Friday, August 04, 2006

Big Sack Sweater

I've been having a heck of a time getting this photo uploaded. >sigh< I've been trying from work because I have a T1 connection, as opposed to trying from home with my dial-up. Sadly, the connection at work hasn't been stable & I couldn't get the file to upload. Today, day 3 of the attempt, was going to be my last go before trying from home. Actually, I would have tried from home anyway, but I've had a Rather Busy Week leaving me NO time for anything fun at home. This sweater was knit using Moda Dea Aerie in black and was my first knitted project for me. I did knit one previous sweater for my oldest daughter from the Debbie Bliss How to Knit book. This sweater was also my first cable, and wow! I was surprised at how easy it was! I'm sorry it isn't very clear in the photo, it is clearer in person, and in spite of the way it looks in the photo, the sleeves were even. Yes, I did say "were even". Ah, let me tell the tale...

Many years ago, in the late 80's to be honest, I received a wonderful fluffy, black sweater for Christmas from my grandmother. I loved that sweater. No, I LOVED that sweater. It was soft, a bit oversized (which I love), went with everything (I was pretty seriously into black at the time) and I wore it constantly. Flash forward nearly 7 years, and I was still wearing that sweater. Until the Incident. I had married & moved to the Seattle area and we lived in an apartment. I went to a laundromat down the street to do our laundry each week. Well, one day I came home and when I pulled my favorite black sweater out to put it away, I found a hole in the front of it big enough to put a basketball through. I have no idea what happened to it, but it was bad. I had to consign the remains to the garbage bin, and I cried when I did it.

I spent another 7 years looking for a sweater replacement without any success. Nothing was just right, you know? Anyway, last fall I found the Moda Dea Aerie yarn and it was the softest stuff I'd ever stuck my hand in. So, I decided that I would make my own Favorite Black Sweater. I splurged on the yarn (a Christmas pressie to myself) and found a pattern that I liked and was all ready to go. Except, well, I apparently have committment issues. :) When it came time to start the sweater I kept wondering if the pattern I had chosen was the "right" pattern. I went through all of my books for the umpteenth time and when I hit the Big Sack Sweater in SnB I thought, Yes! That's the one! I did not consider that the pattern was for a significantly less fluffy yarn & that that might impact the look of the cable, no, this was all about The Yarn and creating The Favorite Black Sweater.

I can't believe how quickly I knit that sweater! I started December 26th & finished it the second week of March, and I lost about two weeks of knitting time due to a muscle spasm in my back. I'm still impressed with myself. (Now I get to the sleeve part.) I finished the sweater with plenty of cool weather left in the season. I wore it several times and the sweater went through several washings. No problems. No shrinking, growing, matting, etc. It was perfect! Then one day I put it on and the arms had grown considerably. Like about 3-4 inches longer. What the heck? I have an idea what happened, but no proof. The rest of the sweater is the same as before, no measureable differences in size. Only the sleeves. Well, Himself often does laundry and is meticulous about laying sweaters out to dry (I didn't even have to train him on this one!). However, he seems to think that it is enough that the sweater is not in the dryer, items will get laid out in all sorts of positions. I think that what happened is that he put this sweater out to dry in a position where the sleeves were left hanging down. Since they were wet & had a long way to drop, I think they just grew the extra inches, but now I can't seem to get them back to their original length. I don't mind that much, I can roll them up and it is fine with me, but it is an annoying puzzle for me. I don't want to tell Himself that he messed up my sweater. He was so supportive when I was working on it and shows it off to folks when I wear it. (Sweet, huh?) I can't even be sure it was him, but it seems really likely that the drying incident is the culprit. Anyway, it is still my Favorite Black Sweater. Seriously, it is like a kid's security blanket or something. Almost obscene.

And finally, a creepy photo of me with my face removed. Ick. I think I'll try something different next time.

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