Monday, January 02, 2006

What I learned by knitting a giant Aran sweater right before Christmas

1. It sucks and is very difficult to keep a secret like that from the other knitter in the house.
2. No, really. When I finished that sweater I wanted to skip down the street swinging it over my head so all the neighbors could see it, but instead, I had to sneak it home and hide it in the closet.
3. Where I was sure the cats were sleeping on it every day and licking it and otherwise showing it the depths of their weird feline passion.
4. I could have knitted that sweater a lot faster, had I not distracted myself with socks and mittens and mice and other knitted odds and ends along the way. See, I cast it on in May, and knit the back and a sleeve, and then got a little tired of it, so I put it down. Then, in late October, I discovered, in someone else's knitblog, an absolutely amazing sweater from a Japanese book (expect to hear more on this soon) and I decided that I would not have two insanely cabled sweaters in progress, so St. Enda had to go.
On Nov. 1, I swore that I would have no other knitting before me until I finished every last twiddly little stitch (the front, a sleeve, the assembly and a collar.) By the middle of December, I was done.
5. Done. I could have finished that thing in four months if I wasn't so easily distracted.
6. Either the Fool has weirdly long arms (possible, as he tends toward "gangly,") or the Irish people have arms that are short in comparison to the torso. I knit the sleeves with the increases as specified in the pattern, and then when I measured? They were a good four inches too short. So I continued knitting on, and it all worked out, but it did cause me some cold sweats as I wondered if I'd somehow mismeasured and made the sleeves too long.
7. It actually caused me so much angst that I thought of a way to shorten the sleeves without taking the entire sweater apart first. I don't know that it would have worked, but I felt better having a last-ditch plan.
8. It's possible his arms are freakishly long, too. I haven't ruled that out. It would explain why he fits best in "large/tall" shirts, v. "XXL."
9. Socks are easier to keep secret.
10. Knowing that I'm in the hot seat now for "spectacular knitted Christmas gifts," I think what I will do is not give him any socks that I knit for him all year long, and just make a giant present of them in December, eight pairs of hand-knit socks all at once.


Sockbug said...

Awww. It's all over now and you can contemplate the next insane project, LOL!

Sharon J said...

Blimey! I thought it was bad enough trying to keep a pair of gloves secret let alone an aran sweater! I take my hat off to you, sir :) ~Sharon