Monday, February 12, 2007

Just call me The Finisher

I finished Eldest’s sweater. Finally. After, well, I don’t want to calculate just how long I’ve been working on that sweater (‘working on’ should be pronounced, ‘dithering around with, ignoring and otherwise not finishing’).

I actually tried to do the finishing two weekends ago, but had a bizarre sewing machine accident. I’m not sure what happened exactly, but the upshot is that the thing went all funky on me and instead of sewing a seam, it produced a massive tangled knot at one point on the back of the sweater, and a ‘faux seam’ on the front (which came unraveled the minute I clipped the thread). I honestly don’t know what happened. But it upset me, and I set the sweater down and worked on the socks instead. Nice, safe, steek-less socks…

By this weekend, I had regained my emotional fortitude and went back after it. Finished running the stitches! Had a celebratory cup of coffee! Grabbed the scissors! 9:52 in the morning, I’ve got all day to finish this bad boy!

…ran off the Jehovah’s Witnesses…
…made more coffee…
…did dishes…
…broke up fistfight between Danger Mouse and Boo Bug…
…calmed Captain Adventure down (he has mastered the word ‘mine’, BTW)…
…made lunch…
…did dishes…
…baked bread…
…and cookies…
…rotated laundry for third time…

THEN I got the steeks cut and the shoulder and sleeves sewn up with minimal interference.

…more laundry…
…more cooking…
…more dishes…
...dealing with ‘honey do we have any’ questions…
...oh yeah and mommy I forgot…
…dishes…

Eventually, I sat back down grimly determined to finish the @^*&@ sweater. I picked up one of the most perfect neckbands ever (if I do say so myself, and I do!), and began working the neckband pattern.

While the girls were taking their baths, I finally finished the neckband. OK. Now, duplicate stitchery…hmm…

I put in about half of the duplicate stitch on the front, looked at it, and decided that frankly…I didn’t like it. Yes, it makes the center star ‘pop’ more. But I felt there was a little too much of it – it looked bulky and ‘not right’. I suffer from the Sin of Pride around the evenness of my stitches, and the duplicate stitch caused a definite lack of evenness. No matter how I tweaked it, no matter how carefully I smoothed it down, the duplicate stitch stood out to me like a sore thumb. And then I got to thinking about how it would likely look after a few washings and I said to myself, said I, “Self! Forget the duplicate stitch. Not doing it. Next time, I’ll go ahead and strand if I want the white there – but for now? Fughettaboutit.”

So I picked out what I had done and called it a finished sweater.

Eldest tried it on.

Or, she tried to try it on.

No good. Her head wouldn’t go through the hole.

ARGH.

I set the sweater aside, thinking that I’d deal with it, you know, later. (“Later” should here be pronounced, “When I had a granddaughter of about six-seven years who might want it.”)

I groused about the sweater. I fumed about the sweater. I almost wanted to cry about the @*^&@ing sweater. I went to bed angry. Not just about the sweater – there’s an awful lot of garbage raining down on me right now. Which is making a cabin in the woods far, far away from all people (including ‘my’ people) sound really damned nice.

This morning, I picked up the sweater and went to toss it into the ignore this forever work basket. In the morning light, it looked even smaller than it had the day before.

I looked at the sweater.
I looked at Boo Bug.
I put the sweater on Boo Bug.

Perfect. Fit.

Not for Eldest Apparently

Argh.

I measured Eldest carefully before I started and determined that although she is going to be nine very, very soon, the six would fit her better than the eight (did I mention she’s a tiny little creature? I think she’s part hummingbird…). I knit to gauge throughout. I even did that thing, where you say to yourself, “OK, if I’m getting six stitches to an inch and I’m casting on 120 stitches, that’s 20 inches around…”

All the numbers I came up with matched the numbers I got when I measured her from shoulder to wrist, from neck to waist, and yes – around her head. I’ve already been bitten by the head-opening-too-small bug twice this year, and I proclaimed (firmly) that it was not going to happen again!

But, obviously…it was going to happen again.

ARGH.

Oh well. One good about having this many kids underfoot, no matter what size the finished object is, it will probably fit one of them.

And what have we learned, Tama? Have we learned that we should always-always-always take the size up by one bracket if we have a spot-on sizing?

Yes, yes we have. Because if it is too big? They’ll grow into it. Unlike their clothing, no matter how often you agitate them in hot water and toss them into the dryer on ‘high’, children stubbornly refuse to shrink even a little bit.

Boo Bug wore it to school today. I’m sure it will come home drenched in food, paints and $DEITY only knows what-all else. But, as Buddha says, All that is subject to arising is subject to ceasing.

I’d rather have it ruined after a single wearing than never be worn at all. Especially not after All That.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, there is a coffee in desperate need of my now finely honed finishing skills...

4 comments:

Eclair said...

Well done! That sweater looks gorgeous! And you are right - it is a perfect fit from the look of that photograph. At last we see the benefits of multiple offspring (other than the hope that maybe at least one of them will visit us in our dotage!)

I have the opposite problem. I swatch, wash, measure, knit to gauge and somehow, within seconds of physical contact, all the sweaters expand to twice their original size and my children look like urchins dressed in cast-offs.

Ahh, the mysteries of gauge. Just another thing in the universe to drive us round the bend.

Knitting Keeps me Sane said...

I love that sweater so hard!
I had a similar one, in red, when I was little - my older brother had one in blue and everyone would think we were twins.. :-)

What pattern did you use? And what yarn? A worsted weight? I dont think you should be sad - just knit another sweater for Eldest - maybe one with a pony on it :-)

Renee said...

It looks beautiful. Can we see a closer shot. I want to admire it more.

No matter what size I knit for my eldest, I need to add stitches to the neckband. I hate it. She's got a huge melon.

Amy Lane said...

You rock. That sweater is truly awesome...and Boo Bug will never remember that it wasn't made especially for her. As for the neck thing? Honestly, that's why I do cardigans and V-necks...we are a large headed family, it pays to take measures.