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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Scary Monsters; superFREAKS

Behold a Ghost from Workpile Past
(those of you younger than 12, leave the room now):


OH how I want to put this on and wear it today but ALAS! it is about 5 sizes too big for me. It is like my very own Personal Mobile Home/Tent. Indeed, I followed the pattern. Indeed, I blocked and seamed and MOST OF ALL, I swallowed my own pride and I admit it, I Knit INTARSIA!!!

Why the pattern makers of the day (Rowan #3) thought a 50″ circumference for a size Medium was the standard is perhaps the Scariest of ALL! But scarier still? No, not those drop shoulder seams guarenteed to give about a pound of bunch under the arms. No. Not the ginourmous width of the sleeves. But this: not once did the measuring tape pass through my hands! Not once did the thing get eyeballed for scale. I just blithely ran down the Rosy Path to Ruin.

And it took 12 years.

That’s right.

I started it, got about 3/4’s of the way through than left it up at my Mom’s because the thought of weaving in all those ends was driving me INSANE. I gave her a bunch of yarn to distribute to her friends because I had a surplus from my Divorce. [What, you didn’t get a huge stash when you got divorced? Oops. I must’ve been self-medicating with Those Fiber Capsules (erm, skeins) we all know and love so well.]

Years (and years) later while rousting about her spare room, I found it.

And more importantly, I was nutz enough to finish it.

I have to admit, I love those big birds! And the Buttons! Any ideas on what to do with this? I am going to recycle the collar –

This was a substitution from the collar as given in the pattern and took a long time to make.

You could call it Old School Fun Fur: it’s individual *fingers* of yarn that makes a rasta salad of a fabric that just deserves to be on something else –


46 responses to “Tuesday, October 31, 2006”

  1. Karen says:

    Is it wool? Could you maybe felt it into submission? If not, I’d still felt it, and cut it up and make a bag.

  2. Ooh, felt it and make pillows?? It really is an awesome pattern. So much work and not able to wear it. ug.

  3. sandy says:

    Maybe a seamstress could take it in? It is so beautiful. I just bought an older Jo sharp book that has asweater similiar but that intarsaia scares me. I asked a year or so ago but will ask agin do you sell your patterns to shops? I would love to carry them. thanks and good luck..don’t make it into pillows figure out a way to wear is lovely.

  4. Michelle says:

    This is amazing….the thought of all the hours put in is mind-boggling. How about removing the sleeves, taking it in and making a vest? The buttons, collar, and birds ARE beautiful.

  5. Tina says:

    I also vote for felting. It would make beautiful pillows or a large bag, or both actually. I find it amusing that Kim Hargreaves designed this garment, given its appalling lack of shaping. Also amusing, Rowan included it in its book “The Best Of Rowan.” But the intarsia is lovely. I wonder if the design could be redone, keeping the lovely pattern intact, but with side shaping and set in sleeves, hmmmmm, now you have me thinking!

  6. suzanne says:

    that collar would be beautiful on a black cardigan – maybe a kind of Channel number? Any chance you have some if the yarn left over – you could make cuffs as well. OR – brain flash. I purchased a new book yesterday at Barnes & Noble.
    Modern Classics by Louisa Harding. There is a great jacket/sweater pattern that has a collar shaped like yours and cuffs done in a contrast yarn. It would be great!!!

  7. Bonne Marie says:

    I think it is mostly just a reflection of how everybody was dealing with intarsia and color knitting back then. If you look at the books (and I have most of the Rowan catalog, hee) you see page after page of this type of garment. Boxy. Full of intarsia or other colorwork. More of a wall hanging than wearable garment –

    And duck – just think of this over some black skin tight leggings with spike heels…

  8. Teresa says:

    I think you should give it to me.

    Happy Halloween!

  9. Karen B. says:

    That collar is terrific. And I love the color combinations as well. Salvage what you can. It would be a shame to lose this piece after all the effort put into it.

  10. beth02116 says:

    What? You mean you only have ONE of these Rowan creations? I was suckered into making 3 or 4 – and now am in the same dilemna – WHAT TO DO with them? I would love a new rowan magazine to just poke a bit of fun at these designs and give us some clever ideas. I was thinking big messenger bag?
    Black stirrup pants – indeed!
    Rumour has it Kaffe is going to be at Stitches East- perhaps I’ll run this by him!!!

