Friday, January 14, 2011

Revealed: Big Project Small Needles

Ta daaaa!

Can you believe I knit this?

In slightly less than two months no less, even though I had to knit two samples for Interweave Knits at the same time and practice an insane amount for a driver's test, which I passed on the first try. I am still amazed.

This is Genevieve's Graduation Sweater from Kathleen Taylor's book Fearless Fair Isle. When I said I would love to knit a sample for it, I thought I would get - I don't know - mittens? A hat? And then I got an e-mail saying I'd been assigned this and (another amazement) did not have a heart attack. See, I've known Kathi for a reeeeaaaallly long time, and I remembered Genevieve's Graduation Sweater from when she made the one she actually gave Genevieve. It is a very special and meaningful knit and I didn't know whether I could pull it off.

Well, I need not have panicked. Kathi sent over the draft chapter on introducing Fair Isle, complete with all sorts of advice and instruction, and by the time I cast on I felt like a pro. Normally this is the last kind of project I would ever call 'travel knitting', but I traveled with it everywhere and never had a problem following the charts.

And what charts! Complex though the design looks, you almost never have to carry a float more than five stitches, so it's effortless. To say nothing of the thrill as I watched the boxy shapes on the paper chart transformed into gentle curves in the fabric.

I took a few pictures of the process so Kathi could tell me whether I was doing it right - I wanted her sample to be perfect - and I always was, just from following the pattern.

If you look closely at that last picture, you can see the stitching there where I folded down the neck in anticipation of picking up stitches, another thing I didn't know how to do properly until I read Kathi's draft chapter.

Here is my favourite picture, taken just after I cut the steek. I love the design on the exterior of this sweater but I find this interior shot breathtakingly beautiful:

If you're new to Hugs and are so inclined, you can read through the posts I wrote while I was knitting this last spring - they are all tagged Big Project Small Needles.

It was a great experience, and I can't wait to get my hands on the patterns for the other projects in this book.


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Edited to add:

Whoa! I published this and then dashed out the door for much of the day. What a nice thing to come home to all these lovely supportive comments - thanks guys!!

12 comments:

Taylor said...

Ohhhhh so beautiful! Stupendo you knitted a masterpiece! Its soo gorgeous it could be framed as art!

Angela said...

Absolutely breathtaking!

JM said...

Absolutely gorgeous, I love those colours, what a fantastic job, Was that your first time cutting steeks....

Anonymous said...

it's beautiful!!!

And just like you I can barely wait to buy my own copy of this book:)

Karen said...

Oh, that is so lovely, Maire! Kathi is such a talented designer, and your knitting is just gorgeous. Can't wait till my copy of the book arrives....

Yarn Geek said...

Absolutely breathtaking! I will have to follow your brave lead and knit one of these as soon as I get my own copy.

justmeandtwo said...

WOW!! I am beyond words at how amazing this is. You're an amazing knitter and an inspiration. Too bad you couldn't keep it. =)

heklica said...

Stunning! Gorgeous! Fabulous! (Hang on a sec, I need a thesaurus here!)

It isn't the one I thought it was though :)

And look at the reverse - it's so neat you can easily wear it inside out!

Genevieve said...

It looks as beautiful as the original. Enjoy this gorgeous sweater!

Frieda said...

That is awesome !!!! Almost makes want to knit one too . That is until I read the word 'steek' . Just call me chicken ...

Kathleen Taylor said...

I thought I posted a comment here, but it didn't show up.
Beautiful beautiful work, Mary! Thank you so much!

Wormwood said...

It is veddy veddy nice! :-)