Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Perfect Handknit: Too Proud to Live, Too Sorry to Die

Dear Kay, and the Future Searchers,
[For those just joining us, a quick review: We are deep into a group quest for the Perfect Handknit. If we were MSNBC, we'd have a graphic in the corner that ticks off the days: "Perfect Handknit: Day 23." It's not a hostage situation, exactly, although we may have lost a few participants to grief at the wrong yarn being named the perfect yarn, confusion about why we are doing this, and general claustrophobia. We try to take stretching breaks every hour, but people don't want to put down their knitting.]
Now. I have been ever so busy digesting the Prouds and Sorries. So proud! So sorry! We are one proud, sorry group.
Let’s take a look at the themes that emerged from everyone’s comments. (Thank you all, by the way, for sharing what had to be painful memories.) We’ll examine Sorries first. Let’s just get that out of the way.
Knitters of Constant Sorrow
Our first mind map reveals a regular wagon wheel of woe:
mindmapsorries.jpg
[click on image for supersize version]
Big areas where things went wrong:

Style: A lot energy was given to this area. Problem styles included garments that were wide, cropped, heavy, too “out there” to wear in public, had cabley epauletlike shoulders, and tank tops made in chunky yarns. Sweater that “reaches knees” was a problem.
Fit: One of the main problems is that people ended up looking like things they didn’t want to look like:
“Makes me look fat”
“Looks like body armor”
“Look like a box”
“Look like ready to pop stuffed cartoon brick house”
“Look like Sasquatch”
“Look like Klingon”
Other fit problems: too small, too big, tight neck opening, sleeves too short, “early” hats that did not fit the heads of the recipients.
Materials: The wrong yarn doomed many a project. Anything scratchy, itchy, hot, shedding, wirelike was trouble. Not to name names, but . . . acrylic, eyelash, Rowan R2 paper, lopi, Lion Brand Homespun and Woolease. Special fury was rained on acrylic chenille: wormed, shed, biased, was “slubbed yuk.” Oy! Sounds like the Katrina cleanup.
Gauge: A constant cause of Sorries. Gauge fluctuated during knitting, swatches had to be reswatched 12 times. And many Sorries resulted from failure to swatch at all.
Difficulty: Problems happened when a pattern was a first attempt at something, indeed the first attempt at a sweater.
Pattern: Trouble came when when knitters changed the stitch pattern, tried to resize it, fell victim to bad math, didn’t fix a mistake, forgot the lace pattern, “I didn’t know what I was doing.”
End Result: Sorries often happened at the end of the day. The knitter didn’t like the final product, the recipient didn’t like it, it smelled bad.
Places Sorries are Kept: Weirdly, Sorries don’t necessarily go away. They live on in “the drawer of shame,” “a big plastic Hefty bag under the bed,” “his closet,” and “on our hippy teddy bear waiting for a ‘Dead’ tour.”

In sum, the hard lessons learned here can guide us away from the itchy, the boxy, the ill-gauged, the sweater that makes us look like a Klingon.
Prouds: Blue Ribbons All Around
mindmapprouds.jpg
[click on map for supersize version]
Everybody has that project that hit the sweet spot: yarn, pattern, difficulty. A great yarn, a well-written pattern, a bit (or a ton) of difficulty–put those together, and that’s what makes us happy.

Proud projects:
Hat: Chemo caps.
Socks: Broadripple, Go with the Flow, with Lorna’s Laces Flame.
Scarf: DNA.
Blanket: Cableknit. Baby.
Purse: Multicolored.
Shawl: Leaf lace, Lady Eleanor Wrap from Scarf Style, Birch from Rowan, Kiri, own handspun cashmere laceweight shawl, cashmere lace shawl.
Dress: Butterfly lace dress from Rowan 37.
Tank: Shapely Tank.
Animal: mint green elephant. Purple felted monster.
Tea Set: Annie Modesitt’s Fiesta Ware.

