Wednesday, April 4, 2007

All this and I knit, too!

Sorry for the time between posts. Monday began the Jewish holiday of Passover and time got away from me--therefore very little knitting with even less blogging.

The next few blogposts, working backwards in time, will show the world that while I am a certifiable gadgetholic and I have many WIP’s, I am also perfectly capable of (at least occasionally) finishing objects. That is, I am also a certified knitter, and thus worthy of my “knitting blog” stripes.

Today I will show you the “Famous” Strawberry Patch Cardigan that is actual proof that history repeats itself (but can turn out different in the end, anyway!).

Lion Brand Strawberry Patch Cardigan pattern (now available for free at the Lion Brand site) made in Woolease Blue Sprinkles.

First, I love blue, and especially the intense blues of lapis. I love Woolease blue sprinkles because it is my exact favorite shade—just like lapis, though it’s described as “royal blue”. But it has been discontinued, which makes me incredibly sad :o( Luckily, in its heyday, I bought many balls of Woolease Blue Sprinkles, including a few one pound balls. So even today there is enough there for another kids sweater, and an abandoned adult-sized NFO (never finished object) that can be frogged for more.

Don’t you think my finished Strawberry Patch Sweater in Blue Sprinkles looks so much nicer than the Lion Brand sweater in the also discontinued Ivory Sprinkles??? [Best way to see a picture on their site without subscribing to the Lion Brand site is to look for the Google image of ‘ “Strawberry Patch Cardigan” Lion Brand’] The blue really makes the strawberries pop. I also “embroidered” the leaves rather than the intarsia—I think it looks much better.

Anyway, eons ago, when dear E was in kindergarten, I made her this sweater. I was still a freshman knitter, so it wasn’t the best job in the world, but it was cute enough and it fit. I also HANDMADE strawberry buttons out of Fimo ® clay. The whole project took about 2 months, maybe more. E said she loved the sweater, and proudly wore it to school—once. Well, maybe twice. In the same week. And then, she lost it. We searched the lost and found at her school and her after school program multiple times, but the sweater was never heard from again. She wore it less time than it took me to make it. AAAGGGHHH!!! I swore I’d never knit for a kid again. And I kept my vow until recently.

Now JB is in kindergarten, and she needed a new sweater. How I wished that we still had the Strawberry Patch Cardigan for her to wear this spring when the mornings are chilly but the days turn warm. How cute she would look in it. When I was rearranging stash, I came upon one of those 1 lb balls of blue sprinkles, and I remembered again how soft and cozy the yarn is. How washable it is. How beautiful is the shade of blue. And how wonderful to make a sweater for the little one that will cost nothing more than the price of the buttons since I already had the yarn (which probably cost about $6 way back when) on hand. So I caved, broke my vow, and cast on for JB.

I did a pretty durn good job on this one, if I do say so myself. And it fits JB with a little growing room, as I intended. I even made the cap. Total time—about 2 ½ months (while also knitting WG’s “To the Cottage” pullover). Total time before the sweater was lost—about a week. AAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This time, (lucky for JB!), I found it in her school’s lost & found. She took a few days before she admitted to me that it was lost, and it was almost a goner by then because it had already been taken from the hanging rack of lost and abandoned objects to the giveaway bags before I even knew it was missing. I had to dig through THREE industrial-sized garbage bags full of smelly lost kid sweatshirts and gym socks to find it, too. Yuck!

I still let her wear it to school (she loves it and wears it often), but only with a new daily lecture on how it must come home the same day. The usual way her sweaters and coats get lost is that she gets warm jumping and running around on the playground and drops her garment on the ground, forgetting it when the bell rings. This morning’s lecture was “when the bell rings, it’s time to look around and FIND your sweater to make sure to bring it home”. We’ll see how that works. Stay tuned . . .

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