October 15, 2006
Or 1 year, 6 months, 26 days. Or 82 weeks. 13,800 hours. 828,000 minutes. 49,680,000 seconds. That's how long it has taken me to finish Short Rows.
I bought the pattern for this sweater on a visit to Boston in February 2005. I met Wendy and Colleen for the first time - I got the knitter's tour of Beantown! Then, I bought the yarn. And on March 21, 2005, I cast on.
The knit was not without problems. First I had to figure out a way to deal with the ends. Once I had that figured out, I knit the back, knit a sleeve, started knitting the front, and found out my gauge was WAY OFF. So off it spawned a friggin' t-shirt.
I didn't even bother ripping out the finished back. I just knit a new one. It only took me six months to finish both the new back and the front. Then I had the ends to deal with. I knit both sleeves at the same time, and miracle of miracles, almost exactly a year from when I started, all the parts were done!
Why then, you might ask, did it take me another seven months to finish the damn thing?
I have no idea.
Pattern: Short Row Striped Pullover by Fiona Ellis. Interweave Knits, Fall 2003
Yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton in French Navy (909), Aloof (958), BIlberry (959), Laurel (960) and Antique (900)
Needles: Addi Turbo US #6 and #7
Huh. It's finished. I think I would be much happier if I was about 15 lbs skinnier. When I started the sweater I was probably about 10 lbs skinnier. And then I wasn't and then I was and now I'm definitely not. I mean, really, zig zagging stripes across the girls? Not the best fashion statement. And it's too short. But I think if I lost a little weight in my chest it wouldn't be too short. You know what I mean? And in one of those pictures (or maybe more) it looks like my boobs are around my waist - but I promise you they aren't. I hefted up those ta-tas big time. The sleeves are PERFECT. They hit right in the middle of my hand - nice and long. And the yarn is one of my favorites of all time. Great to knit with - great to wear. It's so freaking soft against the skin. We'll see how it wears.
This is by far my most accomplished knit to date. It's not a hard knit per se - the short rows are pretty easy once you get going with them. The neck decreases on the front get a little bit weird and wonky, but they work - I guess. There's a mistake in the pattern as written, but Interweave has errata posted. I debated the collar quite a bit - after all those short rows and stripes the pattern called for intarsia on the neckline. I ended up going with a fabulous solution from my friend Flaire. Navy on the back, stripes on the front. You can see it in the pictures above. I think it worked out pretty well. The part of this sweater I'm most proud of, to be perfectly honest, is that I wove in all the ends. I didn't take a short cut - no matter how awful it was. Every single one of them was woven in - Ann says I should wear it inside out if I'm so proud of it and maybe I will.
I gotta tell you - it feels really really weird and really really fantastic to have this sweater finished. Really really.
PS - Georgie took the pictures! Thanks, G-Love! And I swear to all that is holy - MY BOOBS ARE NOT THAT DROOPY!
Posted by Cara at October 15, 2006 10:02 PM
Topics: Short Rows
The sweater looks great. The boobs aren't to bad either.
Posted by: Michelle at October 15, 2006 10:33 PM
You did it!!! You finished it!!! I am so proud of you!!! Yayyayayayay! I told you would it would be great!
In fact, I was just reading and John looked over and was like, "WOW! What a cool sweater!" ;-)
Posted by: Jenny at October 15, 2006 11:01 PM
I testify that Cara's boobs are not droopy. Congratulations on finishing this bad boy! Yay!
Posted by: grumperina at October 15, 2006 11:06 PM
I love it!!! What a cool sweater.
Posted by: Madame Purl at October 15, 2006 11:10 PM
Seeing this one done makes me remember how much I love it. Wasn't it in Interweave at some point or did I just dream that?
And I can attest (not that I've been ogling you or anything) that your girls are riding high. Pictures do lie. Giddyup! xoxo Kay
Posted by: Kay at October 15, 2006 11:11 PM
I meant to type too not to.
Posted by: Michelle at October 15, 2006 11:24 PM
I would testify on behalf of your ta-tas, but I fear the bulldigger inside.