The most Prouds had to do with sweaters: beautiful, beautiful sweaters. For men, babies, friends. Intarsia, Fair Isle, cabled, striped. Designs by Kaffe Fassett, Alice Starmore, 1984 Phildar patterns, Rowan, Interweave, Bonne Marie Burns.
Prouds, Sorries, HAPPIES: The Perfect Beverage
mindmapdrinks.jpg
[click for 40-ounce Schlitz Malt Liquor version]
It’s a miracle any of us finishes anything.
Nominations Are Open
Taking to heart all of the above, please nominate the sort of project you think constitutes the Perfect Project. No need to get specific about the details of pattern. I’m talking hat, shawl, sweater, socks–a general category. We’ll have a vote once all the nominations are in. Deadline: Saturday, September 24, 11:43 pm CDT.
I hereby declare it Happy Hour. Two-for-ones until seven o’clock.
Love,
Ann

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116 Comments

116 Comments

  1. For me the perfect project has always been a sweater, preferably with challenging cables in aran style. I started with sweaters, and though I have knit mostly socks and shawls this year, I used to be exclusively a sweater-and-cardi -knitter.
    If you ask me, the perfect handknit would be a cabled sweater designed so that it’s easy to convert to a cardigan if needed. But I can see why this wouldn’t be a majority choice. :D

  2. In a moment of optimism, I would say sweater.
    My normal self says shawl because you can be proud of conquering the stitch pattern without worrying about sizing.
    I must be a masochist ‘cuz I don’t usually make shawls. But now I’m rethinking that decision …

  3. Cardigan. But I’m still bitter about it not being KPPPM, and so I’m going to go and get familiar with that 40 ouncer of Schlitz Malt Liquor (hithertoo to be referred to as 40SML).
    Aara

  4. Mmmmm … my perfect handknit would have to be a sweater. A sweater is the perfect mix of style and substance. It can show off knitterly talents while still being a practical piece of warm clothing.
    Sweaters suit everyone. Lots of people are not “shawl people” or “hat people”, but who’s ever said “you know, I’m just not a sweater person”? (Unless, maybe, they live on the equator). Sweaters match all kinds of tastes. A sweater can be lacy or cable-y or plain jane stockinette, loose and comfy or fitted and chic, brightly colored or subdued. It can be turtlenecked and reserved, or low-cut and racy. Pullover or cardigan. You get the idea.
    And, sweaters work beautifully with Cascade 220, the narrowly selected winner of the perfect yarn runoff election.
    On a side note, I am very honored to see that my simple question about festive drinks some weeks ago has spurred enough discussion to now warrant its own mind map. Go G&T!
    Perhaps the final perfect handknit pattern will read ” *Knit 10 rows in pattern. Pour new drink. Repeat from * “.

  5. I’m thinking sweater….

  6. I vote for a sweater (cardigan, please!). Just think – with the perfect pattern and the ideal yarn, how could any of us go wrong? It would be a chance to redeem all those poor lost cardis and pullovers in the “sorries” pile and come up with something amazing.

  7. I’m still feeling scared from my last sweater attempt, so I would have to vote for a cardigan. Drinks sound fine but how about we add chocolate to the list of possible comforts?

  8. Cardigan. Absolutely. And my favorite beverage is Fanta. But it has to be from Europe somewhere. Or China. China has good Fanta. Orange Fanta. I’m thirsty.

  9. NO CABLES. Okay, I amend that. No all-over cables. Ick. Unflattering, hand-hurting ick. Cables put 10 pounds on anyone.
    But…the perfect handknit is definitely a sweater, because it’s very visible, very useful, always stylish, and there’s very little chance of accidentally dipping it into a)the toilet, or b)my dinner, like most scarves I know.

  10. I say a sweater…for the knitter (not to be given away). That way, when YOU wear it, YOU get to say “Yo. I made this!”

  11. Components of the perfect project –
    It should be versatile, comfortable, wearable and easy to take care of. It should be an ‘easy’ knit, not something that takes to much energy to pick up again after a few weeks (months?) as a UFO because you got sidetracked by another project. It should have at least one tricky/ingenious component to it. It should be relatively easy to modify.
    For me it would be a close fitting v-neck cardigan with a double zipper and some pockets (outside and inside) with attached i-cord around the neck.

  12. Sweater, definitely!

  13. My perfect project is a cardigan. It’s like a jumper, but with built-in air conditioning!

  14. My perfect project is a cardigan, because they’re just so versatile. With cables or textured patterns.

  15. Sweater. And if anyone says shawl, I gently remind them that our yarn is Cascade 220. Grumpy old MindofWinter,

  16. I truly believe that if we knitted a cardigan and helped each other through the slumps, that I would actually end up with something I could wear. That would distinguish it from the two other sweaters for myself that I have started and set aside, buried, out of sight but not out of mind. And with the expected increase in the cost of home heating, I’m going to need more sweaters. So okay, I vote for a sweater.

  17. CARDIGAN!!! looks good on almost anyone, with almost endless possibilities of variation.

  18. I have to vote for the sweater. Something with a bit of shaping to flatter the feminine form and a minimal amount of cables or other bulk adding fancy work.
    This is so much fun!

