Monday, January 07, 2008

Sweet Mary Jane

Although I have no photographic proof I have made tremendous progress on my Sweet Mary Jane cardigan for my mother. The entire bottom lace portion has been knitted and I finished both sleeves. Last night I attached the sleeves to the body and began work on the stockinette yoke. I'm so excited about this progress. The first time I saw the pattern several years ago it immediately reminded me of my mom and I wanted to make it for her. At the time I knew it was beyond my knitting ability but I was confident I could learn and reach a level of knitting competence to tackle the project. I ordered the pattern and yarn and set it aside until I felt ready to dive in. When the pattern first arrived I remember sitting and reading through the instructions and it felt like trying to read Greek. I really couldn't understand how to read through that format of pattern, what happened to all of the stitch markers, etc. Very confusing. Time passed and when I felt ready to give it a try I did a quick search online and discovered that there was an errata to the original pattern so I quickly printed it off and included it with the pattern. I cast on for Mary Jane originally in October. I must have cast on half a dozen times because I kept making dumb mistakes. At one point I was probably 1/4 through the lace portion of the jacket and realized I had several glaring errors that I could never live with. I ripped the entire thing out and started over again Thanksgiving weekend. The original plan had been to cross my fingers and hope for a Christmas finish to give it to Mom. Unfortunately that wasn't possible due to massive work getting my oldest daughter's new bedroom completed for a surprise Christmas gift for her. All of that work greatly cut into my knitting time. We managed to surprise her with her room but I didn't finish Mary Jane. Undeterred I showed my mom her work-in-progress gift. I didn't want to wait until her birthday in August to give it to her and this way she can help pick out the buttons and ribbon.

After the final cast-on Thanksgiving weekend things have gone very well. Reading and following the pattern haven't been a problem at all, testament I'm sure to my progress as a knitter. I'm very excited to have the end in sight and can't wait to have this baby blocked and finished! My next project after Mary Jane will be some dish cloths. I tend to only work on one project at a time so I'm looking forward to some easy, quick things before I tackle my next project. I'm definitely odd by sewing standards. I always hear about quilters, knitters, etc. who have huge stashes of material or yarn and tons of patterns too. I find that having too many things stowed away makes me anxious about a big "to do" list and frankly I don't have much interest in a big closet of yarn. I enjoy shopping for each project and then seeing it go to completion. Different I'm sure but it works for me!

That's really all of the knitting progress I've made. I can't remember if I posted that I finished the Monkey socks or not but they are done and have already been worn. I love them and think I'll definitely be making another pair in the summer. I already have a pattern book marked for that :-)