Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Valentine Surprise!

Happy Valentine's Day

Love Bite #14 (the last one!) - Love is friendship

as proven by this snapshot of my friend, The Scarlet Knitter, and me outside the American Girl Place in New York City. She is my knitting guru of the Three Project Rule. This Valentine Surprise is for her.
Quite a few years ago, (the year 2000 give or take) I received a surprise in the mail. It was during the time I decided to step gently back into knitting by knitting doll clothes. My friend sent me Holiday Wear, Knits for Dolls and Children, by Judith Shangold. I chose Valentine's Day because it was the next holiday. I immediately ordered Plymouth Encore D.K. yarn from Patternworks and went to work. Last night, February 13, 2007, I finished. Another UFO bites the dust!

When I tried the sweater on my fit model, American Girl Addy, it was way too big! So Cloudland Ida Mae Humphrey jumped in and saved the day.

Actually Ida Mae is a taller doll with very long arms and was able to wear it very well even though her torso is rather narrow.

So what happened to gauge? I was sure I had it spot on at the time. What happened in blocking? What happened in general? I knitted all the pieces right away. I, in my infinite lack of wisdom, decided the sweater was very short and wide so I added some rows for length. Not a problem . . . until I was just about out of red yarn for the button bands. I ordered more. So there were the pieces all knitted, just sort of hanging around, for years. Early last February I decided to surprise my friend with pictures of the finished project on Valentine's Day. Back in the beginning I had knitted only one collar piece. It was such a challenge to my memory I hadn't done the second piece. Last year it was a challenge to get it to come out like the first piece. I was on my last try before doing both pieces over again when I decided enough is enough.

I blocked the sweater, and blocked it, and blocked it . . . until this January! What can I tell you? Finishing is not my strong suit. However, now that I have been declared a BFK (by my other knitting guru), I knew I could get it done for this Valentine's Day. And I did!

You will notice there are no pictures of the inside. I would not reveal to the world my sorry first attempt at intarsia. The floats are long enough to sail to China. I know better now. As for the knitting, the year of being pinned to the blocking board, another steaming and drying, manipulating stitches with my fingernail, nothing could make the knitting beautiful. It looks so amateurish to what I do now. Thank God I improved!

Anyway, Laura, this one's for you, my friend.

Bona Fide Knitter


chelle said...

This is so stinkin cute, Marilyn. Happy Valentine's Day!

Laura said...

I am blushing so much that my face must be a perfect match to the red yarn by now. What a perfect Valentine! You are the Best of Knitting Friends.

Anonymous said...

Aw, I love the story and the sweater is just darling! Thanks for your blog! Karen