03 August 2006

Viking Sweater Complete!

Inspired by UFO August, I spent the last three days finishing the Viking sweater (aka, the Gauge Disaster Sweater), at long last. I consider myself quite heroic for working on a wool sweater for three days solid in this heat, but (a) I was in the only room with AC the whole time and (b) it was better than working on the diss, which, alas, I've done very little of lately due to brain melt.

Here it is. In addition to the aforementioned gauge disaster, and then that little alien invasion issue (see below), I also had to frog and re-knit the upper third of the yoke in order to get the collar to lay right, and, after finishing the hem facings for the body and sleeves, I noticed while re-reading Knitter's Almanac that it's really good advice to make the facings in smaller-gauge yarn. Mine were a little poofy, especially on the sleeves, but - my god - the thought of still more frogging and re-knitting almost killed me. Especially on the body hem, where I had laboriously knitted in my husband's name and the date. So I compromised, by frogging the sleeve hem facings and the few rows of the collar that I had done at that point, and re-knitting them in laceweight yarn (with extra stitches to make up the width, of course). The body hem I left as it was, deciding that it had come out alright anyway the first time (much better than the cuffs). So, what I predicted would take only one full day away from the diss really took more like three, but that still doesn't totally ruin my immense pleasure in having this thing DONE.

I'm so grateful for the UFO August KAL. Hard as it is to resist temptation to start new things, I am getting such a HUGE kick out of unloading the guilt induced by all these UFO sweaters that have been haunting my closet for, in some cases, years. It started with the monumental Mom sweater, and it could have been so easy to just coast on that accomplishment right into starting that new 27-color Fair Isle project...but no! The KAL stepped in, and I'm here to finish what I've started until September! I really think that should be enough time to do most of them, and still finish my chapter, which is the other goal for the summer....

I've already started on the #2 UFO on my list: the sweaters I bought in Michigan, now felted and ready to be turned into handbags and pillow cases. I spent last night shaving them thoroughly (the fuzz and felt scraps? I'm going to use it for pillow stuffing! Inspired by Annemor Sundboe). The shaving made a huge difference in how they look. I also cut the pieces for four handbags, and started sewing one.

Here are the three that are cut and awaiting sewing:

And here's the one I've started on. I'm calling it "Mint Choc Chip" after my favorite flavor of ice cream, and plan to needle-felt a biggish choc-brown circle in the lower right quadrant of the bag after I'm done with the sewing and edging the handles.

(To Toni, the commenter who asked why I was felting the sweaters - this is why! The edges don't unravel after felting, so you can cut them up at will and sew them into new things.)

I'll post pictures of the Viking sweater modeled as soon as it's dry, but I can say already from when I tried it on him before blocking that it looks HOT (in more ways than one!)I know it looks like it would be incredibly unflattering, with this huge colorwork section right around the belly and plain and dark everywhere else - but Hubbster has broad shoulders and a very narrow waist, and it looks just awesome on him (IMHO! =] )

But it'll probably be two weeks before it dries, in this humidity. Here's a quote for the day:

"Dangerously hot and humid conditions will continue through early
this evening. An extremely hot airmass will remain in place
today... with temperatures climbing into the mid to upper 90s in
southern Westchester County to around 100 degrees in New York
City. With humidity remaining at oppressive levels... this will
result in maximum heat indices from 106 to 114 degrees during the
afternoon. Heat indices in New York City are not expected to fall
below 105 degrees until early this evening.[...] In addition to the dangerous heat... air quality levels of outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value
of 100 for fine particles."


The Purloined Letter said...

The sweater is just exquisite. Really wonderful.

Laura said...

Gorgeous sweater! I'm looking forward to seeing it on a model. Especially since you make the model sound so alluring. ;)

I'm also looking forward to the mint chocolate chip bag. That looks like it will be cute, cute, cute.

Kirsten said...

The Viking sweater is beautiful! Those bags look like a lot of fun too!