Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Hideously Ugly Sweater--Vest Incident

Dear Blog,

Sometimes, when I tell people that I knit, I get this strange reaction. They wrinkle up their nose and think for a minute and then they make one of two observations.

1. Knitting is itchy


2. They received a hand-knit item once and it was an ugly color/striped monster.

This makes me kind of sad because for me knitting has always been first and foremost an art, and art is supposed to be pleasant and pretty. I've never really understood how those hand-knit sweater disasters happen, and can only assume that the knitter responsible was either eccentric or color blind.

The itchy part is slightly more reasonable. Knitting has widely been considered a frugal, cheaper method of getting stuff and it's one of the tragedies of the craft that comfort is generally the first thing to be sacrificed.

 All this is to say that I have recently found myself in the novel position of having created an ugly sweater of my own. I'm not saying that I take back my previous judgment of other ugly-sweater knitters. But I do feel like I can sympathize with them a little.

I recently cracked open a box of my stashed yarn and discovered I had several skeins of chunky acrylic. I'm on a tight budget right now and haven't been buying any new yarn so it was really important to me to try to find some pattern to knit with it. The obvious first choice was a hat, which I tried. But something about it just looked really ugly (something about the epic level of shininess that is the main attribute of this yarn. )

I've had this sweater vest in my queue for a bit and have really wanted to knit it. It's just hard to tell if something like that will fit well or to know ahead of time which places in the pattern to modify. So I knit it.
 I didn't have enough yarn to knit it in one color. So it's striped. The design and construction of the vest makes the stripes a bit unfortunate. The colors also clash deliciously. See for yourself.

 I forget. US 11 or 13? 
Yarn: Loops & Threads Cozy Wool (3) balls purple and (.5) ball orange.

Overlooking the obvious, its a very nice vest and I would really like to knit it again in a solid color wool. I'd probably make some modifications. Only knit 8 inches or so before picking up the stitches and in short just making things a tiny bit shorter. (maybe knitting at a tighter gauge.)
In the meantime, while I'll probably refrain from wearing it in public, I'm enjoying my hideous vest.


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