Tuesday, April 17, 2007

April UFO Resurrection Challenge

For April’s UFO Resurrection Challenge I decided to concur a project that had morphed itself from a fun and inspired knit to a gigantic monkey, maybe even a gorilla (which aren’t really even monkeys, but apes, by the way), permanently residing on my back: my brother’s sweater. I decided this time last year that I wanted to make him an Irish sweater. Having spent a year in Ireland in college as well as his honeymoon, I thought he would think it was cool. It would also give me a chance to play with Celtic cables. I found some great charcoal Irish Donegal Tweed wool from an EBay seller, Irish Yarns & Crafts and started planning what I wanted to do. I picked out the Durrow sweater from MagKnits and decided on a substitution cable that I thought he would like.

The goal was to have it finished in time for his birthday last September. However, as I knit on the wool sweater through the summer, I soon realized that September in San Diego is not exactly sweater weather. I decided that I would change it into a hybrid birthday/Christmas present in order for it to be more seasonally appropriate. The fact that this also resulted in another four months of knitting time was purely a bonus (although it may have influenced the idea a bit to begin with ;-). The problem became that having so much time, meant that there was almost always something else that got picked up first to work on.

As last Christmas quickly approached, the sweater kept stalling. And although, I could have finished it for Christmas (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), I decided that it would be better if I let him try it on first before I seamed it all up. I argued that this was a smart decision since the entire sweater had been knit without any actual measurements being taken and if modifications were needed, better to make them before all that finishing had been done. This turned out to have been a VERY good idea. It wasn’t until I saw the body of the sweater on him, that I realized how many more modifications were going to be needed. Unfortunately, two things happened at this point: 1) I no longer had a deadline, and 2) He didn’t seem to be very excited about the sweater. This last point left me sad (although I knew it was a risk before I even started the project) and quite unmotivated to finish the sweater.

After some discussion and encouragement from several people, I decided to complete the sweater anyway and that his confusion and lack of interest probably had more to do with the fact that I was having him try on a tube with flat sleeves still on the needles. Yeah, not exactly an easy to process gift. Regardless, the longer this project sat around, the worse I felt about not finishing. I had initially planned to finish it last month, but as I previously mentioned, I needed that month just to get myself mentally ready.

So, last week, I sat down, figured out what I needed to do to get the neck to work and finished up the knitting. This weekend I seamed up the yoke and the sleeves and had him try it on one more time before I added the neck. I knew the arms would need to be blocked a bit wider still, but I also think he could use a little more room in his upper chest. He said it fit fine but he seemed to have a slightly worried expression on his face. It is supposed to be a fitted sweater and while he tends to wear fitted clothing, I don’t want him to be uncomfortable. So, once the collar is done, I will give the whole thing a final bath and make those final adjustments. I hope he ends up liking it, but if not, it will probably look really nice on his wife as well. My goal is to have it finished this week so that some long overdue FO photos can be taken this weekend or next.


knitzalot said...

You're so close! It shouldn't be too long now.

Jennifer said...

Won't it feel great to have this done! You're almost there.

Jeanette said...

Congrats on refinding the inspiration to finish this. Good luck with those last steps!

The Stitchin' Sheep said...

Please shoot me the day that my husband's clothes start looking good on me. I understand your brother's wife is pretty tall, so she can get away with that, but the day my husband's clothes even start to come close to fitting me will be a sad one, indeed.

Anyway, GO TEAM DIS!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the finished monkey...I mean, sweater! (:)