Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn CrawlΒ is on through Sunday, September 25.

Perfect Sweater: Code Name MANDY

Dear Kay, and patient knitters the world around,
Thanks to everyone for the support in my time of need. Sixteen pre-first graders armed with cups of frosting are not to be trifled with.
My apologies for the long delay in announcing the latest chapter in the Perfect Sweater! I’ve managed to wipe all the frosting off my monitor. To recap (and to refresh MY memory) here’s where we are:
We’re on the cusp of greatness. We have a very basic pattern–think of it as a sort of sourdough starter pattern. Much is going to flow from this basic pattern. In a second we’re going to send it to everybody who volunteered to cook up a neckline variation. And it’s also going to be available to everybody who wanted to test-knit it in the small size. At the end of the day, we will have lots of sizes, lots of variations, and pullover and cardigan versions. A veritable smorgasbord of sweater options, a groaning board, a pu pu platter!
Here’s how it looks on Ms. Small.
I have finally persuaded Ms. Small (aka Ms. Shy) to let me show her face. Ms. Small is Bertha, our babysitter extraordinaire who has given the fellas the only slivers of goodwill and charity they possess. Bertha has been giving me the business lately about how I’ve never made her a sweater. So I made this first Perfect Sweater for her.
Kay, you’re not kidding that I’ve been futzing around with the pattern endlessly. I’m just worried, thassall, the way pageant mothers put that last glob of Dippity-Do on the bangs right before L’il Miss Sparkly hits the stage.
I think it’s a good fit, so we’re ready to move to The Next Step: Collars.
The really amazing news is this:
We have a secret weapon.
Mandy. Mandy is the technical editor of Knitty. Mandy does not blink when faced with a pattern for, say, knitted denim blue jeans for babies. She reads a pattern, studies it, and makes sure it actually will work for the manufacturing of knitted denim blue jeans for babies.
In a clearly deluded moment, Mandy volunteered to crank all the sizes for the Perfect Sweater. I can hardly tell you how fantastic this is–but I’m guessing that you can feel my relief emanating from the computer. Everybody please be rilly nice to Mandy while she’s over in the corner with her abacus. THANK YOU, Mandy, for what you’re about to go through.
We have another potential secret weapon which I’m still investigating. It’s a potentially insanely cool thing. I may have hallucinated the whole idea, but then again, maybe not.
If you volunteered to create a neckline pattern, we will be sending the basic pattern to you shortly. If you are one of the folks who wants to test-knit the basic pattern in size small, please refresh my memory and leave a comment. We’ll get the pattern off to you asap.
A Winding Party in the Windy City!
As it turns out, the fambly and I are going to be spending a few days in Chicago the week after Christmas. My sister-in-law Mary Neal (She of the Long Red Hair) and I are cooking up a gathering for knitters in the Chicagoland area. So if you’d like to come for Perfect Yarn winding, miscellaneous knitting, and beverage-based hospitality, puhlease email me, and we’ll figure out the details of where and when. It would be so great to meet the mighty knitters of Chicago.
PS As Kay’s personal public relations executive, I’d like to point you to her latest exciting moment: the Buttonhole Bag has turned up on the cover of Spin Off magazine. What a surprise! Never mind that we don’t know how to spin anything except the bottle, and even that was a long time ago . . .




  1. The sweater looks great! Aw snarkies! I’ll be in Cincinnati the week after Christmas. Well, hope y’all have fun.

  2. Love that sweater! Thank you, thank you to Mandy and her abacus.

  3. I saw the bag on SPIN OFF. That’s great. It’s a great pattern!! You both are great, and I can’t wait to make MY perfect sweater.

  4. O rats – I’ll be in Chicago the week -before- Christmas! Can’t wait to see more sweater pics – this one looks really nice.

  5. When Mandy is cranking out all the sizes, please don’t let her forget us fluffy knitters! That’s really great of her to do, though.
    Congratulations on surviving the pre-first-graders, too!!

  6. Exciting progress! The sweater looks great. I can’t wait to see the Cardi version!

  7. heh heh heh, you said pu pu…..

  8. potentially insanely cool?
    “The suspense is killing me…I hope it’ll last.”
    -Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

  9. Oh the perfect sweater is just that – perfect! It is so lovely and because there is one thing, I think, upon which all knitters can agree: The pattern that is easily customized is the perfect pattern.
    Sidenote: Ann, did you ever discover whether or not you think there is a gauge difference with the Cascade 220 regular and Quattro? (Personally, I will be knitting the perfect COTTON and/or COTTON BLEND sweater so it is just a matter of curiousity…)
    Thanks, Mandy, for your sizing genius!
    Thanks, Bertha, for your modeling genius! I hear they are starting the casting for the next cycle of America’s Next Top model!!!! πŸ™‚
    P.S. Ann, what did you think about Nicole’s win over Nik this go around on ANTM?

  10. Yay! Congrats all around. The sweater is lovely. The model should henceforth be known as Ms. Super Fantastic (in the language of the Manolo). The buttonhole bag is published! All in time for the holidays!

  11. Great sweater and it looks fab on Bertha! Now I just waiting for the large size. The yarn’s a-moulderin’ in the corner.

  12. Hi, there! This is a friendly reminder that I am a size small and in need of a sweater to knit. πŸ™‚ I would love to test knit this one.

  13. sweater is looking pretty fine.
    well done for making the cover of Spin off….!

  14. I saw the Spin Off cover too. But did they credit Kay? I couldn’t find any mention of the bag pattern.

  15. Oh yeah, there’s credit, as a side note at the end of the pattern for the woven flowers (which I so totally want to do now.. No! No! No new hobbies!). Athough the credit is really to Mason-Dixon Knitting. But, anytime your blog address is in print has to be a good thing, right?

  16. We have sweaterage! Woot! Can’t wait to get my hands on the pattern and make it all jewel necked cardigan-y. After the Christmas knitting is finished, of course.

  17. I am so glad I voted for the hem instead of ribbing. that looks beautiful!

  18. If I may be so bold, the picture doesn’t show the beautifully set-in sleeve that everyone was so opinionated about! The shadows make it look like a Possible Dolman–wrong wrong wrong!
    The color is great on your enviably petite model. O to be a Ms. Small. Months less knitting in one’s wardrobe.
    More pictures more pictures more pictures.
    Resident Troublemaker

  19. The Perfect Sweater looks great! Should you need another test knitter is size small, I am volunteering. Starting December 26th, the knitting is all for me baby.

  20. How great that the bag is on the cover! Did they give proper credit? I hope so! It’s a great bag. πŸ™‚

  21. The sweater is indeed nice and Bertha wears it very well.
    But I have to comment on the Ginger Bread House primer (in this month’s Found Objects). I laughed out loud. This is why my people don’t make such things. Although this year for Passover I might be inspired to try a Matzah house. Heck, we’ll already have the maror…

  22. If it’s a small, I can do it πŸ™‚
    Aby hurried deadlines?

  23. I like the sweater very much. Any change of a photo of it lying flat so we can see the shape and the details?
    Gauge? (Got to figure out a non-wool substitute. Allergies, you know.)

  24. When you issue the pattern how about an insignia or logo (say “M-D”) maybe the size of a matchbox in rev. st. st. to put somewhere on the finished work of art?

  25. What a perfectly-perfect sweater! I lurve it! If you need an XS (extra small) test knitter, I’ll step up to the plate. Let me know ~ sounds like fun! Wish I were going to Chicago. But let me know if Kay does anything up here in NY!


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