Monday, January 14, 2008


This is a sweater I made for my dad or more like a small preview of it. I have some other photos but this is a good closeup of the stitches and the pocket that took me 7 hours to sew on. I feel like the sweater could have been slightly bigger to be totally perfect but he seems to really like it and promised to wear it to his next public speaking event.
I got the buttons at Good Yarn in Brookline. This is after the 1st 2 button sets were completely rejected. One by a very talented fellow knitter who said the buttons looked cheap and that they should not be placed on this kind of work. The other by the instructor herself who claimed that the buttons were too small. This 'too small' was after I spent several hours at Windsor Buttons in Boston and had the customers vote on which they think would be a good candidate for my creation.
I got to the Good Yarn when they were closing and they had no choice but to close with me in it. I don't know how I manged to find this particular color but it seems somewhat perfect with its ability to completely blend into the fabric. The button hole section seen above took me all day. When I was done I was so tired that the fact that now another section has to be made where you sew on the buttons took me by complete surprise which really amused my instructor.

July 2nd, 2008
My dad wants me to lengthen this sweater. It was too short for a cardigan when I initially made it but I did not dare touch it. It was my 1st sweater ever. I still cringe at the thought that each new ball was twisted with the old string when I ran out of yarn which means that it can come out at any time. Anyhow I called Windsor buttons and dye lot is like second nature to me. It's like giving my name .. I did not even think about it. Of course no one is calling me back.

Things I want to kill my instructor for ..

1. The twisted string technique I used in this sweater since she never told me what to do in the 1st place
2. My mom's sleeves that we did not finish sewing because they were too tight
3. The zipper that I sewed on with double thread
4. Not telling me how to start sewing for a really long time
5. Not telling me the stripes on the shrug button should be horizontal
6. Teaching me to knit through the loop twice when she really should have shown me how to pick up in between stitches
7. Not emphasizing the importance of loose casting on for sleeves
8. Not centering the little thing on top of the hat
9. Not explaining why the yarn for my mom's sweater trim was difficult to work with
10. Not telling me WHY for a lot of things
11. Not warning me that the balloons on the baby sweater would be a difficult thing to do
12. Telling me the baby sweater was easy ..
13 .. and many others ..
14. Not really helping me with the pockets on this sweater for 7 hours..
15. Not telling me things intentionally ..
16. Seemingly enjoying my frustration

July 21st, 2008
I am loving the above. I took this sweater back from Dad so I can lengthen it. It looks a little crappy compared to what I make now but the tension on it is perfect. I have not been able to achieve perfect tension since I stopped pulling in each stitch. In order to figure out how much longer the sweater should be my dad brought out a 30 year old sweater he brought over from Russia. This sweater was remade from another sweater my dad had. I remember it. The stitch on the original looked like honeycomb. Someone took the honeycomb sweater and made it into a sweater and a vest by adding more yarn to it. Anyway I took a look at this 30 year old sweater and it's absolutely perfect .. everything about it is perfect. It has a zipper and the zipper is sewn on perfectly. I asked who made it and he said that it was my mom's friend. Naturally I asked my mom and she said it was long story and then she told me the story. I will mention it here. It was made by a woman whose mother was a seamstress. She lived with her mother in the same building as my mom and my grandmother. They lived on the second floor and my mom on the fourth. The woman's husband died in the war. She had a tiny pension and was raising 2 children. When her son was 16 years old he stole a loaf of bread from a kiosk and was sent to jail camp for 10 years. 10 years later when he got out he left for Israel. His sister could not get a job because her brother left for Israel. At the time that was the equivalent of a crime. My mom's father gave her a job at a factory he was in charge of and her and her mother were eternally grateful. The daughter made the sweaters for my dad. Her name was Lara Royanskaya. My mom said that last she heard she was in Australia. She eventually went to Israel but then left Israel for Australia. She was afraid that her grandson would be taken to the army if they remained in Israel. That's the story. The sweater is a cardigan. It has pockets, cables and slipped stitches in the middle which form tiny braids. The zipper is too long. I know my instructor knows how to shorten them but maybe Lara did not, or maybe you could not shorten that particular one so you can see the bottoms of it at the top sticking out next to the collar. I am sure at the time that sweater was a million times more amazing then something you could buy at a store. The binding off on the left sleeve separated and you can see the loops just sticking out in a few places. I am going to ask the instructor how to fix that if I do not forget.

August 5th, 2008
I told the instructor the above story. I felt like I wanted to make it real and keep it alive. The instructor separated the ribbing from the sweater. I undid one row, then I had to undo another and now I messed it up so I cannot knit up. Maybe I will figure it out tomorrow but not likely. I also cannot unravel the ribbing because the yarn is all stuck together. I feel like after a while of being as one the stitches kind of intertwine and you have to rip apart the intertwining pieces. Kind of like .. I cannot even think of an example. Like maybe something similar to a butterfly cocoon or like how stuff gets stuck in a spider web and then the spider makes it stuck more by weaving around it I think.

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