Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

Clarissa O Clarisssssssssaaaaaaaaaa

Dear Kay,
Remember Clarissa? From Issue 6 of The Knitter? The uncharacteristically decorative cardigan I started a few weeks ago? My awesome new BED JACKET?
Well, it’s done. But getting to Done took so very much longer than I thought it would.
I cranked the body easily enough. It’s one piece, just a lot of yarnovering or yarningover or whatever (like jump-roping when I was growing up–nobody called it jumping rope).
clarissabigpiece.jpg
When I finished the body, I didn’t even blink and cranked some sleeves. At that point it was only 15 rows to glory–just a little edging, and zipzapsnipsnap I’d be lounging around like Rachel Menken in her Mad Men boudoir. (Look! Thank you to whoever pointed out the resemblance of the Clarissa model to the fabulous department store owner Rachel Menken in Mad Men.)
clarissamodel.jpg
mad_men_don_rachel.jpg
Well anyway, I think you know where this is headed. It was the edging. I feel like I’ve eaten two Krispy Kreme boxes of edging. I’m suffering from Edging Lockup.
I will say that the prospect of this edging was not an unpleasant one. It was a giant pickup, all the way around the front, the collar, the other front, then around the back in a giant, circular edgefest. How fun is THAT? How fun is it to pick up 328 stitches?
Here’s an up-close-and-personal view of the increase situation on the edging.
clarissaincreases.jpg
I hadn’t really considered how it was such a ruffly sort of edging. Until I got to round 5. It just kept being more and more. From 348 stitches to 924, like a grocery store where each checkout line closes just as you get there. The never-ending pile of sugar you spilled and can’t quite sweep up.
clarissastitchesonneedle.jpg
I’d needle my way through an entire episode of Top Chef only to find that I was only halfway through one round.
And then, when my will to live was completely demolished, I remembered the part that I had sort of ignored: the crocheted edge.
Ohhhh, crochet. I’ve successfully avoided you for my entire knitting career. I mean, I like you and all, but I don’t really want to sit next to you in biology or anything.
As I dragged toward that final round, with the impending problem of “cast off 2, chain 5″ along the 924 stitches of the edge, I realized that this Clarissa Bed Jacket Rachel Menken Fantasy Garb was not going to fly unless it had the crocheted edge. It looked naked without it.
So I did this.
clarissacrochetedge.jpg
For a long, long time.
The relief I felt at finishing it was akin to coming out of a bad pair of pants. Sweet deliverance! And it was such a relief to slap on the sleeves that I immediately donned my Clarissa Bed Jacket Rachel Menken Fantasy Garb
clarissafinishedbackyard.jpg
and made David take my picture. I wore it all day. I wore it to Harris-Teeter, and I wore it to the hospital, and I’m wearing it right this minute, as a matter of fact. If you wear it under a jacket, it gets less crazy. David said I looked like a pirate, a creepy mom pirate.
It’s not going to be much of a bed jacket, it turns out, because to wear this in bed means sitting on that edging, and what I really don’t need from this thing is any further pain in the heinie!
A superfun pain in the heinie, of course. It’s why we knit, right? To take on horrible problems, fix them, and move on to the next one. It’s so much easier than real life.
Love,
Ann
P.S. From Kay
Dear Ann,
Not for nothing, but I think (a) David has a point and (2) you’re all set for Halloween.
creepypiratemom.jpg
And, of course (III): I love your exquisite Clarissa and will take her off your hands, any time.
Love,
Kay

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80 Comments

80 Comments

  1. As I don the Garter Stitch Cardi, fresh from blocking, and ponder it’s shortfalls( my own, not the patterns)… I echo your final sentiments..knitting is MUCH easier than real life!
    Onward!

  2. I personally love crochet, I mean its no knitting but it still provides that nice rythme and when you think about it was it really all that hard. anyway that bed jacket looks amazing I think if I can hunt up the pattern(I’m an expert at it)I might make it for myself. Tee Hee Hee wouldn’t I look funny in one.