  19. I have to vote for the sweater. Something with a bit of shaping to flatter the feminine form and a minimal amount of cables or other bulk adding fancy work.
    This is so much fun!

  20. If we’re talking noumenon–das Ding an sich and all that–let it be a sweater dress which is usually ideal only as an idea. Turtleneck. Knit from the top down (so one could stop at a sweater). Beaded Ribs or maybe Traveling Ribs (and I don’t mean pork-in-a-cooler, Ann).

  21. Socks! Portable, easy or challenging, more likely a FO than a UFO! Colorful, gift worthy, comfy, go terrifically with a cocktail in your favorite chair!

  22. Taking into account the yarn that was chosen I would have to say sweater, Cardigan if we are getting a bit more specific.
    Jayme

  23. Sweater. How about intarsia AND cables? (Kidding)

  24. I’m definitely in favor of a cardigan. Cardigans work great for those of us who life in mild climates where layering is a necessity in spring, fall, and winter. You can put it on, take it off, tie it around the neck, drape it over a chair, button it up (or zip, I’m not prejudiced), leave it open, wear it with one of those pretty camisoles that are so trendy now, or over a warm long-sleeved tee or an oxford shirt if it’s cold out. (You may note that where I come from we think that 50 degrees F is cold).
    For design, I humbly suggest mostly stockinette, some simple waist shaping, with an elegant twist-stitch cable panel(the charm of aran knitting, but less bulk) down the center of each front, and an equivalent-width lace panel which could be substituted in by die-hard lace knitters. Of course, this would mean that beginners and fans of simplicity could leave out the panels all together (or we could come up with a knit-purl panel) and this way we could make nearly everyone happy. The obvious difficulty here being the lovers of color-pattern. I don’t know what to do with them. Fair-isle in Cascade 220 would be a little too bulky to flatter most of us, I think. Intarsia is a possibility, I suppose, but only if we include substitution possibilities for those who loathe or fear it. Well, there’s no way to please everyone, I suppose.

  25. I am torn–there is the perfect project while working on it and then there is the perfect project once finished. Socks are wonderful for toting around, stuffing into bags, and working on in the bus–but they are not really a satisfying project while working on; they are, however, the most used and loved final product at our house. In contrast, shawls are wonderful to work on, challenging, beautiful, intoxicating, but not terribly useful once they are done….
    I guess my perfect project would be a slightly challenging knit (some kind of pattern) but useful (socks or mittens or sweater) once done.

  26. cardigan, maybe an inset of lace, or a bit of a cable. I’d also like (can we like 2 things??) a scarf, because then we can manage shmancier lace or cables, since it’s a small project… I’m hoping this voting process will take another few months, so I will have the old backlog out of the way… ha haha.

  27. I vote for Sweater, realitively simple for us newbees!!

  28. The perfect project- for a general category, I’d say sweater. As for the specifics, I’m waiting for the blogpolls!

  29. Socks for me too! As easy or as hard as you want, portable while in progress, everyone needs them (those of us in the sunbelt often don’t own too many sweaters, but we got socks!) not as labor-intensive as a sweater (I have started about 18 sweaters in my life; finished precisely one, and it was the dreaded boyfriend sweater that I never saw again).

  30. I think I missed something but “Whiskey” / “The Cascade 220 of liquor” has been stated aloud and for good, here or anywhere in this world, I am a happy person. Hurrah! It is, it is!

  31. (ps I missed a “because” in that comment. And mostly I prefer gin and Seth drinks all the whiskey and I rarely knit with Cascade 220, but if nothing else comes of this future search, a Truth has been identified and that makes it all worthwhile. right? right.)

  32. One! More! Comment! (Am I going to be banned for not thinking my comments all the way through before opening my mouth? You see how terrible I am in meetings.)
    I would like to add “lace” to the “sweaters” proud map. Yes I would. Specifically, the Lace & Tuck Duo from Interweave last fall. I didn’t know if I was up to the challenge; I had to reknit fronts and sleeves and it is gorgeous. It opened up whole worlds of trying new things (but I still don’t like knitting cables).

  33. Hi, Ann,
    I’m readin’ this at work, trying to laugh quietly, to myself. My supervisor is off at one of those Magellan Room kind of things (“The Future of Libraries”) and looking at big charts like yours, only a whole lot less fun. This is guilt-free goofing-off.
    Please, let’s do a sweater. Cardigan would be best. A nice textured, cable-dy thing.
    When do we start?