  11. Heck, I think you should give it to me! VBG. Someone you have only met online and talked to a couple times in brief emails. Now that is a scary thought. Whatever you do with it I am sure it will be beautiful, as it is a lovely piece of knitting.

  12. Theresa says:

    Felting might be my choice, too. Of course, for cushion covers, you might not even need to do that… you could probably use a sewing machine to seam the edges and then make cushion covers from design areas you really liked. There’s definitely a few fun design elements in there!

  13. Jos says:

    Could you make some kind of lap blanket with it? Felting it would be nice too, for cushion covers, but wouldn’t you loose some of the detail doing that? Or you could take your favorite part of it and frame it… or just make a wall hanging of it… There’s just so many possibilities! Good luck and Happy Halloween!

  14. AuntieAnn says:

    I think you should find an appropriately-sized recipient — it would be a lovely sweater on someone who it fits. Or is it boxy beyond fitting anyone properly, ever? It it is, I vote for cushions or a laptop bag.

  15. Ruth says:

    That always used to drive me nuts – all the patterns with interesting colourwork or stitchwork were invariably shapeless and “oversized.” On the other hand, the voluminous sweater over leggings is THE silhouette for fall / winter….

  16. leslie says:

    Ah the 80’s, I remember them so well. And just think, they are on their way back in. The new 80’s, is that sweater, shorter leggings and ballet slippers. Just wait a little while and you too will be convinced that it’s in, you will wear it once and then never again. So you can always ship it to me in sunny California, it would fit me and I would wear it, but I will skip the leggings and just wear it with slacks. When you are my age, you are no longer a slave to current fashion, just classic style.

    Really nice work and the collar looks great. I bow to you and your skills. The thing I most admire is your ability to share and teach and your skill with your camera to assist you in the mission of better knitting for the masses is un-equaled. You are a goddess with that camera.

  17. Gina says:

    Great knitting story! Happy Halloween!

  18. Leslie says:

    OMG! My mother knit that sweater!

    Hell, the ’80s are back. Get some warm chocolate-colored leggings, Frye boots and call it a “look.”

    It really is beautiful.

  19. Wanda says:

    Oh my, that’s crazy hilarious. Especially the part where you never measured it. It’s a beautiful sweater, but way too big to ever be worn by you. I love that collar too.

  20. LaurieM says:

    It’s a beautiful sweater really. I’ve knit far worse intarsia myself from an Annabel Fox book. It was brightly colored acrylic with dragons on it. Woah!

    Kills me when I see these learn to knit intarsia tutorials.

  21. AmyP says:

    I’m laughing *with* you – right!? Having said that, the stitching is great.

  22. ingrid says:

    congrats on finishing such a mammoth sweater. turn it into cushions or a blanket because the knitting is nice.

  23. Becky says:

    I love it! Denise Huxtable would have worn this with pride. It would be a sin to not wear it, because it is pretty much a work of art as it is. Don’t felt it, ferpetesake, or cut it up into bitty pieces. Take it in so it’s pared down to your size and wear that suckah OUT!

  24. Sil says:

    Well, not that you asked, but if you can’t find a good home for your decade of work (since it won’t fit tiny you – I’ve met you and know 50″ won’t work) rework it into cushions. I know – sounds drastic, but it is quite pretty and would be a shame for it to lay fallow. I’d be tempted to felt it slightly, cut square panels of that cool intarsia and applique them to some interestingly textured (linen or raw silk) pillows that I’d whipped up. Just an unsolicited idea…Tho I’m guess you’ve got some ingenious idea in your head!

  25. Karen says:

    I bet it would be warm and snuggly for around the house. I think you should keep it as is…all that work that went into it.

  26. maryse says:

    the work is lovely. i’m with those who suggested that you make cushions out of it. or one big giant cushion. you know, for lounging on the floor on.

  27. Sarah says:

    The 90’s strike back! As the ads for the RedI on the L say, it’s so out, it’s back in!

  28. Leslie says:

    What’s funny is that even in the eighties, with all the oversized tops, the size was ginormous. I made a Kaffe Fasset cardigan, Tapestry Leaves I think it’s called, that could pass for a blanket. It’s been in my drawer for at least 10 years. The yarn and the workmanship is so beautiful, I can’t part with it. I think it took me two years to complete, what with all the charts.

