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.
And now the model, my Maggie.
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.
I got it right, Mag! Finally!