  34. I vote for a cardigan and I am with Jenny lets add chocolate to the list of possible comforts!

  35. As a convert to knitting in the round (pity I can’t knit Kiri in the round!) I would say sweater, but cardigans are so much more versatile. Cardigans, I say (long live gin and tonic!).

  36. Obviously, just a voice in the crowd but I’d have to say sweater, too. Likewise, I would have to vote sweater, cardigan variety.

  37. First perfect project: Socks, with some lovely cables. Because I think socks will be outvoted by far, second perfect project: Cardigan, with pockets, some cables, but definitely not overall cables, and buttons, definitely no zipper for me. And I love Danielles’s pattern instructions!

  38. Scarves are fun but the knitting can get tedious by the time you hit 36″ or so. What’s more, they don’t lend themselves to this group process. If we go with a sweater we get to debate the merits of sleeves (dropped, raglan, etc.), necks (turtle, vee, crew, etc.) and style (cardigan, pullover, etc.) The design process promises to take us well into spring. (At which point we’ll all wish we’d voted for cotton.) Let the good times continue: sweater.

  39. Sweater – pull-over-your-head-Saturday-morning type.

  40. the perfect handknit is a cardigan. it is simple and relatively plain. it definitely does not have cables that add bulk to the wearer. what it does have are truly elegant details — well planned and artful shaping, increases and decreases that are a design element rather than just a means to an end, and creative bands and edgings. it flies off the needles, but periodically delights the knitter with its clever design.

  41. I’m solidly on the sweater train too. Near the club car, please.

  42. I think that beading, doilie blog is Turkish.

  43. ….sweaters all the way!….knit from the neck down. how ’bout a complicated version, along with a simpler design for the newbies and the quick fixers? H2O is the drink of choice…..

  44. I’m also thinking sweater (preferably cardigan). Considering that the yarn winner is so afordable it would seem cost effective to use it for a project that needs lots of yardage (as opposed to if KPPM had won and then knitting a whole sweater – especially if doubled- would have required a loan application). I’m thinking either something very colorful to take advantage of the huge range of colors available or something with lots of texture or cables.
    Thanks for all the diagrams – helps us visual learners really see where we’re at with all this dialogue!
    Sara

  45. Sweater – a smart, comfy type with texture or color. Maybe even both?!

  46. A cardigan. With options for a zipper or buttonholes for those of us who have problems with both. Pockets on the seams. Set-in sleeves.
    I’m likin’ this idea. Wonder if I have any Cascade 220 or if I’ll have to make a trip to the LYS. What a bummer that would be.

  47. I vote for a thing that one makes for oneself! We so often give away knit items and do not have the perfectly-fitting, soft and beautiful thing that we long for…or is that just me?

  48. Ann – I’m probably late, but that blog is in Turkish.

  49. what is a URL?
    I don’t knit but I am gaining an understanding. I have been following your blog and had become comepletely confused. Congratulations on the VIN diagrams they clarified things a good bit and were very inventive. I think I can now follow the process along. Love, Dad

  50. I agree with the Saturday morning type sweater–I need a few more of those in my wardrobe.

  51. I’ll join the legions for a cardigan/jacket sweater. My thinking is: (1) my office is cold, so I always need a cardi at hand; (2) I live in LA where it’s warm during the day, but cold at night — cardigans offer maximum take off/put back on convenience; and (3) Cascade is scratchy — I would never make from it anything I’d wear directly on my skin.

  52. I hate to muddy the waters, but….my perfect stay home project would be a big cable-y or ribby sweater and my perfect take along project for knitting at the doctor’s office, hockey rink, lacrosse field, band concert, car ride, standing in line at the DMV…(well, you get the idea) is a toss up between a mitten and a nice thick sock, knitted on DPNS (’cause those magic loops make me loopy). And my drink of choice is Vanilla Coke for the warm activities and hot chocolate with whipped cream on top for the hockey rink or rainy, windy lax games (’cause if I’m sitting on an aluminum bench in an ice cold rink or getting icy rain drops down my neck then, by God, I deserve whipped cream). Um, Ann? I hope you have more colored markers, b/c I just realized VC and hot choc are not on the spider chart. Mea culpa. Oh, and I think the mystery blog language is Turkish since she lists Turkey in her profile as where she lives (?).

