Friday, September 16, 2005

the mother of all unfinished objects

Don't worry, it has a happy ending.

Once upon a time we decided to have a baby. We went to work on it in the usual way. Seasons went by. We were having fun but were still childless. I realized we were going to have to take some action, some serious action, to make parenthood a reality.

I did what anyone in my situation would do. I researched. I looked at books & magazines on the subject, I paid extra close attention to pregnant women, who by the way, were waddling around EVERYWHERE.

I had to knit myself the most awesome maternity sweater ever.

It had to be big, and it had to be colorful. Keep in mind it was the 80's and even skinny non-gestating women were wearing XL oversize colorfully patterned sweaters with their leggings. Don't believe me? Watch any Cosby re-run . Uh-huh! Told you so.

Mine was to be even more huge and even more multi-colored. My favorite yarn at the time was Brown Sheep Lambs Pride. I bought enough to de-nude a whole flock of Nebraskan sheep. Then I bought a few skeins more, because who wants to be caught without that last skein. (sadly I've lost this instinct but that's another story).
This is my cardigan pattern. Instead of fashionably, ridiculously oversized- what were we thinking- MOAUFO03I cast on for an even larger version. Good for the full nine months with room to spare. I knit, and knit, and eventually finished the back, and both fronts. I started a sleeve. I was working on other things as well, so this undertaking spread itself over a stretch of time, during which it proved to be as successful as other less pleasant fertility efforts.

Check this out. Its ,um, sizable.MOAUFO05

Long story short: 15 years ago this week, we got the call we'd been waiting for. From an orphanage in Colombia . In a flash I stopped thinking about the sweater. I started thinking thoughts like- WTF were we thinking? We're really going to be parents? Ay Caramba!

And so, my masterpiece became a UFO. For years, I'd take it out each fall and do a few rows, assuming I'd still love to wear it, and honoring how much I'd already finished.

Just last year it occurred to me - duh!- I don't have to finish it. No way would I wear this massive unstylish blanket of faux fair isle, even if it were finished, blocked and buttoned.

If this were a really good story I'd end by telling you that I'm using all that extra Brown Sheep yardage making sweaters for my now 15 and almost 12 year old sons. I'd be lying. They don't like to wear wool. (?!)MOAUFO09

I've been saving the back in case I think of a brilliant morph for it. I was going to felt it and make something, but Kay mentioned that Brown Sheep in yellow doesn't felt. So it might just be weird and pucker-y. I'm open to suggestions.


Lauren said...

I'd felt a swatch to see how the yellow does and make a pillow out of the back and/or fronts, felted or non.

Zarzuela said...

If it's blanket sized, why not make it such? That's quite the set of knitting skills by the way! Wish I could do color work like that...


Kay1 said...

Uh-oh. I didn't know that for sure! I was told that by the owner of Seaport Yarns, when I was loading up on Brown Sheep for felting. She warned me off the yellow. But who knows? I agree you should felt a swatch. It might be fine.

But it would make a terrific blanket.

Great Journey to Motherhood story combined with laughter-through-tears knitting story. I remember those horrible sweaters and still inadvertently knit one once in a while! So strong is my fear of too-small that the result is often blanket-sized. xoxo Kay

Susanne said...

Well I would sew up the sides, make an i-cord and thread it through the top and felt the jiggers out of it...that yellow will felt eventually and if it doesn't it could be interesting...besides, you always need a knitting bag!!!
I don't care what anyone says, that is a gorgeous piece of knitting!!

Heather said...

The first thing I though of was knitting bag too! Or if it's really as big as you say it is..maybe a knitting suitcase! :) Second thought was with Lauren..a pillow would be awesome! I'd back it with fabric so it didn't stretch to much and make a giant throw pillow! What a fun thing to lounge around on and it would remind you of happy memories!

nona said...

Thanks for the fun story and the flashback to the 1980s. With such huge sweaters we were all wearning, no wonder we had to perm our hair!

I too vote for felting -- knit a long skinnier piece for the bottom and sides and then once everything is felted cut your huge fairisle piece into front and back.

First time to your blog -- love, love you photos!

Anonymous said...

A pillow or a knitting bag. I love the colorwork! Amazing and heartfelt story. Conga-rats to Yooooo-ou!

Dianna said...

Knit some borders on it, similar to what quilters would do for borders, and give it as a baby blanket or a pet blanket if you don't need/want it.

mamacate said...

I love it! What a great story--thanks for pointing me to it. You, my dear, win not just sock yarn, but KOIGU. Send me your address and any colors you HATE and I'll make good on my end of the bargain.

I'm voting for a blanket, myself. And yeah, knitting was a big part of my fertility treatment (grin), though I was never optimistic enough to make a maternity sweater. ;)