Monday, January 20, 2014

Big Color

Untitled
I owe my Juliana a debt of design on this sweater because she almost punched me in the face when I told her I needed to buy some yarn to make something for myself. Exercising some restraint however she walked over to the six drawer chest in the living room, yanked open a drawer, held her hand in display position and said MOM.  You. Have. YARN.  (Only 3 drawers full though.)
And I did.  And still do.  Less than I did have though, thanks to some giant size 17 circular needles, knitting with 3 yarns at once and..... knitting guts.  I shied away from knitting for so many years because I felt as though I could not make it up as I went along.  That and lots of other now seemingly invalid reasons.  I have followed and completed over a dozen patterns over the past year with mostly good success.  I am only now starting to see where I would like to amend something here or there, or maybe do something differently than how the pattern is written if I were to do it again.  In other words, my designer brain is starting to walk hand in hand with my following the instructions and learning something brain.  I am developing a point of view as I barely scratch the surface of learning technique and variations on basic things about knitting. 
But this sweater.  Well this thing.  I had some reckless fun.  This sweater is my version of getting knocked up by knitting.  It is the product of just going for it.  And just like that dumb kid in your freshman studio painting class who thinks he can be an abstract painter simply because nothing recognizable is actually portrayed so how hard can it be, I just knit this thing very awkwardly and loud.  Like I feel like you could have (like) seen me (like) knitting it from (like) wherever you are because my motions of making it were large and happy and dumb.  And I was so excited the whole time and couldn't stop showing it to people mostly the same group of them that live and work here in a steady rotation once I thought maybe they were ready to hear about it again.
And it's huge.  So huge.  I wanted it big, but here was how the cast on went which was piled up with my decision making process on how many stitches to cast on which we will call, for the sake of this description, designing the sweater.  Yes.  That's what it was.  I was designing a sweater.  Aherm.  SO when I was designing the sweater I was like oooo colors, oooo, threeeeee colors at once, what does that look like?, ooooo what do THESE 3 look like together, oooo let me cast these on together, oooh look! (shows Juliana (who is rolling her eyes)), this is gorgeous, oooo when one color runs out I will just tie on another, yes!!, oooo, cast on 12, oooo but I will keep gray and white and black some what constant, cast on another 30, oh I think I made a hat once that was about 50 stitches, oooo but the colors will be like all landscapey- and HOT  there has to be some HOT colors, my torso is definitely bigger than my head so maybe 100 stitches, MAGENTA!  (gasp) Ooooh I have this magenta color scrap, that will have to happen right before black oooo dang every yarn I have is going in this thing oooo crap am I stealing all of my granny square scrap colors now?, oh well, oooo I think 120 stitches will do it.  Now I have a tube. A huge tube.  Like the whole family can get in here tube. But it is too pretty to undo. I started at the bottom.  Oh. Crap.  I meant to start at the top.  Dang.  (Looks up raglan sleeve construction bottomsup style on the interwebuals)  Makes sleeves.  Attaches sleeves, makes up things about attaching sleeves that I am sure I've seen somewhere but didn't bother to confirm because I was 60 seconds away from the baby squawking something about needing breast milk.
Then I had a sweater.  I think it is beautiful.  I am proud of myself.  And I like it so much that I am going to take it apart and do it over only this time with like 90 stitches.  It will be worth it.  I learned stuff and I want to use the that stuff I learned right here on this sweater.  Not the next one.
I am sorry, Knitting.  I know that you did not see me coming.  But you should have thought of that before you sent me the invitation.
True story.
xoAM
Raise your hand if you'd buy my knitting book........cricket.

59 comments:

  1. That sweater is kick-butt!! I *love* the torso. The color progression is like the night sky and the last of a sunset over the ocean. It *IS* a beautiful sweater. You should be proud.

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  2. Go boldly forth my dear...you will succeed!
    –Cassandra

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  3. Heck ya I'd buy your knitting book!! If only for the craziness of it! I know darn well there would be awesome color and design as well so definately yes!! Knitting is such a great form of expression and I am glad that you found a way to make it your own!

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  4. i just may have to take up knitting because I would buy your book! that sweater is awesome!

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  5. You're toast. Buy more yarn!! Girl, are you on www.ravelry.com yet? I am (atomicblue) friend me! This is the most brilliant top down raglan. You can do it. It's a no brainer once you have the simple kfb stitches finished & split for the sleeves. I learned to do it by seeing how to "split for sleeves" on Youtube. Check out this pattern, it's genius!
    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gilet-court-dete

    It's generously fitted. I knitted a size M and it fit great. I have DD's check out the pattern, you won't be sorry you did.

