Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A triumphant day - sort of

I finally finished this accursed sweater. I started it in August, which doesn’t sound so bad till I mention that it was August 2009. Ana and I both admired it, and decided to have a knit-along. She, of course, finished hers long ago. We knitted them from a Japanese book, and naturally, the instructions were in Japanese. For the most part, this did not present a problem, as the pattern was largely charts. There were a few little areas, however, where one needed a bit more information than was available from just the charts. Ana, the intrepid on-line investigator, found a blog which explained the directions for the leaf tips. The chart for that, shown here, was pretty arcane from my point of view. When we figured it out, it seemed as though it should have been obvious all along. Isn’t so much of life like that?

One of my work colleagues showed me the Japanese characters for such vital words as, “stitch,” “row,” “needle,” and “gauge.” She also helped me interpret the mysterious directions for attaching the collar. When Ana and I started, we were able to figure out what gauge the pattern recommended, but we could not figure out what part of the complex design that gauge was supposed to represent. So we just started knitting a sleeve as our swatch. This is my usual practice when knitting a cabled sweater, as otherwise one has to knit a huge useless thing to get much of an idea. This way, you knit a huge useful thing, and have a part of your sweater already done. Or not. In my case, not. I knitted about 2/3 of the sleeve and decided that it was way too big. So back to square one. The body was knitted all in one piece, which made for a snail’s pace – another damper on the old enthusiasm. I paused to knit myself a useful sweater, and then Becca liked it so well that she demanded that I knit her one too. Then we decided to have a knit-along to make the EZ green sweater, and there was Christmas knitting in the mix as well. So while I felt like I had been knitting on this sweater forever, most of the time, it was just loooooming over me as an unfinished object sending out little guilt vibes. Happily, it is finally done, and I like it very well. Now if only I had put in pockets. Oh, well – next time.


14 comments:

Knitman said...

oh my! How elegant. I adore this type of work. Excellent work, Joanna.

Joyce said...

Beautiful sweater! It was worth the effort!

knitbyheidi said...

it's really beautiful! stunning!

sablestasher said...

Dear Joanna:

This is truly a work of art - in any language. I love the twined leaves up the back. Great job. Love all you cooking pictures. I am on a strict diet, but I can drool on you blog!

junieann

FugueStateKnits said...

Joanna - this is gorgeous and it looks great on you! Well done! Is this the Herbstlied sweater from that amazing book of patterns that also has the Am Kamin??

joannamauselina said...

No, it is from another book by the same author. The Herbstlied is a pullover, and the back is a little nicer in that it has acorns as well as oak leaves. I wish mine had acorns.

Kabira said...

The sweater is beautiful and I love your story-telling style -- you always make me smile - thank you!

SaRi said...

Congratulations Joanna on finishing this beautiful cardigan. And thank you for such lovely pictures. You make me want anbandon all my WiPs and start right away on - mmh - at least half a dozen Japanese sweaters on my list.
I know exactly what you mean by "knitting on it forever". I just experience the same right now with the Mountain View cardigan (made from sock yarn) and the Crown Prince Shawl. But they will eventually get finished, too. ;D
Wow, wow, wow. Gorgeous.

Carmen said...

I've seen it in person and this sweater is gorgeous on you.

Terri said...

Wowsa!!! That is one gorgeous sweater. Congratulations!!!

Laritza said...

It is so beautiful! Congratulations!

Lorette said...

That is just gorgeous! Well worth the wait, I'd say.

Samos said...

Happy Birthday! :-)

Lily said...

Lovely Lovely Lovely work. Hope I will do something like it once. Wonderful work.