Wednesday, August 28, 2013
A happy sweater
I had an aunt. Or maybe she was just a distant cousin, if I remember correctly her mother was my greatgrandmother’s sister. But we called her aunt Mary. She did a lot of knitting and she never used a pattern. She just measured, asked what colors and pattern you’d like and presto! a few weeks later there was a sweater. Granted, she wasn’t too great at finding the right color (I asked for mint and got some kaki green and my sister who asked for powder blue, got a very boyish shade of blue) or understanding fashion (bat sleeves? nope, just wider sleeves - can you tell we’re talking ‘80s here?), so we, as teenage girls can be, were kind of disappointed at her work. But looking back, I do admire her.
I want to be able to do that too. Just eyeballing my stash and winging a sweater for one of those kids, like I do with hats. So I dediced to try, using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s system. And it worked!
There are a few things I want to do differently next time, the sleeves could be a bit wider (since they usually layer sweaters) and I should have read everything before starting, since Elizabeth clearly states that for a child’s sweater one should make straight sleeves, not start small and increase. But I was already done with the second sleeve when I read that. It looks smaller than it is, I can fit my wrist through.
I did make the body a bit wider and longer than usual, because sadly the South African children I’m knitting for often have swollen bellies (from hunger and malnutrition).
Overall, I’m happy with the result and eager to start another one, so maybe someday I will be able to wing a sweater without a pattern (or help from E.Z.).
I won’t be knitting for teenage distant cousins thought, they are very hard to please…