Posted by: ann at October 15, 2006 11:27 PM
Wow, congratulations on finishing. You might not love it, but I'm really impressed.
This reminds me of an unfinished sweater hiding in my stash...
Posted by: elizabeth at October 15, 2006 11:44 PM
Delurking to say that the sweater is fantastic. And I would never ask why it took you 7 months to finish, because I have a cardigan that I finished over 2 years ago that still doesn't have a zipper.
Posted by: MamaSutra at October 16, 2006 12:06 AM
Woohoo! Now let's pick an easier one for the follow-up.
Posted by: Lauren at October 16, 2006 12:10 AM
Awesome. Don't worry about the boobs, it doesn't look THAT bad. I think. I dunno.
Posted by: Mags at October 16, 2006 01:40 AM
Stop being so hard on yourself. You look beautiful and so does the sweater! In fact, maybe you should gain a few pounds, I think "zaftig" is making a comeback. See for yourself:
Posted by: kathy in juneau at October 16, 2006 01:43 AM
how is it that even when you don't take the photos...your blog pics are great! that is such a cute sweater and you are making me feel guilty for a couple of long standin WIP's that I seem to have conveniently forgotten about.
Posted by: jacqueline at October 16, 2006 01:53 AM
Beautiful sweater. I would have copped out & used a variegated yarn. I really, really hate having to change yarns like that! If I had a hat, it would be off to you!
Posted by: Geraldine at October 16, 2006 02:22 AM
Congratulations on finishing, it looks fantastic, well done.
Posted by: yvette at October 16, 2006 02:24 AM
Amazing sweater. I'm glad you finished. I hope you wear it at least 575 times!
Posted by: Jennifer at October 16, 2006 05:14 AM
Fantastic. All that time just means that the finished product is more monumental. This wasn't some offhand job that was finished in a weekend or two.
I think it looks great. I have those same 10-15 pounds on me this year and I didn't get any extra boobage from them at all. What gives?
Posted by: jessie at October 16, 2006 05:44 AM
It's fabulous, and worth the wait!
Posted by: Annie at October 16, 2006 06:22 AM
THAT is wonderful. Just wonderful. Quite the work of art. And lovely on. And you. Lovely. The face I will see in 5 days.
Posted by: sandy at October 16, 2006 06:33 AM
Posted by: LaurieM at October 16, 2006 06:33 AM
OMG, I do love that sweater. You look fantastic. I can't wait to see you and it (but especially you).
Georgie's photography is terrific, as always! ; )
Posted by: Vicki at October 16, 2006 06:50 AM
congratulations getting that sweater done. lovely work.
Posted by: maryse at October 16, 2006 07:03 AM
Congratulations!!! Love it! And I admire your stick-to-it-ness.
Posted by: Kathy at October 16, 2006 07:20 AM
I have yarn for that in my stash and I was actually thinking about it the other day, so now I have to do it. Should look good.
Posted by: Karin at October 16, 2006 08:08 AM
i love it cara!! so glad that you finished it. it looks fabulous :)
Posted by: gleek at October 16, 2006 08:20 AM
It looks awesome!
Posted by: Adelle at October 16, 2006 08:27 AM
What an absolutely fabulous sweater! It looks great on you.
Posted by: hege at October 16, 2006 08:40 AM
Simply fabulous. You, the sweater (amazing, dude), and the ta-tas. :)
Posted by: Carrie at October 16, 2006 08:46 AM
And it looks FREAKIN' AMAZING! You go girl :) Seriously. I sometimes wondered if you would ever finish it, and I'm so glad you did. What an accomplishment!
Posted by: Carla at October 16, 2006 08:53 AM
wooo! it looks great, Cara. I love it (and hey, it must feel fantastic to finish it). :) Congrats!
Posted by: jess at October 16, 2006 09:18 AM
Well done Cara!! I can't believe it's finished. I don't think 575 days is THAT bad.
Posted by: Kathleen at October 16, 2006 09:22 AM
It's an accomplishment, certainly! Congrats on finishing. I think it looks good but maybe not as flattering as you'd like. The zig zag stripes do give the illusion of, errr, gravity taking its toll. And, like the others, I know that's not the case, it's simply an illusion.