  53. 40-ounce Schlitz Malt Liquor sounds like a good bet–I don’t usually like American Beer (I’m sorry, I’m just too Canadian) but “malt liquor” sounds promising, especially since they stopped producing my favorite, “Labatt’s Extra Stock Malt Liquor”, 6.5% alc/vol. I think that’s “11 proof”. Labatt’s Blue is OK. (NOT “Diet Blue” or “Blue Light” or whatever. Ick.)
    Oh. Knitting pattern. How about a Fair Isle Sweater knit in the round, from the bottom up. Colour changes could be, as knitty says, Mild or Piquant to suit the knitter, and the sizing can range from tidy to big enough to hide a multitude of (my) body sins. In a nice chunky guage that knits up fast. (How many strands of dk would I have to hold together to get that?)

  54. My perfect project is a cardigan, with some stitch details, e.g. cables, eyelets, etc. I’ll add my other details later!

  55. Ummm…there’s no beer on the chart. Can you add it, still? I can’t be the only one. Hey, doesn’t the Yarn Harlot drink beer when it’s too warm to drink Screech? Just sayin’.

  56. Perfect project: a comfy, oversized cardigan knit in the round, either plain or with fillips to keep things interesting. The fillips could be cables, lace, whatEVER … they’re just there to keep the knitter from falling completely asleep. Pockets would also be good.
    As for drinks, either gin — preferably Tanqueray(or vodka — perferably Absolut) & tonic with lime (or lemon). Beer is good, too … but it needs to be something with more taste than your usual American brew. How about Sam Adams?

  57. Cardigan, set-in sleeves, v-neck, waist-shaping.
    A base to place patterns be they colour or texture.
    I’ll take a double g&t with that please!

  58. Cardi Cardi Cardi
    I wear one every day
    Cardi Cardi Cardi
    Damn, this doesn’t rhyme……
    Bring on the Frozen, lots ‘o salt ‘Ritas (for Rita of course – telling her to stay away!)

  59. I’m going upstream on this one – shawl.
    now… mostly because gauge matters less, and lace has a huge bang for the buck.

  60. cardigan … gilet … jacke … a jacket please … thank you … merci beaucoup … danke schoen … a guinness please … cheers … thanks ann …

  61. I vote for a scarf. A plain garter stitch one with no fancy schmancy cr*p on it. That’s the only way a knitting-disabled person like me can keep up with you knitting fiends…jeez :)

  62. Cardi, cardi! And my only other request is that for the love of God it shouldn’t have a freaking hood. Thank you :)

  63. A cabley cardigan. Preferably zipped. Buttons are okay, but only if the buttonholes aren’t crappy-looking.
    Diet Pepsi.
    Chocolate is good. And maybe those Double Stuf Oreos with the peanut butter filling.

  64. Although each project has its own merit (socks are fast and comfy, scarfs are quick and fun to try out new stitch patterns with, blankets take dedication but gauge is not a big problem), I nominate a sweater, specifically a cardigan. Cardigans are more flexible than a sweater in that you don’t have to wash it as much, can wear it when you are cold or just want to add something interesting to a tank or t-shirt. They’re great for air conditioned offices, unpredictable Bay Area weather and fashionable. With different stitch patterns, increases and decreases, I don’t get bored. Can I say more about cardis?

  65. I think the perfect garment would be a top-down pullover/convertible to cardi. It WILL fit, since we are knitting top down. Those who like Fancy Stuff can do eyelets or cables or fairisle on the yoke to their hearts’ content. Those who don’t, won’t. Those who get tired in the early innings can just bind off and it’s a One Skein Wonder. It will fit, it will FIT, and what’s more, it will fit, and personally I think it is the highest and best use of Cascade 220, apart from felting as it’s excellent for felting.
    I know I’m getting ahead of ourselves. I am lol at the charts. Extrememly funny and in addition they are helpful to yer pa! (That is YER pa, idn’t it?) xoxo Kay

  66. Who doesn’t like a cardigan? They’re as simple or as ornate as you want them, they’re practical pieces in wardrobes, they’re for all sizes, and a great article to showcase the chosen yarn. I prefer one that ties in front with a bit of lace and/or cableing detail. I’ll be waiting to vote over at the table, sipping my Irish coffee;D

  67. I like the top down idea, Kay. It will fit. Can I vote for the lovely pick-up-from-the-armhole short-row set-in sleeves a la Barbara Walker’s “Knitting From the Top”?

  68. I’m with Kay. Top down. Cardigan. It’ll be swell!

  69. A cardi, with something interesting on the front, ie cables or lace and simple back and sleeves. It gives you something intersting to knit but it doesn’t take forever to get done.

