Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mr. Greenjeans Does Paris

Mr. Greenjeans is a DONE DEAL.

<----On the left is friend Ruth, and me happily wearing the newly-finished sweater, hot off the needles only moments before, on a barge on the Seine.

Working furiously for five days on a ship during long, sunny afternoons, I was unswervingly committed to finishing in time to wear in Paris. Even at that pace, I still had most of a sleeve remaining the night before we docked in LeHavre, France. But I was determined: During the 2.5 hour drive to Paris, I finished the last third of the remaining sleeve with twenty minutes to spare before we parked next to the Seine for our river cruise.


While I didn't have the button on it, I did have a cable needle, which acted as a chopstick-like closure.

The Sweater, in progress, hanging from the balcony railing --->

And Paris? It couldn't have been more beautiful that 22nd day of April: Sunny, warm (70 degrees), with all the Spring flowers and trees in bloom, including the infamous horse chestnut trees that line every street, boulevard, and park in the City of Light.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mr. Greenjeans Disaster

For MALABRIGO MARCH on the Ravelry malabrigo junkies board, I took on the challenge to make the Mr. Greenjeans cardie from the Fall 2007 edition of Knitty. Make no mistake: I love this yarn, Malabrigo 'Silky Merino'. I love this sweater: After reviewing hundreds of photos on Ravelry of this sweater finished and on every conceivable body type, I decided to make it. It looks good on EVERYONE.

But it doesn't love me. Not one bit.
After swatching and hitting gauge almost immediately, I started it on March 1, quickly knitting down to the armholes and then moving those stitches onto waste yarn while I finished the body. A few inches later, I had finished the top, and tried it on. Elated that it fit so well, I pressed on to the cables.

Two weeks later, I bound off the bottom and eagerly tried it on. It was no where CLOSE to fitting. The top fits, but the inward pull of the cables is merciless. After a day of shock, a heavy steam blocking was in order. This was my only weapon short of ripping it all back and starting the bottom cables anew. I tried it on. It was still a no-go.

Today, after a week of leaving it folded and resting in my knitting bag, it's going to be frogged. The only option is to redo all the cabling one size up and use a larger needle size as well.

In the meantime, I've been knitting smaller things, most notably Retro Redux Shrug from the book Lace Style. The owner of Yarnorama, Susan, had knit one up for a shop sample, and during spring break the girls and I stopped in Paige to fondle yarn on our way to Houston. Both Liz and Claire tried it on, and it looks adorable. So I moved the project up in my queue, and when Greenjeans turned into a nightmare, I turned to knitting the shrug as a confidence builder to get away from my sweater woes. I'm almost finished with one, in Malabrigo 'Worsted Merino' colorway Water Green. I've started the ribbing for the top and bottom edges. It knit up side-to-side very fast and without incident and the color is lovely.