  3. I’ll take the Clarissa AND Jack Sparrow, thank you very much.

  4. It’s beautiful! I feel your crochet pain – I’ve never liked crochet. And I might faint dead away if I saw the instruction for 924 stitches – get the smelling salts! It occurs to me, though, that there is an alternative to sitting on that edging…when you get ready to sit, you have the option to dramatically flip up the back edge, like a pianist with his coat tails….

  5. You can always send Clarissa northward! It is a thing of beauty.

  6. If you’d really wanted a bed jacket, you could have shortened it by several inches… only 718 stitches in the border, and no sitting on the ruffles. Next time, right?!
    As it is, it must be shown off — it’s way too lovely to wear while reading alone in bed! But then, if you’re not alone in bed, it might be perfect (can I say that on this blog??)

  7. Is it politically correct to say i like your finished sweater much, much better than they original?!? I see nar a pirate in sight.

  8. Creepy mom pirate?! What kind of a thing is that to say :)
    I love it! I would rock that out with jeans, even!

  9. I think Ann looks wonderful!

  10. Love it! So totally worth the agony. But. . . I’m not really seeing the mom-pirate. (Once upon a time my daughter made this now-famous-in-family-lore comment about my chosen attire – as I was out the door for a meeting, no less: “You look like the Riddler! -pause- In a good way!)

  11. I don’t see the “mom-pirate” at all. I think it’s love-er-ly. Don’t wear it to bed – wear it outside for all the world to enjoy!

  12. I remember seeing Clarissa in The Knitter, and reading through the pattern and laughing (oh, how did I laugh) at the 900+ crocheted thingys on the sleeves…
    I’m immensely impressed that you made it all the way through. It looks beautimous.

  13. What stamina !!! Brilliant blog:)

  14. Well you make a very pretty pirate – nearly as pretty as Johnny Depp, who is of course my 3rd husband (he comes after the current one and Husband No.#2, Liam Neeson). But you have better legs ;0)

  15. if i ever see you around in nashville i will definitely tell you how wonderful it looks.

  16. Fantastic jacket/sweater/thingy. I would kill to be a mom pirate. A friend shared a dream not too long ago featuring Tom Selleck as a ninja pirate. Evidently there are all manner of pirates.
    Heather @ 2:04, I’m glad I’m not the only one lining up future husbands. My #2 is a deli owner in Monterey, CA who makes the world’s best sandwiches (only someone who has eaten a Compagno’s sandwich understands. His chicken parm? Be still my heart.).

  17. That is beautiful. You need to wear it all the time, no matter what. The time you put into it needs to be shown to everyone.

  18. Pirates of the Caribbean?? Jack Sparrow?? Y’all don’t play the game online do you? I’m semi addicted! If you do, I’d love to meet up with you in-game sometime, maybe we could knit up a few sails on the high seas, lol!

  19. I love Clarissa. Love it. I wouldn’t cover it with a jacket. In fact I can’t picture the kind of jacket you would wear over this. It is beautiful, and I don’t see the pirate at all. Well, I see “the pirate that is Johnny Depp,” of course, I mean I have eyes, but I don’t see “the pirate that is Ann&Clarissa.” No, I see winsome, wistful, soft-filter romantic Ann&Clarissa, and it’s a charming sight!

  20. I love that I know what your voice sounds like from listening to Mason Dixon Outside the lines – It made that blog entry sooooo much funnier. On the sweater – I think it is futzy and beautiful – Hooray for you for finishing it…and wearing it all day! :)

  21. I’m guessing the the mom-pirate appears when you put a blazer over it and the ruffles show at the cuffs and center front???
    Anyway, I hope the hospital trip was not related to the crochet! Hoping that was trip to check out the gift shop, go to a meeting or something on that level.

  22. Absolutely love Clarissa! It’s just beautiful, and much too good to wear as a bed jacket. Get out there and show it off!

  23. It’s beautiful – wear it proudly!

  24. It’s beautiful – wear it proudly!

  25. It’s beautiful – wear it proudly!

  26. It is beautiful. And thanks for the Johnny Depp photo.

  27. I love her, too. She’s so ruffly and feminine! (This from the knitter who loves tweed almost as much as you do, Ann.)

  28. Dad gum, that’s a lot of stitches. And I agree with the jeans pairing. Brings out the femininity of this your flattering Clarissa.