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    1. Yes- have done top down raglan once and very simple agreed! just haphazardly started this one at the top.... I have a ravelry, but need to get over there more, or just at all :)

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    2. I meant to say I haphazardly started at the bottom on this one. See there I go.

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  6. Of course I'd buy your knitting book, once you get it sorted out. And you will!
    Anyway, is it wool? Cuz you can felt it - maybe it would fit you then? It's very pretty.

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    1. Is it wool? uh it is everything...haha
      It was so fast to knit w the big needles and multiple yarns that I am just going to redo! :)

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  7. Love it. I'd buy the book. And this is a little bit how I started sewing:)

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  8. this is so very you! i love it and your, ahem, process. xo.

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  9. It's lovely. And I do admire you for doing it all again.

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  10. Setting aside the fact that most creative types would buy ANYTHING you make/write, I would 100% buy a knitting book of yours for my MIL (the resident knitter in the family).

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  11. Oh, I'd also buy a knitting book from you in a second!

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  12. Love this, it's great! Yes, you should be on revelry more :)

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  13. Ahahaha, this is funny but at the same time the colors are beautiful! I am looking forward to seeing your second attempt. I just started knitting again after lots of stops and starts as a kid and it is all I can do to follow a pattern. I am excited for a time when I can start making up my own! I would buy your knitting book, only in a couple of years maybe ;)

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  14. Awesome! Love breaking the rules and making it your own. My latest favorite on "failed" knitting projects or ones that I just get bored of. . . Wash till it becomes a nice wool felt then cut and sew into something new

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  15. Congrats for making something for YOU!
    I, like your other admirers, smile and love all your creativity. You are an amazing woman/ mother and circular knitting is so much fun...I have only attempted jumper (Aussie :) for grandson. I am so big it sounds too daunting to even cast on all the stitches needed......

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  16. The colors are beautiful... I would definitely buy it...

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  17. I cannot wait for you to start on something Fair Isle! The color combinations you'd dream up...endless possibilities! And yes, come on over to Ravelry, I learn something new every time I'm there
    Greetings from Germany
    Bettina

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  18. Annie Chermak6:41 PM

    Cool! I'll buy it if you teach me how to use it!

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  19. Yes, you are a bit crazy....but in such a loverly, wonderful, awesome way. I love everything about that sweater.

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  20. I borrowed this awesome book from the library called The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee all about how to design and construct seamless sweaters. She has this sampler in there with just about every knitting technique known to man as well as these amazing explanations about what each stitch does and how what you are doing effects the shape. I'm a novice so I'm knitting this up to learn the techniques, but it would also be valuable for a more knowledgeable knitter to perfect techniques.

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  21. hahahaha! thanks for the early morning giggle! It is beautiful, even if you could fit several people in there :-)

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  22. Suggested content for knitting book: "begin by rolling about in as much yarn as you can get your mitts on, get some needles, cast on, knit up a storm whilst having tons of fun, stand back and admire your BEAUTIFUL creation. The end". I might not buy the book but totally buy your approach! ;)

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  23. LOVE the colors! Thanks for sharing.

    Sheila
    http://sheilazachariae.blogspot.com/2013/12/yarny-goodness.html

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  24. I so look forward to reading your blog! Thank you for sharing your beautiful art and your oh-so-readable writing.

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  25. definitely ~ I love knitting right along with sewing1

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  26. Anonymous12:00 PM

    DO NOT take that sweater apart, it is beautiful. Find a person who is larger than you and give it to her. There is no need to rip it apart. I'm glad you learned so much and it is wonderful to have a finished product. You are clever and creative in so many ways.

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    1. Thank you! Too late! haha :) I unwound the torso only (set sleeves aside to reuse) from the top down, and now have a huge gorgeous ball of yarn and cast on 80 stitches this time instead of 120. Starting at the bottom again :) Will remove a few rows of repeat color here and there to make up for the torso being 30% smaller. It will be pretty still I PROMISE !!