  70. the irony of watching this whole process unfold is that I have 6 skeins of cascade 220 quatro that are waiting for the most perfect cardigan pattern. I fell in love with the yarn, special ordered it during my local yarn stores “seasonal sale” last December and can’t bring myself to cast on for anything because I can’t find a pattern that is just right.
    (something with a cable in it along the lower hem, somewhat boxy with some waist shaping (hence my trouble finding a good pattern?) and room enough to layer over another shirt, and something that will remain interesting long enough for me to work on it till it’s done. Set in sleeves are good, but so are top down raglans that I know will fit.) I keep saying I just need to design something and dig into the project but time has been a problem. If you can find me the perfect pattern, I’d be eternally grateful.

  71. I’ve never knit a sweater. But it is my ultimate goal — so I guess that makes it the perfect project. (I think I can I think I can)

  72. Cardi sweater all the way, baby. But I am probably in the minority of those saying “no cables,” because I am a new-ish knitter and also because I think they look kind of weird (no offense). A little bit of LACE of some type could be fun, as it’s gorgeous and doesn’t seem that difficult, and would also work as vents when the wearer gets too warm.
    Can I add Malibu rum to the list of drinks? With lime, please.

  73. Woo Hoo — Happy Hour!! I’m in Niagara region (Canada) this weekend where we’re celebrating wine. So count me in for a glass. :)
    As for the perfect project, I definitely vote for a sweater. I would say that since we have all those great Cascade colours that we should create a very colourful sweater. On the other hand, perhaps the perfect sweater is one with great texture that could be knit in any colour that suits the individual wearer. And yet — is the Cascade 220 too thick for Fair Isle? (I’m still inexperienced with this yarn)

  74. I’d say a sweater, too . . . assuming all the features work (gauge, shape, color, size, etc). Otherwise, I’d say a shawl–gauge isn’t so important, they’re versatile, warm without being hot . . . fun and pretty to knit, but they’re best when they’re lacy (*I* think), and since cables and color-work are fun, too . . . I’d still have to say that ultimately it’s still a sweater. No, wait, socks are pretty good and versatile and really practical and easy, but . . . no, still. Sweaters are the best!

  75. Okay, okay, I’ll jump on the cardi bandwagon but only if the following conditions are met.
    1. It must be stylish, preferably with fully-fashioned shaping details.
    2. It must be relatively fitted, and professional enough to wear to work.
    2. Anything with “loose,” “v-neck” or (shudder) “comfy” in the title will cause me to toss my eggnog-n-soda onto the nearest innocent bystander.

  76. Herself says a zippered cardigan, thank you very much.

  77. I say, to the few, the proud, the shameless who valiantly aired their self-esteem crushing moments in the ‘sorries’ section, I say let’s give them something to build them up. Something chaallenging, but not daunting, Something that allows them to express their originiality, yet simultaneously conform. Something that will stand out, but not *too* much. I say, choose the cardi!!
    {crowd breaks into frenzied applause amid a growing corus of “cardi, cardi, cardi.” The speaker is lifted onto the shoulders of the bleary-eyed fellow future searchers and carried through the hotel bar. Happy Hour has apparently reached its zenith 7:06 p.m., as the hotel manager is requested, yet again, to “make those damn knitters shut the *&#^$@& up!}

  78. Cardi,cardi, cardi, all the way. Versatile, adaptable, …and I promise if we do top down I’ll keep an open mind about raglans.

  79. sweater!

  80. I must say I have always wanted a warm cozy cardigan to wear in the house when hubby has the heat down so low we can see our breath!!
    Buttons are a pain, so how about with a zipper?

  81. I just had an idea, because I am also disappointed that Kogiu didn’t win, perhaps the sweater could be made either with the 1st or 2nd place yarn, if that’s not too much of a pain.

  82. I’m going for a hip-length cardi – with pockets – the sort of thing that lasts for ever, the one you keep by the door and put on to run round to the post-box, get the paper, jump into the car with, wrap round you when the heating breaks down, like a comfort blanket!
    Don’t want anything ultra-smart/fashionable – you can go and buy that ready-made.
    Neck-down is a great idea – raglan sleeves? – they fit much better. Any sort of all-over textured pattern?
    We can’t get Cascade this side of the Atlantic, but am sure we can find an equivalent.
    I think this whole project is a terrific idea – and great fun for us who only comment….

  83. Oh! I would say a shawl, because it has no seams. But as I see anyone else thinks the same, I would go for socks, with lace, cable or both! :)

  84. I’m with Saralyn (and maybe others, I confess I haven’t read all the comments yet!) I vote for a classic cardi with some shaping and exchangable panels where one can substitute either lace, texture or simpler stitches for the newbie! My vote would be texture, some lovely leaves vining up each button band and around the back neck! Spectacular in Cascade because of it’s fantastic stitch definition!

