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Marinate Project for One Year

Dear Kay,
Finished object update.
A few weeks ago, I had a total tweed freakout regarding Jared Flood’s yarn Shelter. This spell sent me into a frenzy of tweed fever, to the point that I rooted through my lair in search of something, anything to knit that involved tweed.
Fortunately, I laid my clammy paw upon an unfinished object, the Back Home in Vermont Sweater from Barbara Albright’s Natural Knitter. Rowan Felted Tweed. A man’s pullover that I modified by making it sort of A-line.
The last time I apparently worked on this thing was LAST August. (You can visit its early days here, which makes me glad that we have a blog because otherwise I would have no recollection of it.) (That particular entry includes a free YouTube of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Mama Cass Elliott, which is frankly incredible.)
My joy at rediscovering this 98% complete project was tempered by the memory of why it was crammed into the bottom of Yarn Storage Lair #4. It was last September when I tried it on for its final fit moment–you know, you’ve cranked downward from the neckline to the point that you wonder if you’ve gone far enough. Well, I tried this thing on, and I was HORRIFIED to discover that it fit like a glove. A GLOVE. Like the sort of thing some superslutty Yorkshire shepherd’s wife would wear on a Saturday night, late, once the fleecing’s done and Angus is back for the night, if you know what I mean. It was SNUG. It was awful. I couldn’t stand it.
It’s funny the difference a year can make. When I took a look at this item anew, I thought: Hm. A little snug. But it’s nothing that a bit of blocking won’t fix. I knitted a final two inches at the bottom, added two inches to one sleeve that mysteriously was two inches too short, gave it a soak, and slid in some blocking wires.
Sewed up the arm seams.
It was one day from unfinished object to brand-new tweedy sweater that I adore.
I’ve been meaning to get a Proof Of Fit photo for weeks now, but I keep forgetting. So here’s a Proof Of Wearing In Public, on Nashville’s first cool day and also Dad’s 80th birthday.
Here’s the birthday boy. See? Doesn’t he look just like he did when he was 10 months old?
I love this sweater. It was fun to make (saddle shoulders! top down!), the Rowan Felted Tweed is light and lush, and I feel sort of proud that I overcame the colossal bummer of that slutty fit problem.
I mean, this thing fits like an Eileen Fisher schmatteh, and it doesn’t get any better than that.
PS That pinchushion up top is Hubbo’s grandmother’s. MJLW monogram. The sixties were so great, weren’t they?

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  1. What was the pattern’s name?

  2. Loove the sweater! Overheard some 20-somethings making fun of glorious EF colors the other day in Macy’s–how could they??
    I have needlepoint monogrammed cocktail coasters from my grandmother (same era :D)
    She could not bear to sit with idle hands!

  3. That sweater looks AWESOME.
    Although I do find my self wondering what the slutty version would have been like…

  4. Beautymous! I think Angus should take you out for a night on the town (and leave the sheep at home).

  5. MNR–They’re making fun of GRAY? Does Eileen Fisher make anything that’s not gray? I love gray!

  6. It looks great on you. I think there is nothing wrong with a little snug, and often a little snug before blocking can become just right after blocking. Isn’t that why we block after all?

  7. Your Dad rocks that 80 crown! Sweater & Dad lookin’ good!

  8. When one of my FOs come out so I am happy with it, it generally compares favorably to an Eileen Fisher. Now, thanks to you, I have an even more descriptive comparison: Eileen Fischer schmatteh!
    And BTW, your sweater is lovely!

