the suspender sweater

new sweater

What you need to know about the pattern:

The pattern, Suspender Sweater, is from Knit One Knit All (scroll down), the posthumous garter stitch frenzy book by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  I started this sweater over a year ago. Maggie was smaller then, but there were just a few adjustments needed to make it work with her current size without starting from scratch.  The pattern is written as a regular pattern (with regular directions like, “cast on…sts”) but also has all the information necessary to adjust for any gauge and any size. I figured out my gauge using Nature Spun Sport on size US 4 and went from there.

I experienced a lot of trouble with various aspects of this project, none of which were anyone’s fault but my own, I assure you. First I had trouble picking up stitches. Then I misunderstood the meaning of the word “center”. Next I knit the first sleeve too narrow and didn’t admit this until the sleeve was almost fully knit. After that I knit the second sleeve too long, and really there is no excuse for that sort of thing when you have the first sleeve (complete with easy-to-count stripes!) to compare it to. Finally, I had to unsew one of the woven (garter stitch kitchener) side seams and re-do it because apparently the direction in which you do that trick matters.

But from the very beginning of this project I pictured the finished sweater and thank goodness because that is a lot of roadblocks to overcome. I knew this sweater was going to be The Cutest. And finally this morning I saw the results of all that knitting, unknitting, reknitting, ad nauseum. It’s exactly as cute as I hoped it would be.

What you need to know about the pictures:

Maggie likes the sweater much more than she likes modeling the sweater for pictures. I really wish you could have heard the monologue she performed during our 10 minute photo shoot. It was a lot of “Wouldn’t it be good if we went on the tire swing?” and “I’ll be right back, I need to get my bird!” and “Let’s go over here!” and “I’ll put on this bonnet!” until I was exasperated and had to remind her that I was in charge of the pictures and please do what I say!

Maggie did her own styling, including props.

I took a bunch of pictures and a lot of them are posted here. There are even more in the Suspender Sweater set on flickr.

First, a picture of the underarm; the sleeve (top) is a sewn seam and the side (bottom) is the woven garter stitch. Details. They matter.

new sweater

And now the model, my Maggie.

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

new sweater

One last picture. When I was ripping out the first sleeve Maggie drew me a surprisingly accurate schematic in order to help me get it right the next time. I was sort of blown away.

Maggie's surprisingly accurate schematic of the sweater I knit her.

I got it right, Mag! Finally!

digressions

I received Knitting Around for Christmas, and today, yet another snow day, I’ve been reading through Elizabeth’s Digressions. The funniest thing ever must be the story of when EZ’s not-yet husband Arnold met her parents for the first time. They served roast mutton for dinner and Arnold was offered mustard. He took a large amount of Coleman’s mustard and was left sputtering for air, “with tears streaming down his face.” The mustard is very spicy.

The reason this little passage is funny to me is because THE SAME EXACT THING happened to me. I’m not sure if Coleman’s is very well known here in the States, but I happen to have an Irish mother-in-law with a fondness for mustard and we usually have a little jar of it in the fridge. The mustard is very spicy, and for most folks must be consumed in moderation.

My parents were visiting one time, and we were having sandwiches. Naturally, Gerald got the mustard out and as my Dad put together his sandwich, he slathered a large amount of Coleman’s on the bread. Gerald warned him, “That mustard is very spicy.” My Dad may have mumbled acknowledgment, but sat down to eat his sandwich anyway. After his first bite, his face got red and his eyes were watering, and he finally acknowledged, “Boy, that’s hot.”

I didn’t think it was possible, but today I have become even more fond of EZ.

7:52 - Again with the snow?

An unrelated picture, just to prove that we have snow. Again. All the woollies are getting a big workout this year!