in the world to do, wouldn’t you?)
But the fact remains that it is about as much fun to me as scrubbing the tile grout in the kitchen. I like the result, but I could really do without the activity needed to get there.
Boo Bug was eager to try on the sweater. So eager, in fact, that she pulled it on like a skirt and ran around in it demanding that everybody ‘wookit my sweath-TER!’
When she skidded to a halt in front of me, she frowned prettily and said, “There’s just one problem, mommy – it’s too big for me!” And she pulled it out to show me that there was a sizable gap.
“That’s OK, honey. It’s going to be a cardigan, it’s supposed to go on over your winter clothes. Remember the fancy clasps we bought?” The clasps were a huge selling point. It must be known by All that nobody else in the Den has clasps on their sweater, instead of lowly buttons.
Whether or not the clasps are, in fact, cooler than buttons shaped like angels or boxes of crayons is still a matter of great dinner-time debate.
She looked at the skirt-like sweater. She looked at me doubtfully. She looked at the sweater again. And back at me.
“We’re going to use the big sewing machine and sew down here, and here, and then we’re going to cut it open. And then put the fancy clasps on it.”
“You’re. Going. To. CUT. My. SWEATER?!” she shrieked. Her expression clearly said that she was going to get on the horn and have the men in white jackets come collect me, because I was obviously well around the bend.
“Remember how we did with Captain Adventure’s sweater?” I prodded. A four year old’s memory is…remarkably like my own. Full of holes, and occasionally incapable of remembering something that was, at the time (which was only a matter of weeks ago), the Most Fascinating Thing Ever™. She had her nose practically under the foot of the sewing machine the entire time!
“Yes! But that was just the sleeves part! You didn’t cut the front part! I don’t want you to cut the front part!!!”
Dawg is my witness, the child was crying about it. I had to show her the fancy clasps:
…and position them on the sweater…and show her the picture of how the sides were going to look, with the pretty blue and yellow placket…and go over in nauseating detail just exactly-precisely how it was that I, her otherwise utterly incompetent mother, was able to cut her sweater without ruining it…
Thanks for the vote of confidence there, kid.
Eventually, she allowed that it would probably be OK. She sat with the pattern for a while pretending to read it, and finally handed it back to me with a long sigh and the supposition that, given that I did in fact know how to read, it would probably be OK.
“But, you know, mommy,” she said earnestly, leaning on the arm of my rocking chair and fixing me with a stern look. “It still seems like crazy-talk to me.”
If you ever see me out in public somewhere? And I suddenly dissolve into laughter for no apparent reason? It's because I've suddenly remembered her earnest blue eyes peering at me from under too-long bangs and her little lisping voice calling steeks 'cwazy tawk'...
Marquis de Vauvenargues
7 hours ago