  29. I never put it together: knitting as a form of problem-solving when you can’t fix life’s problems. Sure explains a lot!

  30. I love the Mad Men angle! Get some Rachael-like silk pajamas to go with this – beautiful!

  31. It’s gorgeous! And fit’s you perfectly! And that crocheted edging – so worth it!

  32. I think it’s not so much pirate-y as 18th-century-ish with all the ruffles. Maybe that’s what David means.

  33. I think you look beautiful and glamorous! I want one!

  34. Oh, it’s beautiful! It was your first posting a while back that let me know that the project I was working on was doomed because your little lacy diamonds stole my heart. A trip to the frog pond, and I’m on a lacy diamond path, too. All your fault. Knitter’s revenge?
    But Clarissa is so pretty…stop tempting me!

  35. A thousand stitches (well, almost). Holy crow, Ann! Are you some kind of masochist? I can’t imagine that any more than I can imagine reading a thousand pages of Ken Follett. But your sweater looks amazing on you. Gorgeous. Congratulations on your stamina, on picking a beautiful pattern, and on doing such a beautiful job at it!

  36. I’m betting it’ll grow on you — And there are worse things than pirate-y clothes ;-)

  37. But the look won’t be complete without a swallow tattooed on your arm (or maybe your heinie), savvy?

  38. I’m with Cristina. It’s very lovely as is but you need the final touch. Tattoo you!

  39. Simply. Gorgeous. that is all

  40. Aye, matey! However did you knit that so fast?! I’m still working on the thumb of a mitten I cast on when you first wrote about that. It looks wonderful–wear it with pride!

  41. It’s beautiful!!!

  42. It’s beautiful!!!

  43. It’s beautiful!!!

  44. I like it! And good for you for soldiering on … like you said, onto the next project/problem!

  45. “I like you and all, but I don’t really want to sit next to you in biology or anything.” — this is the sort of line that I could use so often. The FO is wonderful and impressive but the humorous (and spot on) commentary is what keeps me a devoted reader.

  46. an empire gown and violets
    then our hero can save you from the pirates

  47. Clarissa is exquisite, it’s true. And scary-just-ou-of-rehab-disjointed-at-the-hips pirates be damned, arrrrh.

  48. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

  49. I LOLed really loud at the “creepy mom pirate” comment and then worried that I’d woken the baby. (I hadn’t.)
    I agree that the jacket would bring out the Mom Pirate in you. Please share a pic of this look!
    But it’s a lovely, lovely sweater. And I’m just the type to kind of try to pretend I hadn’t seen the notes for 924 stitches in a single row and cast on anyway. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Really pretty fruits.

  50. I mean “loudly,” not “loud.” There’s nothing like bad grammar combined with silly internet jargon.

  51. I know not of this Mad Men of which you speaketh but Jack Sparrow… sigh.
    The jacket is lurvly; not at all creepy-mom-piratey.

  52. When I first saw that pattern in The Knitter, I was disappointed that I’m not getting married. Couldn’t imagine a better garment for the occasion, couldn’t imagine going to that trouble for anything less. It’s lovely, great design beautifully executed.

  53. Wow. Gorgeous sweater and it looks terrific on you. Thanks for answering a question I’ve been asking myself. Why knit and get frustrated on difficult projects? The problem solving makes life so much more interesting and takes my mind off things I can’t solve. P.S. You don’t look anything like a pirate.

  54. Lovely jacket/sweater/lace creation! And now I have to check out Mad Men because I went to college with Maggie (the actress)!!! Isn’t it fun to see “famous” people that you know!

  55. The jacket is lovely and I really admire your perseverance BUT where is Jon Hamm? I would knit anything in the world, if he showed up in the picture!!!!!

  56. Clarissa looks great! I’ve always been wary of trying a Rowan pattern, because I never sure if they would look half as nice on a real life person as a model.

