Perfect Sweater: Rubber Hits the Road
October 28, 2005
Dear Kay, and the Perfect Handknitterz,
So distracted! I was just fixing my eyebrows. OK so my eyebrow stylist was just fixing my eyebrows. She comes by every morning to check them out and make sure I’m good to go. Really, the experience of you reading that KnitLit piece at Coliseum Books has changed my life so utterly. People have such expectations now. The phone calls, the endorsement offers. I’m off shortly for a Pepto-Bismol photo shoot. It was so weird–when the Pepto people called, I just had to laugh–I mean, I ALREADY USE THEIR PRODUCTS! I love that stuff!
But Enough About Moi!
The Future Search is almost done, folks. We are basically THERE, in a disorganized way.
The last quick poll answered the burning question of how long we should futz over the issue of the neckline.
What should we do next?
Move on and land this lunar module! Tom Hanks is looking kind of pasty.
Vote on the neckline until we get a majority. We need a majority!
total votes: 459
Power to the people! We move on!
At this point we have a sweater on the cusp of greatness, yet there remain lingering cavils, gripes, worries, concerns, issues, and whines.
There has been some question (Kay and KT) about the issue of executive authority and whether somebody (me) can simply “abort the V-neck” or say “People, suck it up, we are making THIS kind of neckline.” Man, would I ever like to exert some executive override here, but then I’d be Karl Rove or Barbra Streisand or Alice Starmore, right? I hasten to remind you that my role in this Future Search is simply to facilitate this process–I map the minds that make the whole world sing, I make the blogpolls about tedious things. This Future Search is about the Us-ness of it all.
Gwen and Natalie get the Erin Brockovich Whistleblower Award for noticing that I somehow hijacked the whole deal by saying that the Perfect Sweater is a cardigan when in fact the vote was for a pattern could be either a pullover OR a cardigan. How’d that happen? Glad SOMEbody was paying attention. Like this situation needs to be any more convoluted than it already is. Glad they don’t have me over in Baghdad counting ballots.
Sarahfish: “Maybe someone could offer a re-write of the pattern for those who want to futz with the neckline or adjust from cardi to pullover.”
Susan M.: “Since we’ve come so far, and found a consensus on so much, could we maybe have a flexible neckline plan? I mean, the Perfect Sweater To Date seems to be the kind of thing that will fit-and-flatter just about anyone: set-in sleeves, a little shaping. Maybe the neckline is where those of us who like to fiddle around with a pattern can focus our fiddling? Personally, I like a neckline that’s a little squared off; or maybe has a little collar added.”
Anne Margaret: “Let’s remember that a truly Perfect sweater is one that is DONE! So let’s get to the knittin’!
Next Steps: The Long and Winding Road
At this final stage of a Future Search, everybody commits to what their next actions will be after the Future Search ends. This usually involves a lot of affirmation (“I just want to thank Susie for organizing all the great snacks” and “Why can’t we just do this EVERY year?” and “Glad Bill was out of town this weekend or none of this would have worked out”), and somebody volunteers to raise the money for the new building. For us, it’s much more interesting, and cheaper, too.
Here’s how it looks from here. We do in fact agree on a lot: cardigan OR pullover, long sleeves, set-in sleeves, slightly shaped waist, row of buttons up the front for the cardigan. Using Cascade 220 yarn.
The V-neck got the biggest vote, but not a majority. Who cares? I think we can crank a pattern that includes all the above elements, then work out a series of variations which Give The People What They Want: the collar of their dreams.
Now. This is the fun part. You have the chance to be a part of history, to help design the Perfect Sweater. Think of it! I will cook up the basic pattern, a pullover with a jewel collar because that’s the one I wanted, in a size Small because it’s easier to add stitches for larger sizes than to subtract them.
You, as a loyal and stalwart member of the Future Search team, will adapt this basic pattern for one of the other necklines that were nominated: V neck, crewneck, shawl collar, two-point collar, and funnel cake (which Liz will have to design because she’s the one who seems to want it the most). I have not included turtleneck because I’m having trouble imagining how to make it a cardigan, but if somebody’s jonesing for a turtleneck, have at it. And that goes for any other neckline style you prefer–boatneck, square neck. If you want it, here’s your chance to GET it.
Once we have these patterns set–a pullover with varied collar styles–then we’ll figure out how to adapt a cardigan pattern from that pullover pattern. And we’ll add different sizes once we get all this set.
Now, I know some of you are saying, Hey, Barry Manilow, I didn’t sign up to write a sweater pattern! I’m here for the drinks!
To which I respond, I know, neither did I. I kind of hoped it would fall out of the sky like a pony at Christmas. But I have no doubt that we can do this. With basic math, a few Googles, and enough beverages, we can write these patterns together. If you’ve never designed a thing in your life, but secretly kind of wish you had, this is for you. Writing a pattern is like cracking the human genome, or being first in line for recess–so exhilarating!
So. If you’re game, please leave a Comment about which neckline you want to tackle. If several people want to do the same neckline, we’ll figure that out. I will say that no preference will be given to bloggers over non-bloggers. (We blog for the blogless here at MDK.) But if you’d like to chronicle your design process on your blog, we would love to watch.
I’ll work on the basic pullover pattern as fast as I can. I’ll even resist my urge to steek in the name of the Perfect Sweater.
Finally, let me thank everybody for all the great drinks. And I wish we did this EVERY year.