Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Perfect Project: An Interlude, then a VOTE!

Dear Kay, and Everybody Seeking the Perfect Handknizizzle,
You think I’ve been just sitting around with the markers, drinking heavily and making mind maps of my grocery list. Well, let me tell you–your recent decision to revisit the cardigan for Dennis Weaver/your dad rekindled in me the desire to finish up some achingly undone projects. Not only will I relieve the crushing guilt of having promised sister Buffy a handknit in 2003, it fulfills part of my new year’s resolution (the nine-month-old one) to complete unfinished objects by year’s end.
Maybe it’s that late September time-to-atone feeling–and I’m not even very Jewish!
Wooooooo!
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I’ll be brief. Sister Buffy picked the yarn and the pattern: Rowan Kid Classic in a heathered blue that reminds me of . . . denim . . . and the Woo pattern from Rowan 30. I shortened the length and shortened the collar because we all know that Kid Classic has the insulating properties of a good fiberglass.
The whole projeck was a quick cranker until I screeched to a halt, in 2003, because of Nubbin Dread. The little fringey nubbin deals I’d met before, when I made another Rowan nubbin-based sweater, Splash:
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To make a nubbin, you cast on stitches then cast them right back off. Sounds fun? Let’s just say this is the end of an era over here at the Shayne Piecework Factory.
Dude, where’s my collar?
Dude, why are my nubbins so hazy?
Dude, what a passel of seams just for a hazy nubbin cuff.
Dude, what a wacky decorative raglan seam. Six purl stitches down in there. Makes it all, like, dimensional and stuff.
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Dude, I hope my sister appreciates this.
Dude, she’s probably so disgusted at this point that she’s forgotten that she asked for any stinkin’ nubbins.
As far as I’m concerned, the perfect project is a DONE project.
Speaking of which . . .
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[click for the big picture]
Here’s how the nominations for Perfect Project shook out. Very interesting. Conclusions to draw from this incredible foment of ideas:
We will never resolve the beverage issue.
I’m not sure what hesseweisen is but it sure sounds tasty.
The Perfect Handknit will include, somehow, lime.
There are factions agitating for socks, for shawls, for afghans and scarves and the sweater dress. [We pause to consider the sweater dress.]
But if this mind map tells us anything, it tells us that the sweater is what we are thinking about the most.
So many questions will remain unanswered. Did the choice of Cascade 220 lead us in this direction? If we’d begun with the project first, would our yarn have ended up being something different? I feel like General Robert E. Lee, people, I really do, right when he stood on the steps of the courthouse at Appomattox wondering what might have happened if his troops had reached that supply train in time. You think it’s easy to facilitate a situation like this? The hard decisions!
Now, I know you’re itching to get going. Let’s have a quick vote here, then we get down to the real knitty gritty.

Love,
Ann
PS–I know you’re wondering, so I’ll just tell you: the mind map of my grocery list reveals an unholy concentration of carbohydrates and a large branch labeled “Frozen.”

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Your Woo looks lovely. I love kid classic, perhaps I shouldn’t get into that ;O)

  2. So does all this atonement mean you’ll be scalping tickets for the high holy days this year? I’ve got a pair right up front, so close you’ll have to duck when the poor schlub blows shofar. You know. So when the buttons pop they don’t hit you in the eye. L’shana Tovah!
    Oh and, I vote sweater. Although I was very, very tempted to vote sweater dress, just to skew the votes.

  3. Well, I ran into a dangling chad situation. I was trying to vote for the Sweater Dress. My reasoning was: I am confident the sweater is going to be the President, I mean, perfect handknit. So the Sweater Dress was kind of a Ralph Nader vote that was going to make me feel bad if later, in a close race, the sweater got beat out by socks. Because personally I am not knitting any Cascade 220 socks. But I wanted to stand up for the Sweater Dress, which was one of my very favorite looks circa 1987-1997. One was a pale gray Lis Claiborne which I know sounds like a non-starter but remember, in 1987, everybody was wearing Lis Claiborne, and her sweaters didn’t even have pictures on them yet; they were kind of sporty. The other was a Tahari need I say more, in a deep black-purple. Boys used to ask me what color it was which I took as kind of a sign they were noticing. I always said Eggplant to the Simple Sons and Aubergine to the ones I thought had Potential.
    Where was I? Oh, I accidentally voted for the Afghan, is what I’m trying to say. Nobody seriously wanted the afghan, not even me. So please, disregard. xoxo Kay

  4. All I wanna know is why didn’t “little chance of dipping it into toilet or dinner” apply to the cardigan and why do only cardigans get the blessing of life from the knitting fairies and get to “last forever?
    Hmmmmmmm?

  5. I voted for shawl, after all that. Really, a sweater will be fine, but I’ve never made a shawl, so I thought I’d just put that in. (I don’t vote like this in real life, ya know…)

  6. A sweater DRESS? I never knew I felt so scornful of them until just now. I saw one at a fair recently, knit entirely, completely, out of eyelash scarf yarn. (of course it won a ribbon, do you need to ask?)

  7. I actually owned two sweater dresses in the 80’s, so it with firm conviction that I vote against the sweater dress now.
    I once again take this occasion to remind everyone that we are working with Cascade 220. And I ask, not unkindly, but with bemusement and in the best interests of those who will have to knit this thing, if any of those 16 beloved souls who voted for a Cascade 220 sock have ever in their lives knit a sock?!? (I thought not.) It’s all about context, people. Think wool. Think thick.
    Ann, I am wowwed by your Woo, and by your incredible determination to finish those nubbins as a “break” from all the insane mind-mapping you’ve been doing. I take my socks off to you! (Don’t worry, my feet are clean.)

