Friday, April 20, 2007

eye candy friday -- the second best thing i've ever made

I made a person once. But it wasn't on purpose and I can't say I had a lot to do with the shaping or designing of him. He came out how he came out, which happened to be magnificent, for which I thank my lucky stars.

Even though deep down inside I know I shouldn't go claiming credit, I do. Schmin is the best thing I've ever made.

The second best thing is this:

Remember the tiny buttons from a previous Eye Candy Friday? Here they are, finally at home. And the quote, from this post? It's from the "Some Babies' Things" chapter of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. That's the chapter that contains this lovely, lovely pattern, which everyone refers to as The February Baby Sweater.

Knitting this sweater was, for me, something like giving birth. While other knitbloggers who made it wrote of good times and easy knitting, Zimmermann's "pithy" directions and my own lack of experience knitting sweaters (I'd only done shrugs before) made me cry out for an epidural. The version you see here is number two. Number one was a beautiful failure.

It took a while for me to figure out where I went wrong the first time, but I did. (Among other mistakes, I read Zimmermann's directions literally and worked the 2nd front section just like the first. All she says is "repeat for second sleeve" and I didn't realize I needed to knit all the way around first, so that everything would end up on the same row, but anyhow.) It pained me to frog the first sweater. It was sweet, even in its deformity. But I was making this for the baby girl of a very dear friend and I wanted it to be, needed it to be, perfection. Just like the baby, whose name is Grace Beatrice. Isn't this the most ideal little old-fashioned sweater for a girl named Gracie Bea? I think so. And I love knitting old-timey pieces like this.

February Baby Sweater
Artyarns Supermerino #113
Size 7 Addi Turbos
Buttons from Michael Levine's Fabrics, Downtown LA

Nature's trick on childbearing women is that we develop amnesia regarding the excruciating brush with death that having a baby is. Most of us love the product of all that torture so much that we forget about the agony and we turn around and do it again.

I got the best of nature and decided once was enough, but knitting this sweater, even the second time, was not without its share of comparable agonizing moments.

The pain of which apparently has escaped my consciousness because I'm already a third of the way through a second one.

17 comments:

reluctantMANGO said...

I love this sweater! You did a fantastic job, and I think EVERYone messes this one up on their first try. I sure did!!! The buttons are perfect, and I'm sure Gracie will look stunning in her new sweater.

Mandy said...

How funny! I've never thought of comparing knitting to childbirth, but you are SO right.

The buttons are lovely, as is the color. Great job!

jessie said...

I find just finishing an object to be a great feat. But this sweater is truly something special. And to be casting on another already? I am impressed.

I have to go through and look at the pictures again. This is a gorgeous little thing. (Not to belittle to your other wonderful creation.)

Ashley said...

I've seen lots of these around the blogs--but this one is my fave. The buttons make it absolutely perfect.

earthchick said...

WOW! It's beautiful! You were so right to frog and do it over - this one turned out perfect. The tiny buttons: Adorable. The yarn: Sublime! Brava.

Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" said...

THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!

Laurie Ann said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one confused by Zimmerman. The end result is beautiful, like you.

I love the new banner!!!

miss kendra said...

it's really really beautiful.

afrowalking said...

G O R G E O U S. And what precision and continuity in the details.

AllyB said...

Amazing! I applaud you! I feel you on the greatest achievement! My two were mine also. Thank you for the inspiration.

knititch said...

this i a great pattern and your colour is lovely. very zimmermann and very suitable for babies i think. the buttons are so pretty. i also love your iconic jimi hendrix buttons though. did a bsj in noro silk garden for my great niece and we always called it the jimi jacket as it looked a lot like a jacket he might have worn in his heyday. congrats on your beautiful work. a pattern that is great fun to make.

sturdygirl said...

that is so beautiful...and perfect for a gracie bea. it will be a heirloom in her family for sure.

Ellen Bloom said...

Nice work, Carla Doll. I saw and held the sweater last Thursday and I must say, it's even more beautiful in person. The chocolate brown yarn is exquisite. The buttons are perfection. You have excellent skills and taste.

Nik said...

i keep seeing these sweaters everywhere. yours is very beautiful, my dear.

Catherine said...

I hope I'm not too late to the party, but I must chime in on how much I love the sweater. It's BEAUTIFUL. I want one for myself! Well done!

filambulle said...

it is the prettiest baby february sweater I've seen. Love the buttons. It was really worth the redoing job.
And your concluson made me smile. You are a brave woman! ;-)

Lillie said...

You have knit up the most singularly beautiful February Baby Sweater I've ever seen. Ever.

I discovered your weblog after searching for answers to the February Baby Sweater questions that plague me (I'm working mine for the third time - trying to, that is). I'm so happy to have landed here. Your work is divine. The color you chose is perfect.

Lillie