I am as guilty as the next person of this first one: I spend money on a knitting book or magazine, find a pattern I want to knit and then there are errors. After this past weekend of checking, double-checking, and triple-checking myself, I stand humbled and silent. A company commissioned a man’s sweater — something knittable but noticeable — not too hard but with interest — the ever-elusive grey zone. I did research, talked to men about their preferences (my husband was astonished at this as SOP in our house is when I want his opinion I will tell him what it is), looked at hundreds of men in sweaters on Flickr and elsewhere on the internet. I went through all the Barbara Walker books contemplating stitch patterns. I swatched. I thought. I rolled the idea of this sweater around in my head like I would roll a hard candy around in my mouth. Then I knit the sweater. Knitting the sweater was the easy part and took about ten days.
Typing the pattern took three days and twelve very intense hours of solitude. The pattern is written for seven sizes, from a finished measurement of 34″ to one of 56″. There are four different stitch patterns, three flowing one to the next on the torso up to the neck and a fourth from the cuff of the sleeve up to the neck (this is a saddle shoulder sweater). Of course, I had insights along the way as I knit this sweater and unvented a new way to shape the neck — keeping all stitches live for the end to knit the collar. I have a stack of papers filled with math, measurements, sketches and scribbles an inch high — all so the pattern could be precise.
The pattern is called: “The Admiral” and will be published by Frog Tree Yarns, my ever-beloved patron. It is based on traditional men’s fishing Ganseys. The whole point of the stitch patterning is to draw the eye of the beholder away from the wearer’s abdomen, up to the shoulders and face, while providing a simple easy masculine look — or slimming look for a women. My husband modeled it unblocked for me and even said: “If you were to ever knit this for me, just two inches longer.” Shocking. The pattern will debut at the Columbus TNNA trade show along with the sweater, knit in EWETOPIA, Frog Tree’s newest scrumptious yarn.
I continue training for my Camino in September. The lesson which has become most apparent to me is this: our World only seems mundane. We choose whether to make our days mundane or sacred…and every moment can be transformed with a deep breath and an attitude adjustment.
Netflix fans: just finished watching the four episodes of “Grand Tour” — great documentary about architecture and history and more. There is also an intense talk by Adam Savage on something called: TED talks, ancient facts…worth the 15 minute investment of time.
My prayers, Italy (and World) are with you. May you find peace and safety — sooner.