  57. …”further pain in the heinie”–Ann, you made me smile!
    I could be wrong (and it wouldn’t be the first time), but if Clarissa would be allowed to fulfill the original intent of her ‘raison d’etre’, I think it could work sans ‘heinie pain’.
    Wear it over a nighty, especially one of those silky Roman goddess types, to eliminate bulk and shearing force at the ruffle area, while also eliminating the so-called ‘creepy mom pirate’ look.
    Clarissa is a garment of glamour, you know, the 1920’s Hollywood kind; thus, it needs to be worn over a glamourous type gown (maybe even light a few candles, sip a little champagne). This would be reading in bed at its elegant best.
    I think that the success of Clarissa’s ‘bed jacketness’ relys on the presence of the full Gestalt. But, I’ve been wrong before…
    LoveDiane

  58. Kay,
    Just read the last page of this week’s People.
    Christina Hendricks (Joan on Mad Men) is a knitter. She brings it to work.
    Jane

  59. Kay,
    In this week’s People on the last page,
    Christina Hendricks – Joan on Mad Men is
    a knitter. She brings knitting to the set.
    Maybe you’ll inspire her to make Clarissa.
    Jane

  60. Kay,
    In this week’s People on the last page,
    Christina Hendricks – Joan on Mad Men is
    a knitter. She brings knitting to the set.
    Maybe you’ll inspire her to make Clarissa.
    Jane

  61. Only a kid could call you a “creepy mom pirate” but I love the bed jacket, not sure I’ll make it given the description, but it looks great.

  62. I love your blog and humor so much I can hardly stand it. Also adore the audio book and ‘real’ books. With you two, it’s a sure thing I’m going to have a good laugh nearly every day!! THANK you from the bottom of my heart. And, Ann, your new creation is wonderful – whether worn in bed or out!

  63. The hell with pirates. It’s Gothic Lolita, baybee.
    And “sitting next to me in biology” are you teasing me? :-F

  64. I love the blog and response going on here!

  65. That is ruffleicious! And the “bad pair of pants” remark…you slay me (maybe you are a pirate.)

  66. Love the skirt

  67. gratuitous shots of jack sparrow and close-ups of knitting that make me envious —
    what a way to start my Saturday!!!!!

  68. AAARRRRRGGGHH, as the pirate’s say. I think you are to be commended for 924 stitches of anything in one row and crochet to boot. It looks lovely. Slip on a slinky nightie, pour some champaigne, light some candles and ….use your imagination.

  69. It’s lovely.
    Not piratey at all.

  70. And, in a few degrees, Clarissa led us to a gorgeous pic of the gorgeous Johnny Depp. Brava, Clarissa!
    :)

  71. I also beg to differ with your son. I’m thinking you look like someone talented and determined enough to create her own fantasy garb, and people should have nothing but respeck for that.
    I’ve never before seen anything that made me think I might want to knit a nearly-one-thousand-stitch ruffle with crochet edging.
    Work that romantic look, woman!

  72. Whether you go with the Pirate/Jack Sparrow Fantasy or the RachelMenkenBedJacket/John Hamm Fantasy…. YOU WIN!!
    Either one is good – Do you have a preference??

  73. Hospital? As for crochet, it could have been i cord…

  74. I took a solo car trip this weekend to visit family, a total of 8 hours in the car. I saved your audiobook for the drive home. It didn’t take long before I was relaxed and it was as if the two of you were traveling with me. You have informed my knitting in so many ways. Now I won’t embarrass myself when I try to pronounce Kaffe and Koigu. Thank you! It was great fun to have you along.

  75. All right, lots of good comments. BUT,how could you knit a masterpiece and not model it in a Rowan-esque pose? I know you can pull it off.

  76. Like, wow, man. That is seriously gorgeous (although it’s a bit, well, *taupe* for my obnoxious taste; I guess some people dig an understated elegance or whatever).

  77. Great job! I too covet Clarissa – and wish the Knitting Fairy would zap me with the talent/stamina/time to create one myself. Keep up the good work – I’ll knit vicariously through you!

  78. Did I just see what I think I saw, Ann the Knitter Shayne CROSS-CRAFTING. Hmmm Ann entering that world of a hook instead of two or five or circular needles, venturing her toe into that happy crochet water, and coming out with an edging, a Victorian one to boot. Woo Hoo. Is the end of the world coming and someone forgot to tell me about it. I LOVE it.

  79. It looks wonderful! Creepy Mom Pirate? Yay! I now know what I’m going as for Halloween!

  80. thank you for the link to the womens room