  85. What Debi said. She just beat me to it. Top down’s fine.

  86. ooo! ooo! I know I’ve already voted for a cardi (I’m in the “big comfy” camp), but I want to cry yes! to the idea of knitting it from the top down. My favorite projects have all been knit top down.

  87. I’m a pretty new knitter and I’ve been dying to knit a cardigan. My freezing a cold office begs for it! I haven’t found a pattern yet that I really like or dare to try (I’ve been a little disappointed in my past two sweater attempts). How about a “second place sock” pattern for the second place yarn – I’ve been wanting to knit socks too.

  88. I vote for a sweater, preferably a cardigan because it’s versatile. You can layer with a cardigan in the cold months, or throw one on in the summer when the movie theater is too cold. Ideally, for me, it would be knit seamlessly from the top down. It doesn’t necessarily need shaping, but it shouldn’t be too shape*less* either. Hip-length, long sleeves.

  89. Cardigan works always. My fav is Mary in denim from the Rowan denim book. I actually have to hide in the back of the wardrobe to give it a break.
    Cheers from me to all with my Bailys on the rocks.
    Cheers!

  90. Sign me up for a cardigan. Love, Love, L-O-V-E cardigans. Top down would be fun, never having done that before. Cables, stripes ala Fern, pockets: check! check! check! Buttons, please.
    Nothing witty to close with.

  91. How bout this: a sweater that can be converted to cardigan? If it’s knit in the round and you don’t want a sweater, just don’t join the round and knit back and forth.
    I’m torn between normal pull-over (great for everything and comforting and impressive) and cardigan (can be worn year-round and, well, comforting). Definately top down (you can always add lace at the bottom, after the armholes) and definately a base of St st, leaving everyone the freedom to do colorwork or lace or cables.
    A small comment: I really think socks and shawls (while they might be the perfect project) might have to be shelved since we already have our yarn. Now, I’m not complaining, but if we had picked the project first, then we would have chosen the yarn best suited to fit it.
    But that’s not a complaint, just a comment by the blonde in the back of the room, the one sipping a Malibu Rum and pineapple juice.

  92. I’m thinking sweater.

  93. Sweater, some textural elements (cables, leave, eyelets, a cool neckband and/or cuff), easy to personalize, knit in the round with NO SEWING. A wardrobe basic so it actually gets worn, but interesting and beautiful so the wearer gets admired and feels proud. The no sewing part is a key element in my opinion.

  94. Sorry, I meant to say “leaves,” not leave. But otherwise I stand by my post.

  95. Uh, I’m going to be unpopular – or just obliterated by the majority – here, but I think the 2 perfect projects are a scarf or an afghan. Both for 2 crucial reasons: 1) They are such complete works of art when they are finished, precious, lovely, self-contained, YET 2) They each leave room for the knitter’s creativity, sort of riffing on a theme. Like the afghan could have 12 versions of a square, repeated and changed, the scarf could change pattern over its length or could start with a set pattern for the ends and leave room for each knitter to improvise the middle.
    I like variation on a theme. I’d hate to see us all knit the same EXACT thing. I think the perfect knit object leaves room for variation. But pulls together as a complete and perfect object in the end.

  96. sweater or cardigan — as long as it’s a top down raglan with a little waist shaping and a little something-something for added interest at the cuffs. Big no-no: snug ribbing around waist or hips!

  97. I’m proud to tell Dad I know what a VIN diagram is since I have a 6th grader and we had to VIN diagram Lake Tahoe and Lake Bowman – complete with illustrations surrounding the piece….I think I know what a URL is too….You are making this woman feel smart today….HOWEVER,I’ll have to have more whiskey before I can take on a sweater….I just started my first clapotis (see how behind I am)
    Linda

  98. Cardigan sweater. Perfect for three seasons and so hard to find one that is *a bit* styled but not overdone. No loosey-goosey upper sleeves, no tight ribbing around the bottom and cuffs.
    That’s it, I vote for the *perfect cardi*.

  99. It has to be a cardigan – I think it’s a rare sweater that looks good on a woman with any sort of shape so why not have the versatility of open or shut?
    It needs to be medium fitted (inc. the waist), interesting but not ostentatious pattern, button up not zip, and look effortlessly beautiful with black trousers and loafers in the office, jeans and boots, long floaty skirt or anything else. Not sure about collar and sleeves but perhaps there could be options, like on a sewing pattern (View 1, View 2 etc). It also needs to have fronts that do not roll in on themselves when unbuttoned.

