Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rosa aka Rosa Reef aka Rosa Rita

aka The Sweater of Misery

Thank the gourds that it is finished

Pattern: Rosa Reef from Rowan #31, size Large
Yarn: Rowan Handknit Cotton DK
Needles: US size 3 and 5
Modifications: I knit the collar in the round instead of flat with a seam. I also made the collar skinnier because I didn't want to bother joining a new ball of yarn (and I thought that joining a new ball would look ugly)
Recipient: Mother in law
General thoughts: I hated knitting this sweater. I hated the yarn. I hated the pattern.
Need a cat photo? Need a modeling photo? The sweater is too big for me and would have been too small for Peter to model. (Not that he would agree to modeling it).
Let me go! says Scout

Cat: Scout
(If anyone can read that Chinese scroll in the background, let me know!)

Laura's Rules for Knitting for Other People
If you ever think about offering to knit a sweater for someone, please keep the following rules in mind.

1. Know your "customer." Everyone has his or her own taste in clothing. The person that you want to knit for may not like the kinds of clothes that you like. Look at the clothes that your customer owns. Does he or she have brightly colored and patterned clothing? If so, the customer will probably like a fair-isle or an intarsia sweater. Does the customer like simple, neutral-colored clothing? If so, he or she would probably ask for a beige, stockinette sweater. Consider the customer's taste in clothing before even offering to knit a sweater of his or her choosing. If you don't want to do intarsia, don't ask the person who always wears floral-patterned clothes if she wants a sweater.

2. Do not hand your customer a stack of knitting patterns and say, "Pick which ever one you like." If you do this, your customer will invaribly select the one sweater that you never, ever want to knit. Instead, hand-select patterns that you want to knit and only show those sweaters to your customer. However, be sure to consider the customer's tastes when selecting patterns. If you select a bunch of patterns the customer doesn't like, the customer may suddenly start browsing other patterns and find that one sweater that you never, ever want to knit.

3. After the customer has selected a pattern, do not immediately run the customer to a yarn shop to purchase yarn. If you do this you many end up knitting a sweater with yarn that you hate, and who wants to knit with icky yarn? Instead, study the pattern and research yarns. Identify 1-3 different yarns that you would like to work with and tell your customer that "these are the best yarns to use for your sweater." Your customer probably doesn't know anything about yarns. He or she probably doesn't know that there may be 50 other types of yarns appropriate for the sweater. He or she probably doesn't know what makes one yarn better than another. When a nonknitter is picking yarns, only two things are important: texture and color. Nonknitters don't care about the resiliency, feltability, loft, squishiness, etc of a yarn. Nonknitters just want a soft sweater in a color that they like.

4. Consider making a "gift sweater" instead of making a "made-to-order sweater." Dangerous? Possibly. But at least you will enjoy knitting the sweater!


Agnes said...

I can't see the scroll very clearly ... but I can probably read it (being a Chinese growing up in HK myself ) ... so if you can take a picture of it, I can try to translate it for you. ;)

Pumpkinmama said...

Well, it looks wonderful despite your agony of knitting it. Not my style either, but looks terrific nonetheless. Good work!

goodkarma said...

Rosa turned out beautifully! I was really surprised at how big it turned out; in the pictures I assumed it was much smaller. Weird how our perseptions are. I hope your MIL loves it and is very, very appreciative of all the work you did!

Anyway, I wish my own MIL would read your rules when selecting gifts for me... she's getting better over the years, but still...

amylovie said...

Your "rules" made me laugh out loud. Definitely words to live by.

Even though the sweater isn't my taste, I know you MIL will wear it with pride.


Mintyfresh said...

Sucks that you hated making the sweater, but it still came out looking great--and the colorful sleeves don't look nearly so out of place now that they're attached to the sweater itself. And you still look cute in it :)

I see that Agnes offered to translate the scroll, but to offer another set of eyes, I could ask my dad, if you wanted!

Anonymous said...

It's really adorable- I hope she loves it. I completely agree with your rules, too!

Jennifer said...

I totally agree with all of your rules. It looks great though!

Anonymous said...

Funny rules, but I gotta hand it to you for sticking to the project and finishing it. It looks really good!

- MJ

Joanna said...

Your work is amazing as always! And not only is it impressive that you finished something so large on such tiny needles that you hated so much, but you finished it FAST! If it were me, I might knit a row or two, get bored, and see what pretty merino I had lying around to knit something for myself... so of course the sweater would take a few years to finish... ;)

Rachel said...

I can't believe how well the sweater came together! I was uncertain when I saw it in all different pieces, but as a whole it works well. I have two things to say about the pattern, one nice and one not nice: first, I think it's really adorable, second, I think it would be best suited for a child under 7. I'm not sure I'd pick it out as a mother-in-law sweater. But maybe it'll be really flattering on yours! In any case, you're a fantastic daughter-in-law to have made it. It came out great.

grumperina said...

I know you hated knitting it, but it does look fabulous! Great job! The rules are good to keep in mind, mmm hmmm!

Cordelia said...

It looks fantastic. It was a pain in the tuchus, but now it's done and you can bask in the glory and satisfaction of a (nasty) job (very) well done, and of having made your mother in law a sweater!