Monday, April 5, 2010

Sweater Quest

Adrienne Martini's latest book is about her quest to tackle the knitter's Mount Everest--knitting a highly complicated sweater from an out-of-print pattern that combines a lot of colors which makes substituting the original, out-of-production yarn a challenge.

I've seen pictures of Alice Starmore designed sweaters online and I haven't been stricken with the desire to make any of them. Since the many colors thing can look a little busy and the sweaters themselves are boxy, they're not the most flattering garments. But AS is considered a genius of color theory and sometimes making something complicated is the entire point of a project.

I figured so what if the sweater wasn't to my taste. I'm a little more than halfway through reading the book and I'm enjoying it. (And it explains the knitting stuff so that nonknitters can read too. It's not a knitting book as much as it is a book about following an obsession.)

Last week I saw Adrienne's finished sweater in person and holy crap is it beautiful. Looking at it broke my brain for a moment. I have a photo of the whole thing, but I'm not going to post it since AS is a bit litigious. (I'm not going to go into it. Read the book or look online for the story if you're interested. And also? Litigious and therefore controversial knitwear designer? This book is sounding juicer every moment, no?)

But here's a closeup of the design. My cell phone picture doesn't do it justice. But holy cow, right?


And this one shows how critical the color choices are in a project like this. Look at the garish green stripe in the square at the bottom and compare it to the olivey green that was used in the final sweater. Not all greens are created equal.


The book event where I beheld the sweater was at Om Yoga, and involved a 30 minute yoga class. I've been doing yoga since 2002, so ordinarily I'd be all over a free yoga class, but I was smited by migraine that day, so I went late so I could be there fore the reading and knitting. (Thank the knitting gods that the medicine I took for the headache actually worked that time. It doesn't always.) My migraines have really been kicking my ass the past few weeks, so it was a minor triumph to get out of the house for something besides a doctor's appointment. (If you've never suffered a migraine, I'll just say that if brain tumors hurt (which they don't because there are no nerves inside your brain) than a migraine is what they'd feel like. In fact, it hurts just to write or think about it, so I'll change the subject before I end up communing with my couch and an icepack.)

My knitting has been confined to making 150 elves which will be the favors at my brother's wedding on May 1. I can't remember a time when I wasn't knitting these things, but I'm on schedule to have them all done on time. But woe to anyone who gets in the way of me taking a picture of all of them together because you don't climb your personal Everest without taking a few pictures.

1 comment:

All the cool kids are commenting. Give it a try, it's fun!