“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

The Best of All Possible Worlds

Dear Kay,
There is Huge Huge Huge fambly news:
The Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law have had a baby! Friday afternoon! Their first!
Molly. Her name is Molly. We have a Molly in the fambly now. This is the sort of excellent news that makes a person want to hop a plane to LA to meet her. We’re leaving in a minute to do just that.
I tell you this a) because there is no better news than news of a baby. And b) Molly is who I’ve been thinking about for lo these many weeks I’ve been working on Fern. Maybe, in a year or three, Molly will politely let Auntie Ann dress her up in Fern for two minutes so that she can take a picture. After which she will politely say, “Can I put my polar fleece back on now?”
At Which Point Things Take a Turn
The arrival of Molly stirred me to ridiculous enthusiasm for this sweater. It’s like a charm has fallen on the whole thing.
(I should add that I realize that no baby has been documented as well as this Fern sweater.)
fernsetinsleeve.jpg
I have been dreading setting in the sleeves, because it is a real crossroads for this sweater. Never having designed anything with a set-in sleeve, I was all et up with anxieties: Will the sleeves fit in the armhole properly? Will the stripes align? Will the ribbed top of the sweater be too tight and distort the shape of the whole sweater? Will it look terrible? Should I lose ten pounds? Is there a God?
fernsewnup.jpg
After a few tense moments and at least three cuss words when stripes failed to behave, the answers are: yes, yes, no, no, don’t worry about it, and Ask Again Later. It all worked. Never has anything just come together this way for me. Snipsnap piece of cake.
fernsleevedetail.jpg
The cool thing about a set-in sleeve is that it creates a truly dimensional armhole. It has length, width, and depth, unlike a dropped sleeve that just kind of sits there.
The stripes came together just swell.
It was all so pleasant that last night I couldn’t resist diving into the weaving o’ the ends. Gleeful delirium set in.
fernseam.jpg
In case anybody’s wondering how long ends take to weave in, I’m clocking 50 ends per 45-minute interval. It’ll be two or three more hours, max. And in case you’re wondering, I just wove them all into the seam. I didn’t want to risk having an end poke out of the fabric. The four-ply is thin enough that the seam isn’t too much worse for the extra bulk. (Amber, if you need inspiration to get you weaving in the ends, get somebody you love to tell you they just had a baby.)
Can’t wait for Los Angeles. Off to pack up children, Hubbo, and yarn. Will try to sneak a photo of Molly, who is said to be perfect.
Love,
Ann

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. It’s gorgeous! Congratulations on baby Molly – what fabulous news. Have a great trip, there’s nothing quite like the scent of a newborn baby when she’s snuggled in your arms. Makes you think the world really is perfect.
    Sara

  2. welcome molly! have a great trip, visiting your family & its new members.

  3. Oh, Ann – you go girl!!! I’ve mentioned before how you’re ingenious state fair concept has totally inspired me to TRY NEW THINGS, and this just feeds the fire. Frankly, I’ve been terrified watching this whole ends and sleeve thing from a distance, unable to comment. But seeing it all come together – those ferns will be no problem, lady. Best to you and fambly and new little Molly, who I’m sure will soon be dreaming of the day she is big enough to wear your very special creation, well, once she can actually focus her darling little newborn eyes! Hugs and hats off to you!

  4. Ann,
    Fern is adorable. You’ve inspired me to design a sweater.
    Marlowe

  5. The sweater….its beautiful! Can’t wait to see fernlings on it. And, welcome to Molly!

  6. Congrats on your new niece! The sweater is awesome. Simply beautiful. Now lets see those ferns.

  7. congrats on arrival of Molly…. sweater is looking pretty fine too. I love how the stripes kind of stripe together.. tres chic!

  8. Have fun with perfection in the form of Molly, and that Fern is looking mighty perfect too–wow! I can’t wait to see the fiddleheads. It’s going to be a jawdropper, that sweater.

  9. The sweater is amazing – the stripes are perfect! Have fun with Molly. (I think this is my first comment, although I’ve been reading forever.)

  10. Congratulations, Ann and Salutations, Molly!

  11. I love new baby news.
    Fern is incredible. I am in awe of your design and execution. Simply beautiful.
    Aara

  12. First, congrats on your new neice! You’re so right about a new baby inspiring one to weave loose ends…
    Second, Fern is amazing! I’m truly agog at how the stripes on the sleeves line up so perfectly! I can’t wait to see it with the fiddleheads!

  13. Congratulations! I’m sure Baby Molly is just as beautiful as Fern- they’ll make a great duo someday!

  14. perfect Fern for perfect Molly!
    congratulations for both.
    most impressed by aligning stripes
    send pictures

  15. The second most perfect new thing on the planet, that Fern, for the first most perfect new thing, the baby Molly. Congratulations on both!! I bet her mom’s glad she came with only one end dangling that needed to be woven in. You get blue ribbon just for knitting fortitude alone.

  16. Congratulations on the new arrival.
    Fern is looking great. You lined up those stripes like nobody’s business.

  17. Congrats on baby Molly. Such a sweet name. :) Love the sweater and I am so impressed with the sleeves… not only set-in but stripes matching up ta boot? You should be very very pleased!