Posted by: Carole at October 16, 2006 09:27 AM
Seriously dude....they are awesome and the sweater is seriously wicked! You should wear it proud, wear it loud! Your sweater rocks.
Posted by: margene at October 16, 2006 09:33 AM
That is a fantastic sweater! Congratulations!
Posted by: Tammany at October 16, 2006 09:50 AM
HA! Like I would time you on a project.(Or anyone for that matter) A truly awesome sweater & BTW, it looks fab on you! Damn you look so much like my best bud! Is that you Terry? Anyway, how about socks to match? Thanks for sharing the backs and forths of your project.
Posted by: Carol at October 16, 2006 09:57 AM
It's done! And it looks awesome! I just love the neck solution that you came up with.
As for the boobs, well I think in one of those pictures the stripes are having a sort of holographic effect. If I stare at it long enough I can see them moving up and down. Waist...chest...neck...waist...chest...
Ha! This will keep me busy all day.
Posted by: Cheryl at October 16, 2006 10:13 AM
Dang! that's awesome.
Posted by: regina at October 16, 2006 10:31 AM
Major accomplishment. Gonna go back and stare at your boobs now. No, seriously.
Posted by: JulieFrick at October 16, 2006 10:54 AM
The sweater looks great.
Brave Girl on the Short Rows and all those ends.
The neck looks awesome
And the Girls, fabulous!
Posted by: Liz at October 16, 2006 11:25 AM
Wahoo! Good for you. It looks great! Gravity having had its way with me for a few more years (we will not speak of how many), far be it from me to judge anyone else's droopiness, but if you hadn't mentioned it I wouldn't have thought of it.
Posted by: Lucia at October 16, 2006 11:52 AM
That sweater is so awesome I am delurking to say AWESOME SWEATER!
Posted by: SPR at October 16, 2006 11:53 AM
Cara, the sweater is gorgeous! I love the colors that you picked. I 've read every single entry on this sweater and just marveled at your dedication to making it *just so* and it looks awesome. Wear it proudly to Rhinebeck!
And your boobs? Shit, I've give anything for even half of them. :-)
Posted by: MJ at October 16, 2006 11:54 AM
Awesome sweater. Way to go finishing it. I think it looks nice - quit being so critical of yourself.
Posted by: Stephanie at October 16, 2006 12:10 PM
Way to go, Cara! You must feel at least 15 pounds lighter just knowing that sweater is donedonedone. Your boobs? Who cares exactly where they fall? They're yours and you've got them. Think of the countless other women who only have one (or none) left or who have died because of them. Wear a pink ribbon and be proud, girl!
Posted by: kmkat at October 16, 2006 12:19 PM
Cara, I think those zig zags would make *anyone's* boobs look like they were a bit droopy. It's just the nature of the beast. But after seeing the five million ends? I'm amazed it only took 575 days to finish Short Rows! :)
Posted by: Julie at October 16, 2006 12:29 PM
Congrats! Sweater looks great and so do the girls. You should wear it inside out to show off the woven in ends. My god what a daunting task!!Today I am triumphantly wearing a sweater I started 9 months ago. I finished it this weekend. It spent 7 months in the time out bin after I finished the back, messed up the front and ripped it out. I took it out of the time-out bin last week and I showed that yarn who is boss. From now on it's sock-city with only the occasional foray into sweater-ville. Thanks for the e-mail and info on what booth sells STR.
Posted by: Kim P at October 16, 2006 12:47 PM
That is, also, the total number of days that I've known you!
Posted by: Bookish Wendy at October 16, 2006 01:11 PM
I'm so glad you finished this. And you really did a lovely with it.
Posted by: michelle at October 16, 2006 01:51 PM
Cute sweater! Congrats on finishing it... I, too, am just now completing a sweater knit up with wool cotton... definitely not my fave yarn to knit with, so I will likely feel similarly once mine is done, done, done! Thanks for checking out my blog, too!
