Friday, March 26, 2010

The many faces of progress

This morning, I woke up with no swelling and almost no pain in the tooth. I was so happy, I stayed in bed an extra half hour to celebrate! (I know. Who needs Vegas, baby, when there’s parties like these happening right here?! In bed until 5:55, wooooooooooo, lookout, wild woman!!)


In other Wildly Exciting News, I finally got the second sleeve steeked and sewn on the husband’s Lillehammer sweater.

Lillehammer With Sleeves

Last night, I pointed imperiously in the general direction of the kitchen and barked, “Random Child! Unload that dishwasher! Husband! Make spaghetti! Other Random Child! Load the dishwasher! If you need me, I’ll be over here steeking…”

Then I did the sewing along the steeks by hand, which took about sixteen thousand times longer than using a sewing machine (especially since I was being super-paranoid about catching the floats and adjacent stitches and all…but you know what? I think may hand-sewing is actually sturdier than what I got using the machine the last time I did these) (you know what else? I have Officially Decided that I prefer the Fair Isle method where you cast on extra stitches for the steeks and do that checkerboard thing, rather than this Norwegian-style thing where you just knit the pattern and then have to sew it down…sure, it’s, what, twelve extra stitches in every round, but I’m going to be nervous about those steeks for the life of the sweater, whereas when I use good “grabby” wool and have six stitches worth of feltable buffer between the sweater and the cut part, well, I sleep better at night).

Then I set in the sleeves. And sewed the shoulder seams. And then it was late, so I went to bed.

But! The major stumbling block is officially over! The sweater has now come out of hibernation and is on its way to actually being finished-finished! I know! It’s like, the excitement is palpable…

Now all I have to do is pick up 16,000 stitches (give or take 15,880 or so) around the collar and do the Collar Pattern (hmm…seem to be short a ball of green…hope it’s in the Merino Leftovers box where it belongs…) (well, you know, I kind of figure the chances of Tim wearing this in public somewhere and somebody going, “Nice sweater, buddy! Wow! Is that a Lillehammer? Waaaaaaaaaait-a-second, why do you have extra yellow on that collar? Weren’t those two rows supposed to be green, Mistake Sweater Boy?!” are kind of remote, so if I have to play a little fast and loose with the collar pattern, so be it…but hopefully I’ll pull down that box and find the ball of green sitting in there, staring at me accusingly as if to say, Why did you put me in here before I was done with the job?).

And run in approximately 27,000 ends.

Give or take 3.

Which of course is the downside of all that lovely color work. You’re done…but not done. Done, but still have whackity majillion hours of work left…and personally, this is the part that is work. The knitting part is fun. The running in of ends? Not so much fun.

Seaming isn’t my favorite either, although I do find it rather satisfying when an “invisible” seam actually is, you know, invisible…I feel very clever when the two pieces just sort of fit together all smooth and stuff. Bonus points if the pattern lines up on either side.

This is going to be a wonderful dead-of-winter sweater. It is wicked warm (unpleasantly so last night, actually, as it smothered my lap in our 70-degree house), in beautifully soft yarn (KnitPicks Merino Style) and just…way not something you’re going to pick up at WalMart, you know? But with the yarn coming from KnitPicks, and discounting the fifteen zillion hours it took to make it, the actual cost out the door is about forty bucks.

Oh, OK, eighty bucks, if you count all the quarters that had to go into the Cuss Jar when I was trying to do the steeks and the sewing machine needles kept snapping. Geesh. You people are so unforgiving when it comes to math…


Anonymous said...

It's an absolutely beautiful sweater!
lurker Ginnie

ccr in MA said...

Oh, that sweater is gorgeous! Well done, and I'm happy to hear that the tooth situation is improving too. A good day!

Lois B. said...

What beautiful work! It's breathtaking.