  18. Less than a minute per end? You’re a marvel.
    I love the name Molly. Tell the proud parents the blogosphere approves.

  19. Ann,
    Your sweater is beautiful, and perfect, and lovely. I’m sure Molly is all those things, and more!
    Well done. You’ve inspired me to pick up my knitting after a long summer without it.

  20. Fern is so lovely! I hope I get to see it in person… have a safe flight!

  21. Wow. Fern really came together beautifully, didn’t she? I hope you’re bringing her to LA, because I’m just dying to see her in person (and you too!) See you soon! xox

  22. Wow. I must admit (or maybe I should just keep my mouth shut?) that I wasn’t totally sold on Fern at first. Clearly, I have NO VISION. She’s lovely! You have done a wonderful job, and if the State Fair Judges aren’t knocked flat by the perfectly aligned stripes, beautiful 3-D set-in sleeves, and meticulously woven in ends… well.
    Way to go Ann! Congratulations on the addition of Molly to the fambly. My grandmother’s name was Molly and she was a beautiful woman in and out. I’m sure your Molly will wear the name with equal grace. Have a great trip!

  23. Awesome blog! Great projects and very funny.

  24. That is beautiful! The colors, the shape, the design — and the weaving-in, you’re crazy but lovable. Good for you.

  25. Oh that sweater is fabulous!!!!! Can’t believe that the stripes lined up so perfectly — that is some seriously positive knitting karma, which I’m sure is a result of your decision to weave in the millions of ends. Have a safe trip!

  26. Congrats on the niece. Also, congrats on moving along on the sweater.

  27. AWWWWWWwwwwwww. Great fambly news! This is not just any Brother-in-Law’s firstborn, this is the COMMENTING brother-in-law’s firstborn.
    In an effort to cultivate the non-knitting commenters, I surely have to knit a little something for the perfect Molly. Just kills me to knit for a baby girl, but I’ll soldier through it somehow…..
    A big smushy squooshy MAZEL TOV to Unc and Mrs. Unc from the fambly homeland (the Upper West Side, of course!). love, Kay

  28. Congratulations, Ann, on so many fronts! And I love your statistics, number of ends woven in per minute, just love it. I can still recall your Koigu Alligator Stole stats.

  29. Congratulations on both the sleeves and Baby Molly. I love that name — it is sooooo pretty, and certainly a baby that pretty needs a sweater that beautiful.

  30. Congratulations all the way around, Ann. A new little girl to knit for, and beautifully set-in sleeves with matching stripes and perfectly woven-in ends …. the Tennessee State Fair judges are going to have their socks knocked off.

  31. beautiful sweater!

  32. My five-year-old was looking over my shoulder as the picture of Fern came up, and we both said “Oooh!” I’m sure Molly will be impressed, too! Congratulations! and have a great time in LA. Wish I could be there to say hello!

  33. That is an absolutely georgeous sweater. Congratulations on the new baby, won’t she be fun to knit for in the coming years. Have a safe trip anad enjoy both the baby and the yarn shops!
    Cindy

  34. Ann, the sweater is beautiful! It really exceeds my expectations–the way you matched the stripes is just beautful. I never thought about set in sleeves having good body, but you are right. It sits up there quite happily. Love fern. Look out, State Fair.

  35. Wow, you did a beautiful job on that sweater. It’s inspiring, really it is! Congratulations on the new niece!!!

  36. Fern looks fab! Can’t wait to see her on you. And are you still going to add some fiddleheads along the bottom, too?
    Enjoy the time with baby Molly. Sounds like she had the good fortune to join a great fam.

  37. Wow! I was really not getting the sweater, just sort of coasting along on the stories of stripes and crazy ends, but it is already fabulous, even before the fiddleheads. If it doesn’t ribbon, well, your State Fair is rigged.

  38. Congratulations on the new arrival to the fambly! And… congrats on the beautiful, wonderful sweater…..the sleeves, the stripes, the sweater….i’m starting to repeat myself! Have a safe trip, and please take lots of pictures!

  39. Congrats on the baby.Congrats on the sweater. You will WOW the judges at the state fair. I entered my county fair and was please to have won a blue ribbon and two third place ribbons for the three knitted items I entered. It has inspired me to create more and enter the fair again next year. Have a great trip.

  40. Ann, that’s some pig! It’s truly gorgeous… painstakingly wonderful (the weaving!OMG). Just as the other Fern understood the language of Wilbur and Charlotte, you understand the language of knitting. You are both so devoted (same goes for Kay). No wonder I’ve been thinking of Wilbur everytime you mention your State Fair project.

  41. Unbelievably gorgeous. The weaving proves you are a force of nature! Stripes obay your every command, and ends disappear beneath your fingertips. You rule!

  42. It’s fabulous. Beautiful work!!!

  43. The way the stripes line up is amazing.

  44. Fern is breathtaking, I had to pause in my reading, then go back and look again. Job well done already, can’t wait to see the completely finished, fiddlehead-bedecked, product.
    Congratulations on Molly as well, best to the new parents.