  8. I am strongly opposed to knitting any garments on which I might sit. Purl imprints itself painfully and unattractively on tender hindflesh.

  9. HAH! I didn’t think anybody noticed my toilet-or-dinner comment, but it’s true. I have rarely dipped anything but a scarf into the aforementioned objects, perhaps because I manage to keep them closer to my body, generally.
    Though a cardigan tied around the waist is definitely a toilet-danger. Just sayin’
    Which brings us to the question of whether a toilet-dipped handknit gets washed or thrown away. But I’d rather not go there.

  10. “Comment from Ann’s Dad: Friendly, yet puzzled.”
    I’m laughing so hard I’m crying.
    Hi, Ann’s Dad!!!

  11. Well, I’ve knit bulky socks before and they’re NICE, so there, I say. Of course in the end I voted for a sweater. Like Kay, I realized I didn’t want to throw away my vote and end up with a Shrub–I mean if I voted for afghan, I’d want to do color work–intarsia not fair isle probably–and everyone hates intarsia and I don’t want to do a fair isle sweater but everyone uses Cascade 220 for colors–not lace–so I’m screwed anyway. BUT my mind lept to the breakthrough moment: There are plenty of worsted weight yarns I can substitute. Just because it’s not my perfect doesn’t mean it’s not the Future Search perfect. Right? I mean, I can substitute yarns in the end, right? Clapotis didn’t become CLAPOTIS in a single yarn, leading us Young Knitters into the renewed era of the shawl based solely on its yarn type, did it?
    Dang this stuff is hard. Harder than saying what kind of animal I’d be if I were an animal (yes, someone said this to me at the office less than an hour ago).

  12. Hmm, I think that should be hefeweizen (or heffeweissen). Heffeweissen is a wonderful unfiltered wheat beer (an ale; ales are top fermenting v. lager which are bottom fermenting). They are not particularly hoppy but rather fruity and sweet – at least the German-style ones which use better yeast than American-style wheat beers. They are excellent drinking in hot weather.
    I like Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier.
    Happy imbibing to you.

  13. I was going to comment on whether sweater and cardigan should have separate categories but now my mind is completely taken up with horrific visions of sweater dresses knit in eyelash yarn and I can think of nothing else.

  14. I voted for shawl because they’re just so darned versatile. You can wear them (in a variety of ways) or throw them across chairs or lamps. They make great gifts because unless you’re knitted for wee ones, there’s no size consideration. True, most men prolly wouldn’t want one, but still.
    Having said that, I don’t think I would care for a shawl knit from Cascade 220. But, then, maybe I’m just not considering it in the proper context. It wouldn’t take so freaking long to finish, for one thing.

  15. >the mind map of my grocery list reveals an unholy concentration of carbohydrates and a large branch labeled “Frozen.”
    YESSS! The frozen margaritas are on the shopping list!

  16. Mmm, I love that chart. It just makes things so much clearer. No decisions, just clarity.

  17. Ok, I voted for the sweater dress, and according to the stats, there are three others out there who agree with the fringe (oh, a sweater dress with fringe?) elements of the party. If this is a primary vote, I’ll be happy to sell my vote on the next round for consideration of needle size or buttons.

  18. Wow, sweater dress! I’m transported to the 80s when I could wear a sweater dress and look good in it. Now, not so much! Yummm…I LOVE Franzikaner Hefeweissen. Clearly the choice of yarn does make a huge difference… yarn and project go hand in hand…wait, didn’t we learn this in the sorries?

  19. I voted for sweater, because you can wear it out, and very easily let it be seen and admired by people (unlike socks, say). And when you tell your non-knitting friends that you made it, they’re usually very very much impressed that you’ve made an entire sweater.
    You know what else? Baby sweaters! That’s even better because they’re *faster* to knit!

  20. Heffeweissen – my favorite beer really – it makes you burp the LOUDEST of any beer I know of…..
    I still prefer Cosmos while I knit………scarves.

  21. Four people actually voted for the Sweater Dress options? know there are smart alecks out there, but dude, that’s not even funny. Four? One I’d laugh off, but four sounds serious. Who are those people?

  22. My little robot is trying to vacuum as I type this. It isn’t really all that smart, but we aren’t allowed a fur-based pet, so the robot vacuum has to do. Actually I think it is a wee bit smarter than the last furry pet I owned! (Although far less cuddly.)
    O.k…not to be too robot-like…but I was perplexed on whether “perfect project” was “perfect with Cascade 220″ or “perfect, generally.” So I voted for the latter. But if we were supposed to vote on the former basis, I don’t disagree with the results.
    Most fascinating Ann. Will love to watch the result. (Must go rescue stymied robot now. It has gotten tangled up in one of the boys’ ten pair of lurking shoelaces.)

  23. a sweaterdress in eyelash wool…. I need to go and lie down…

  24. Seeing my humble homage to the 80s dangling there on that mind map dead end brought it all home to me. I mean literally since the house I grew up in is on a cul-de-sac.
    I voted sweater. But let it be noted in the minutes that I put in the first two cents for the top down method. I’m not ALL about retro obsolescence and being “difficult.”
    My drink of choice is strong black tea (Assam, Halmari Estate) with a splash of milk, but I won’t say no to a thimbleful of whiskey.

  25. I believe that future search builds something more than good projects. It forms communities. And now that I know that I’m part of a community of heffeweizen-drinking knitters, my world is so much brighter. *sniff* I love you gals! We should write an anthem.

  26. I voted sweater on the condition, like Christina, that it be top down. I didn’t vote shawl for fear you all would feel it had to be lace. Let’s not make this too hard folks. Chrismas is coming. I’ll be stressed enough with my last minute Christmas morning kitchener tradition.