  100. A sweater, with options. Options to be a cardi or a crop or sleeveless. All sorts of options. And interesting things, too. Design elements, they’re called, I think.

  101. oh! oh! i don’t know what time it is there! deadline has passed in HK but i’m voting anyway, i think we should make a scarf and hat and mittens/gloves set… i know sweater will far outweigh my vote, but as this is a project designed by many people, a sweater we make will not fit all of us… but hat and scarf can fit anyone! we could all photoshop a pic of ourselves to see what we’d look like wearing it!

  102. Top Down seamless sweater, for the finishing fearful ……please..

  103. My perfect handknit will be a sweater with ‘set in’ sleeves knit from the top down. I just received Barbara Walker’s book Knitting from the Top and once I get some practice done on the procedures–I think I will finally have a fitting winner of a sweater.

  104. Cardigan with cables, please. Top down is great. Zippered would be perfect. Or toggles.
    And to drink, send over an amaretto sour, please.

  105. Too late again (must get internet access at home) but I see that I need not worry because I’m with evetyone else (cardi, cardi..). Love Kay’s idea of top down raglan. The idea that it migtht actually fit is quite enticing!

  106. It’s socks! (1) Socks are relatively short-term projects; (2) they require little (if any) “finishing”; (3) you can experiment and use all sorts of techniques: entrelac, mosaic knitting, fair isle, textured knitting–cables, etc., or lace; (4) they appear to be complicated but are ridiculously simple to make; and (5) if you’ve ever made and given a pair of handknit socks to a friend or loved one, you are revered FOREVER! You instantly become a KNITTING GODDESS. Everyone expects a sweater, but no one ever anticipates handknit socks.
    I read (or heard) somewhere that a pair of handknit socks was comparable to a fresh baked loaf of bread. It’s true–handknit socks ooooze comfort, warmth and LOVE. AND you can use Cascade 220 OR Koigu–our two favorite yarns.
    Mary in Seattle

  107. I haven’t had time to read through everyone’s comments yet, but I would say the perfect project is a sweater (preferrably one with just a little seaming at the end). It’s something you can wear and really be proud that you have made something to clothe (sp?) yourself. I am wearing the first sweater I ever finished today and I would say it’s a PROUD moment.

  108. Vodka tonic. Oooh, no, a good cab. Oooh, no, a heffeweizen, preferably one that seems heavy on cinnamon and light on banana overtones. Ooooh, no, Pabst Blue Ribbon, y’all. P.B.R.

  109. I think I know where we’re headed by the comments, but…
    I think the perfect handknit is a sweater for one of my boys! I can make it a little big, and eventually it will fit one of them. Knitting for myself takes more thought and planning.
    Red wine & chocolate.

  110. Oooh, I’m too late to get my vote counted, aren’t I?
    I do think the perfect project is a cardi. With some waist shaping. Seen Bonne Marie’s new twisti cardi yet? It’s mighty cute.
    Margaritas, frozen.

  111. I think shawl is the answer. Though not featured as much as sweaters in the Prouds chart, the shawl has the benefit of being one size fits all — thereby sidestepping some of the potential “sorry” pitfalls that result from poor fit.

  112. I love to knit socks and hats, but the perfect project is a vest.

  113. Fitted cap sleeve sweater with some lovely challenging aspect that sets it apart and makes it more fun to knit (cables, beads, eyelet, threaded ribbon, picot edge, something I’ve never heard of before and would be willing to try…). Or maybe a hat. I could use a charming hat in a few months when it gets colder.

  114. I cannot follow the rules. I have just understood that I am supposed to suggest an item for the future search, not catch up on all that has gone before. Well, let me add *another* comment here. I am going household myself: matching afghan, cushion cover, felted tea cozy and oven mitts, and cat bed. These are the things I would make with Cascade 220.
    Also, upon more quiet reflection, I think vodka is the real Cascade 220 of yarn. People use it for every damn thing when something with a more particular flavor would be better.
    (Anyone wishing to compare my Monday mood to my later-in-the-week mood is welcome to do so.)

  115. Well, I was going to vote cardi even before reading the comments. Now I vote cardi with some lace or texture, and matching socks.

  116. holy cow! what happened ? i was reading along about the perfect knitting project, and all of the sudden i have a gin & tonic in my hands. must have something to do with that colorful chart…. i sure hope this activity doesn’t send my lacy sock to the frog pond later!