  9. The sweater is lovely, BUT, I love your Dad in that birthday hat
    B x x

  10. Ann.
    On a blog with a readership that has a pronounced slant toward MIDDLE AGED PERIMENOPAUSAL FEMALES, it is flat-out irresponsible to post a photo of you hugging your dad’s neck. While wearing a tweed handknit sweater. On his 80th birthday.
    Out of the blue boo-hoo.
    I thought that as an experienced blogger, you knew better than to pull this sort of stunt. All productive work has ceased here so that one can try to PULL ONESELF TOGETHER.
    I love that picture so much.
    I also know you well enough to have seen it coming a mile away: the “slutty” fit that morphs into an Eileen Fisher Eternity Cocoon. Love all those skinny cables.
    xoxo Kay

  11. When I first saw the photos – but hadn’t read the words yet – my first thought was. . . Eileen Fisher! Perfect!

  12. All too perfect and enviable. Thank you for the tip on the source of the pattern and… you can wear wool next to your skin?! I may have to go lie down. jdu

  13. The sweater looks wonderful (well, what we can see of it!), but your dad! I love the crown and the fact that he would let you take his picture wearing it. It makes me miss my dad all the more…. (And Kay is right – I’m just a little bit teary-eyed, sitting here at work.)

  14. Thanks for my laugh out loud of the day. I might just re-read this tomorrow for another giggle. Superslutty Yorkshire shepherd’s wife indeed. Great sweater after the miracle that is blocking.

  15. The sweater is beautiful, the picture with your father is even better. As I find most Eileen Fisher clothing absolutely voluminous, I was wondering how loose this ended up. For me, going from slutty snug to Eileen Fisher means that yarn STRETCHES a lot.

  16. I love the sweater. Your description of the unblocked version reminds me of a bridesmaid’s dress I once wore (Laura Ashley, sweetheart neckline), I believe my description was “fishwife” at the time.
    Dad looks very happy to have you there too!

  17. I’m sitting here wondering how things turned out for Angus and the wife.

  18. A one day sweater; that’s really got to give you a feeling of accomplishment! Glad you’re not looking superslutty; blocking is magic. Your dad looks sweet!

  19. Awesome sweater. Knitting is so cool that you can just moosh it around a little and show it who’s boss and out pops an Eileen Fisher look-alike. I’ve got Barbara Albright’s book and treasure it. For some reason just having it on my shelf makes me feel that all’s right with the world. Sort of like comfort food.

  20. this post cracked me up, it is nice to know that everyone runs into these “sizing” sort of issues every now and again. Good thing you were smart enough to block your way out of it. I agree with the others, it might have been interesting to see a before and after shot.

  21. Felted Tweed is the Best Yarn Ever.

  22. The Amazing Craft Resurrection Story was the medicine I needed this morning. Thank you for giving me The Courage.

  23. Please pass on the pattern source along with your fit tips. This sweater is amazing! (So’s your dad.)

  24. Yup, this post has it all: actual knitting content, as well as writing that provokes both laughter and tears—and all in a few short paragraphs. (And I’m full-on menopausal, for what that’s worth!)

  25. angus here wife and i now own the largest
    sheep farm in the uk her slutty garment
    is now hanging in the victoria museum lol
    happy days to dad

  26. Hmmm…have that book… have a sweater’s worth of Felte Tweed….heh heh heh. And a happy birthday to your dad!

  27. Marinating is not the new slogging, is it? The leaving alone to develop a flavor profile seems to distinguish marinating from the surrendering to the milquetoastiness of slogging–but one wants to know, you know?

  28. birthday crown = LOL awesome

  29. It’s nice when it works! Good story all around.

  30. Love this whole post!

  31. I’m so encouraged to hear you finished something worked last August. I’ve got something like that in my ‘yarn lair’ too. Must feel good to complete something that was lurking as a UFO. Congrats!

  32. Your finished sweater is lovely and the fit looks great from the hug photo. I mean it’s a fabulous knit. However, the real eye candy of your post is (dare I say it?) your dad: he’s a hottie! There’s just something about distinguished looking, smiling eyes, well-loved and huggable gentlemen that totally lights my fire. You are beyond fortunate in the dad department!

  33. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this sweater! I’ve been in a knitting “slump” and don’t like to invest a lot of time knitting something that’s too trendy…here today…gone tomorrow! This sweater is timeless, elegant, and drop dead beautiful – just what I’m looking for! I just ordered the book and am off to purchase some gray tweed yarn! Thank you SO much for sharing and inspiring!


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