  29. Mandy says:

    Why don’t you sell it, through your blog or on eBay? I’d buy it myself if I had the money, because… uh… it would be the right size for me. It’s such a beautiful piece of work; I actually started reading your blog after seeing it in your archives. :)

  30. Angela says:

    LOVE the collar! If nothing else, it deserves to be worn on a new garment. My opinion: just say “NO!” to the leggings. They are part of the fashion axis of evil.

  31. Toby Wollin says:

    I’m wracking my brain as to how you could make this work for the Dulaan project — shoot – I think each sleeve would make a garment for a Mongolian mite. I don’t even want to think how much this weighs. And we won’t discuss the issue of … dare I say it… shoulder pads.

  32. Tracey says:

    Rasta Salad, I love it! I will never look at Pasta Salad the same.

  33. TracyKM says:

    I would take the back and make a wall hanging. Take the front, keeping the button bands on, and make pillows. The sleeves could be used as bolster type pillows.
    On my blog, I’ve been doing a series like this, called “Timeless Tuesday”. I started at the beginning of my knitting experience, and I’m showing the world my lovely works of art. Last week was a Kaffe Fassett cardigan. Unfortunately, my workmanship was still beginner-ish, and my materials were hideous. I didn’t know that there was a difference between yarn store yarns (where I had been snubbed for being ‘too young’), and craft store yarns. So there’s not much hope for my creations. I am though, looking for suggestions for last week’s feature! (Yesterday being Hallowe’en….I totally forgot to go digging in the basement, LOL).

  34. ellen says:

    I vote for felting. If you go slow (and you’re lucky) maybe you can stop at a size you can wear, if not you can then cut it up for a great looking bag – with matching accessory bags to tuck inside. It’s so beautiful, and the collar is groovy!

  35. Iris says:

    You can make a really nice bag out of that sweater.

  36. Bonne Marie says:

    Oh – Timeless Tuesdays – love it – I’ll be joining in with this! DUCK – there’s some yarn bombs comin’ your way…

  37. claire says:

    I love the collar, did you design it yourself? If so, perhaps you could sell it on your site, I think it would look great with a ribbon tie in front, you could pop it over any sweater or dress as a cool accessory — my teen daughter would love a Rasta Salad around her neck !

  38. gw says:

    I have a couple of sweater/jackets that I made in the 80s. Complete with that oversized 80s silhouette.
    Guess what? When it gets cold? I wear the hell out of them.
    And guess what? They keep me warm, and that makes me happy!
    If that beautiful sweater is that much too big, definitely felt it down.
    Remove the collar and cuffs and anything that you don’t want to be shrunk down, and go for it.
    I’ll bet it would make a gorgeous felted garment!

  39. gw says:

    Or you could just send it to 6’2″, womanly-figured ME.
    I’ll bet I could rock the hell out of that jacket!

  40. liz says:

    I have one of those – it’s done in sort of a cross motif (but more of a greek cross) with 11 colors. I never completed it so I took the back and felted it and turned it into a gorgeous pillow. I’ll bet if you ran it through a short cycle in the wash, it might felt down to a more acceptable size. Or, it would make a fabu set of pillows!!!

  41. Old Knitter says:

    Please….keep it. Someday you will be so sorry if you do away with it. You have put such a humorous spin on it’s birth and cration, it could provide years of stories in the future. I haven’t worked out where you can display it yet. But, I’m working on it. I once knit a beautiful blue sweater with sleeves so thin I could not get my arms in them. Did not frog it….just hung on to it. I suppose I was waiting for it to fit…..I’ve only gained weight.

  42. Tanja says:

    Amazingly beautiful! Great work, never seen anything like that…

  43. meg says:

    I think it looks pretty on your mannequin . . ever have your own rotating exhibit of knit art on her? Just because you like to look at something well done? Sort of the kimono-display idea. Move Ms. Mannequin to the livingroom & play :o) . . sort of like dress-up & dolls for the sophisticated adult.

  44. claudia says:

    Every fiber of being vibrates in sympathy.

    That needs to be cut up into something else.

  45. sahara says:

    You should save this one for the museum collection. It’s a great example of the time period. My memory box opened when I saw it.

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