The lopapeysa isn't the only thing I've been knitting, but it's the one thing I can show you.
Having now shown it, I will confess that almost everything you see below the yoke has been ripped back and is being re-knit.
One of the great advantages of working from the top down is that the sweater can be tried on while still in progress, without any danger of this happening. For interim fittings to be of genuine benefit, however, the knitter must be able to make honest assessments of his work and correct as needed. I, perhaps due to an excess of enthusiasm, was unable to face facts until I'd nearly completed the ribbing at the hem. Denial, as I was saying to Kevin Spacey and Ryan Seacrest the other day, is a powerful thing.
The problem? The front was fine, but the back had enough extra room to park a couple of minivans, one of them pulling a trailer. It looked like that flap of skin mother dogs use to carry puppies around. This, in spite of my attempts to head off exactly such an outcome by dividing the work at the underarms with considerably more stitches in front than in back.
Man knits; God laughs.
It's startling for a guy to become a knitter, take stock of his measurements and realize that he requires what his dressmaker grandmother taught him is called a Full Bust Adjustment. Even if it does indicate that all those bloody bench presses haven't been for naught.
In a ready-t0-wear sweater, I might have let it pass. I'm accustomed to store-bought clothes not fitting properly. Commercial menswear lines consider stocky fellows under five feet, seven inches to be flights of fantasy, like the Loch Ness Monster or Mitt Romney's moral compass.
But there's no such excuse when I'm making it with my own hands. Rip I must, and rip I did; and the results will be worth it in the end.
I can't sign off before drawing your attention to the length of insipid pink yarn that's holding the live armhole stitches–you can see the ends hanging down. It came from a gigantic ball of shoddy acrylic I picked up years ago, when I still believed that yarn was yarn was yarn. I made three baby gifts from it, taught myself lace by using it for swatches, and have sliced off what must be miles of it in bits and pieces to use for class demonstrations, provisional cast-ons, stitch holders, and stitch markers.
The ball is still exactly the same size it was when I bought it. When Bill Clinton was in the White House.
This never happens with cashmere.
New York Calling
Online registration is open for my early December classes at Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City. This will be a first visit for me, and they'll also be hosting a talk/book signing the same weekend. The place is a kick–come and join us.