Posted by: megan philistine at October 16, 2006 02:54 PM
I read this post about an hour ago, and ever since then, I've had the elementary school song, "Do your boobs hand low, do they wobble to and fro...(etc)," in my head ever since.
I'm not about to go scrolling for other photos to check for boob-saggage, but I think "they" look happy. Sweater is looking good, too ;-)
I'd wear it. Not sure I'd knit it (I've had several projects with massive end-weaving...I'm kind of burned out).
Posted by: bonnie at October 16, 2006 02:55 PM
That sweater is just fantabulous! And the girls look fine, too.
Posted by: Kirsten at October 16, 2006 02:58 PM
It looks fabulous! You should be proud.
Posted by: --Deb at October 16, 2006 03:19 PM
Congrats on finishing! You look so happy posing for G!
Posted by: amanda at October 16, 2006 03:46 PM
Now that's a cool sweater! It looks great.
Posted by: carole at October 16, 2006 05:54 PM
I am absoutely stunned. Cara, that sweater is so beautiful, so perfect, so incredible.
Posted by: Elspeth at October 16, 2006 06:19 PM
Thanks for remminding me about this sweater! I loved it when it came out, but wasn't ready for short rows at that time. Yours looks terrific!
Posted by: Marlena at October 16, 2006 07:27 PM
Congrats on finishing! Love the picture showing the inside with the purls-and all those ends, bravo!
Posted by: brooke at October 16, 2006 10:39 PM
565 days!? you are a trooper (and patient)!
dude, that is one kick ass sweater! there is no way in hell you could buy that.
and no, your breasts aren't droopy!
Posted by: yahaira at October 16, 2006 10:52 PM
WHAT THE FUCK? This just showed up on my Bloglines and I am full of remorse for NOT SAYING WOOOOOHOOOOOOO a couple days ago. Or was it just yesterday? Oh, yeah, it is. Phew.
Ok. WOOOOOHHOOOOOOOOOO. It's wonderful. Wearing it Sat?
Posted by: Norma at October 17, 2006 08:28 AM
And it just showed up on my bloglines too...
WOW. I'm in awe. Please please please bring that to Rhinebeck so that I can ogle. The sweater, not the boobs. Well, you can bring the boobs to Rhinebeck too (duh, like you could leave them at home?!), but I think I'd get in trouble for ogling those.
So proud of you for finishing, and especially for weaving in all of those ends. You seriously rock.
Posted by: Lee Ann at October 17, 2006 10:02 AM
Sorry Cara, as a boob-less wonder, I have no sympathy for you. Droopy boobs or no, at least you have boobs. Me? Even the extra-small knits don't fit. i've tried. Honeymoon cami? My 17 YO brother might as well wear it. or my 2 year old daughter. i think she has bigger boobs than i do.
LOVE the sweater. Absolutely love the stripes. So much more interesting than regular stripes!
And MY GOD on the sock yarn - I just got my first 2 hanks of STR. LOVE IT! But your stash. I'm drooling.
Posted by: Rae at October 17, 2006 12:02 PM
Dude, I've seen your boobs in person and can vouch for their perkiness, despite impressive stature. Should anyone doubt that, send them to me!
Congrats on being finished - I know that feeling of accomplishment - it's liberating. And wool cotton - well, it's the best. Finally, although the composition of those photos is good, I don't feel that they fairly represent your figure. In this case, I think the camera added at least 10 lbs. You should take more shots of your dainty ankles. I know I would if I had gams like yours!
Posted by: Julia at October 17, 2006 07:54 PM
Thanks for letting us know about the girls - I thought maybe the stripes were producing an optical illusion - it's great when someone can be honest to an entire cyberspace world!
Posted by: Laura at October 17, 2006 08:01 PM
nice work! It looks great and I like your colors much more than those of the pattern.
Posted by: doulicia at October 18, 2006 02:03 PM
No need to comment on that fabulous sweater-your shit-eating grin says it all! And tell me Ann did NOT make yet ANOTHER bulldigger reference!
Posted by: flair at October 22, 2006 09:41 PM