Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Every fuckin' year.

For those of you who are new to the blog and catching on to the routine around here, every year I knit my in-laws sweaters for Christmas. And every single stinking year, something goes horribly wrong with my mother-in-law's sweater. Every. Year.

The first year I did this, I was in Hawaii, and having to mail-order in Icelandic lopi, 'cause sure as shooting no one carried it in any of the (at the time) maybe two yarn shops in Honolulu. The ordering didn't go so well, because as always the colors were off in the catalogue and on-line, and I wound up having to order almost two sweaters' worth of yarn to get the colors right. You can't tell, but the darker brown color in that sweater shades from VERY dark to a russet color, bottom to top. (See the beautiful match between the sweater and the turtleneck? My mother-in-law is known for going out and buying an entire outfit to match the sweaters I knit her. One of the many reasons she gets sweaters knit for her.)

The next time I knit the Christmas sweaters, I knit "Ljod" from Elsbeth Lavold, and the decreasing was completely wrong on the sleeve caps. I was knitting both sleeves at once, which meant having to unravel both at once.

This was hard, 'cause I'd just had The Baby (in fact, I knit half the back while in the hospital while giving birth), and for the longest time I thought the errors were from me reading the pattern wrong. But eventually I got a highlighter and a calculator, and took a good look, and by golly, those sleeves were WRONG. They were also about six inches too long. I knocked off two inches while knitting them, because I could tell they were too long. Then once I gave her the sweater, I shortened them another four inches, by cutting off the cuffs, unraveling four inches, and grafting the cuffs back on again. Always a good time.

Last year was the notorious Blue Shimmer.

EVERYTHING went wrong on this one. (If you didn't witness the carnage at the time, the August and September '06 archives can be interesting reading.) I knit it on size ones and twos, it took two months, I had to re-work the pattern once or twice... then I entered it in the state fair and they didn't even place it. (Resulting in my not entering the state fair at all this year.)

This year? I want to knit the opera-style coat in "Andean Inspired Knits". It's a knit-purl texture with a fancy knitted border. I ordered "Quechua" from Elann to knit it with. They're calling the color "celery".

Celery that's been boiled in beef stock for a week, maybe. I'm telling myself it looks different when it knits up. (And a brown element in green is more flattering to European white skin. Seriously.) But still.

I forsee another good time on the horizon.

5 comments:

Roxie said...

And yet, your MIL looks delighted with the end product and the sweaters are so pretty on her! I think you both won the in-law lottery.

Sharon Wood said...

The baby looks EXACTLY like your mother-in-law!

Kitten's mom.

Caroline said...

I don't think I've ever seen celery that colour.

Amy Lane said...

PLease tell me it's on a size 4, at least...

(Have you knit a swatch and looked at it outside? Man, sometimes inside light just MESSES with my color perception.)

Bells said...

Oh excellent description. Perfect.

Shame about the colour.