Sunday, February 04, 2007

SO PROUD I'm wiggling

Finished! Finished!! FINISHED!!!

I finished the Urban Aran with changes inspired by Brooklyn Tweed. I can't remember his given name right now so let's just say a huge thanks to Mr. BT for taking a ho-hum pattern and making it spectacular! Thank you!

So here's the saga.

Step 1: See Mr. BT's post last summer when you first find his blog. Recognize immediately that Mr. BT and your Brother Bear have exactly-the-same-hands and torso shape (weird in and of itself, if I do say so). Then, due to the striking resemblance, realize that you are looking at the first sweater you will knit for your brother. Search for months for the pattern and finally find it on ebay in late September.

Step2: Email your Brother a boat load of links with pics n stuff asking if he'd be interested in you knitting a sweater for him and if so, how does this one look? Brother acknowledges that yes, he'd like a sweater from you and that even more yes, the Urban Aran is just his style. What with the double zipper and all...

Step 3: Send Brother a load more links with pictures of yarn. Asking questions like does he like Heathered, Hand-dyed, nubbly, smooth, solids... what? Brother gives you some ideas and you set up a date for him to come over and touch yarn and hang out for measurements with a few of his favorite sweaters.

Step 4: Order a bunch of single balls from Webs in different colors of Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed. Then order two hanks of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Charcoal, thinking that if he doesn't like the color, you can always make hubbo a pair of socks with it. Angelika is an angel, and Webs was awesome as they took back the Jo Sharp singles that were untouched for a full refund (not credit, which is what I expected, a refund).

Step 5: Have Brother over and take all kinds of measurements following Eunny's tutorial on where and what to measure (Sorry, I can't find the exact tutorial right now). Try not to laugh like two-year-olds or make embarrassing jokes when measuring your Brother's hips and butt. (Brother was extremely patient with my first-timer-ness in measuring btw.) Then, show brother al the differnt kinds of yarn he has to choose from and be very glad you showed him when he picks a color you would not have picked for him, but it's your personal favorite anyway.

Step 6: Swatch. Swatch bigger, then swatch again and do a load of crazy calculations to figure out how much yarn you'll need since your gauge is bigger than the pattern gauge. Add on two extra hanks just to be safe. Email Angelika ('cause he picked the Charcoal) and ask for 17 hanks of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in Charcoal. Spend a lot of money.

Step 7: Knit, knit and then knit some more. Curse at Pattons for using the stupid ass backwards-e cast on. Pray that you'll finish by Christmas. (You started in Early November for heaven's sake!)

Step 8: Cry, gnash your teeth and tear at your hair on Dec. 23rd when you've finished the body but you haven't even started the sleeves. Throw a pillow at your husband when he laughingly says, "I can't believe you thought you'd get that done by Christmas."

Step 9: Acknowledge defeat. Seam up the shoulders. Knit the collar. Pin the sides together with coilless pins and pack it all in a big box on Christmas eve. Give to your brother on Christmas morning in all it's hanging-ends glory. Worry for the next two months cause he looked silent and kind of confused when he tried it on.

Step 10: Knit those-damn-sleeves. (Knit a pair of socks cause you can't stand looking at black yarn anymore) Knit-those-damn-sleeves some more.

Step 11: Wait for a sunny weekend. Seam up the sleeves and the sides, weave in all those freaking ends. Dig up any and all resources for sewing in a zipper. Decide on Nancie Wiseman's Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques. Wait for another sunny weekend. Baste the two fronts together. Wait for a third sunny weekend. Sew in the zipper. (Did I mention that this was done by hand? Thank goodness for Audio Books)

Step 12: BE FINISHED!!!

Step 13: Sing, dance, act like a fool, run around the house, (try it on even though you know it won't fit you properly, the sleeves are about 8 inches too long and the body covers your bumps in a most unflattering way) take 1,000 pictures. Run around with it some more, show your husband (who is appropriately appreciative of your efforts, by the way). Pet it, call your brother and leave him a voice mail telling him that it's finished except that maybe you were so excited that you sounded like a scratched 33 being played at 45 rpm.... hope he understands what you just said. Hang up. Reluctantly put the sweater back in it's bag and in the closet waiting for brother's arrival and the Urban Aran's final unveiling.

Here's the cool thing. Last weekend Brother came over when I had finished seaming the sweater and basted the two fronts together. I wanted to wait to show him until it was all finished. But I couldn't stand it. I explained that all that's left is the zipper and it's sewn shut right now but did he want to try it on?? And oh, yeah he can try it on, but I can't look while he does it cause I'm so terrified that it won't fit.

Brother pulled it on and it fit perfectly!! Wooo Hooo! He was awed with it and kept petting it. Now that it's got the zipper in it, it's just that much cooler! Yeah, I'm so excited I'm wiggling. :)

Here are the insides for those of you who would like to see them.

So here are the construction details:
Pattern: Paton's Urban Aran from the Street Smart booklet.
Yarn: 15 Hanks of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in Charcoal
Needles: US 3 for the collar, US 4 for the edges, US 5 for the body and sleeves.
Start Date: 1st Week of November 2006.
Finish Date: Feb. 2, 1007
Total time to complete: 3 months. (I only knit in the evenning after work).

p.s. I promise to make the sweater pics clickable this afternoon while I'm sitting in my never ending meeting....

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Blogger Alyssa said...

Hooray! He's going to love it! What a great sister.

11:38 AM  
Blogger margaret said...

It is SO cool!!! And he looks like such a fashionista in it, too. Very like Brother Bear. You rock. Oh, and my SOCKS are so wonderful.!!! Thank you so much!!!


12:20 PM  
Anonymous dlj said...

Congrats - that sweater's GORGEOUS! I'm sure he's going to love it.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

That is truly the most awesome hand knit sweater I have ever seen in person. I hope your brother truly appreciates it as a hand knit sweater that should be worshipped.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Adrienne said...

An absolute masterpiece! You have really outdone yourself. You should be proud.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous plata said...

Wow! you are so good. Like with the hat you did for me, I received so many compliments...

2:42 PM  

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