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  27. I really know how you feel! That is why I slowed down with knitting (not sure how to put my own spin on the designing part), but I really love how you just went for it--that's exactly how I would do it, but I got bogged down with too many elephant sweaters. Here are two of them: http://patternandbranch.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/craft-fails/ I really love what you came up with. Double extra bonus points for figuring out how things work and then wanting to do it again more to your liking. Now THAT'S inspiring. ;)

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  28. Laura M. H.3:39 PM

    Love your writing! Hilarious, joyful, enthusiastic. I don't knit (yet), but I'd buy your book if you wrote some of it like this. Thank you!
    (I'm a friend of Stephanie Levy, just so you don't think I'm some internet weirdo.)

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  29. Anna, too funny! You are where I was at when I knit that shawl for you a few years back..you are sounding now like so many of us who have been bitten and are never lookinng back from it..I was so glad to see that you started knitting and hope you are still enjoying the shawl.Have loads of fun - it's a wonderful knitting world! Catherine

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  30. I might not buy the book... but I'd definitely buy that sweater!!! :)

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  31. Raising hand, yes. I would love a sweater like that and it sounds fun and quick - my sort of knitting!

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  32. Only you could so pull this off...

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  33. Plus, make sure we can do it in cot ten or linen or both. That's really the only type of sweater I can get much use out of here in Houston, and I love a colorful, slouchy cotten-lineny sweater (in a 2x please).

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  34. I love your sweater - and I will buy the book!
    It is inspiring. Now I know how my the knitted coat - which has been on my mind for soooo long - will look like, THANKS!

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  35. I just started knitting last month, Bravo to you for going all out, I like it! And errr, I guess I'll like the torn apart and remade one more? ;)

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  36. I love the sweater! And I love that you just went for it - I am trying to be brave enough to do that too (with my very-basic-have-only-really-knitted-rectangular-things knitting skills). It makes it fun!

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  37. I love this post and I love your sweater. I completely relate to the excitement and the attitude. I have tried so many different creative outlets and I tend to fall deeply down the rabbit hole on each one. I lack your endless talent, but that doesn't stop me. You'll have a book deal for knitting 2014! Who wouldn't love a way to use up endless balls of one off yarn!

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  38. This is how I knit, too! So hearing you enjoyed the process of letting the yarn just guide you (switching colors at will, making up your own patterns, loudly enjoying the chaos of it all), well, it makes me feel pretty smart- because you are brilliant. Thank for sharing this! I hope to see more of your knitting!

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  39. hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!
    Awesome. Sigh..

    Anyhoo, I have tried to knit multitudinous times and I'm lefthanded always being taught by a righty and when I try to cast on its all screwy and I have given up about a decade ago. So I think your sweater, in all its glory, is amazing.

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  40. Love that sweater! Makes me want to learn how to knit. Beautiful job.

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  41. Your post really made me laugh and it is entirely awesome! i LOVE the colours!

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  42. oh, anna maria! you are just fantastic :) i adore reading all the sweet quirkiness that comes out in this blog of yours!

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  43. hah! made me so happy! I too just dipped my feet (err...dove headfirst?) into the knitting pool, it's nice to see I'm not alone in my somewhat crazy fervor ;) I'd so read your book, just sayin'

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  44. I love this! Any idea where i could find a pattern like this? I'm assuming it's off the shoulder and slouchy. What size needles did you use?

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  45. Anonymous3:33 AM

    I agree with Rachel - I love off the shoulder and slouchy. I hate any sweater that hugs my hips. I like the sweater to hang loose and away from my hips. I have been on the lookout for that kind of sweater that would be easy to make.

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  46. Anna Maria, if you create your book please have a section for us beginners who are terrible at translating the illustrations in other books. We need someone to spell out to us the terms and symbols for the patterns as if you were explaining to someone from another world.

    By the way, this sweater is so beautiful. I love it - especially the top part from dark to pink. Love!!!!!

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  47. Ooo, I would certainly buy your knitting book, and ooo, we heard your squeal way up here in New Brunswick (top of Maine)!!!

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  48. You are an adventurous soul! I would definitely buy your knitting book & make this fabulous sweater!

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  49. You have given me an idea for a sweater made with all of the random balls of sock yarns from which I will likely never make socks! Three strands at a time… reasonable size needles… a simple pattern (I am not ready to design my own YET). It could be fun! I may have to play around with this inspiration!

    The size of your sweater may be a little off but the color work is FABULOUS!

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  50. When it's done please post a pic of you in the sweater. Dying to see it and when you're finished, get to writing that book!!!!!

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  51. ummmm, GORGEOUS!!!! hand raised!

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  53. Love this! I want this pattern so get to that book! Please!

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