Sunday, April 18, 2010

Growing like a Green Bean

One of the psychological challenges of knitting in the age of technology that I struggle with, is the ratio of time vs immediate satisfaction. It is a long process - from picking up a pattern because one day you think it looks great to the acceptance 3 days/weeks/months years later that it's actually not at all up your alley. Or the opposite - you knit something, say in the 80's and then you grow up and realize that sweater dresses do not become the buxom woman you might be.

Just sayin'.

A third and equally realistic outcome is that the project might not happen at all. I'm so used to getting an idea and executing it in a matter of hours or days that I struggle with the concept that it is not the mark of failure if a piece doesn't even get knit at all.

This point begs the question, why give myself a large knitting project deadline in the first place?! I have no answers but I do cross the border to the land of Denial weekly. Maybe it's the adrenaline rush?? Sigh.

5 or 6 years ago, back in the heat of the acquisition phase of my knitting career, I bought 3 and a half skeins of Peace Fleece off my friend Jill. I think I may have thought I was doing her a favour and boosting the weight of my stash at the same time. Over the course of those 5 years I looked at it, swatched it, thought about it, caked it but never found a project that made me want to knit it up.

Until 3 years ago when the kid that would be Fenner was baking I picked up this pattern to knit for another knocked up Mom at the time. That is a long time that I've been looking at this pattern and thinking about the wool.

I made the hat for one of the neighbourhood kids with great struggle. I don't speak the designer's language at all. I finally put the pattern down and picked up The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and the game was finally afoot!

I had the same challenges with this sweater as I did with Jason's vest - mostly my gauge swatch lying like a teenage girl angling for a curfew extension. Ruthlessly and with perfect composure. Gauge is such an Asshole.

But Gauge is no match for the tenacious, stubborn and ruthless knitter I've evolved into. I WILL NOT GIVE UP! Working through the knitterly mocking I ripped and reknit this beast until finally, this project matched my imagined picture of it. Perfectly.

It's the perfect sweater and hat set for cool Spring nights. It fits under Fenner's rain slick just in time for a 2 week vacation on Vancouver Island.
It's the perfect weight and warmth for cool mornings to keep my little Bean warm when we walk to her first couple of days at school (daycare but you gotta spin these things for the kids!)


Natalie said...

Ack! Super cute!

charchar said...

you're an artist, really Jen. It is beautiful. The collar is a really nice accent and I bet it all very hard to do.
So, push comes to shove, how long did it take you (apart from the 5years laying in wait)?

Jen said...

Once I got my groove on with it - 4 weeks of solid knitting. Solid knitting means that I didn't knit anything else while I was making this. Monogamy I suppose would be a way of describing it.

Jillian said...

I love that you finally used up that yarn! The sweater looks super cute! And Fenner is adorable!

Lynn said...

Great sweater Fenner looks so cute
in it. Hope you will be up at the cottage this summer and have time to come for a spin (or just a chat and visit.)