Friday, March 19, 2010

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For

At least it's the moment I've been dying to share with you.

[SUMMARY: Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.]

I shan't drag you through the litany of "stuck in the camera" and "busy at work" and all that. You know the song, I'll let you sing it on your own.

Suffice to say I finished Dr. Doom's Christmas sweater around the end of January, then through the vagaries of joint custody, finally got it to him mid-February.

I took the basic top-down raglan sweater,§ I've been using for everything Nephew, added a textured alligator belly through the miracle of intarsia-in-the-round, then winged it on the sleeves.


It was the winging it part that really mucked up the works.

There I'd be in my chair at work, madly correcting, explaining, marketing, e-schmoozing and otherwise getting the job done, when suddenly, sleeve panic would hit me and I'd start doing the alligator thing with my elbows,# using paper clips to mark the place where alligator lips should be and re-figuring where alligator mouth should go...

[SUMMARY: Every person does multi-tasking in his own way.]

Is it any wonder I was so absent for so long? I had a lot going on.

In the end, I think it worked out pretty well.

But the true test is how it works for Dr. Doom.

[SUMMARY: Proof, meet pudding.]

First, getting naked in Chipotle.††

Then test-driving the beast.

Why, arm, what big teeth you have!

Let's see, important knitting stuff:

First, this is the proudest knitting moment of my knitterly life. It's the closest I've come to designing something, and it's something unique and cool and interesting and wowing and I'm just so tickled.

The sweater was originally inspired by this genius shirt from the Discovery Channel Store. I quickly realised that a white and pale grey shirt was no match for a five-year-old supervillain, so I decided to go with the classic gator.

Other than the pupils of the eyes, which are Dark Horse Fantasy, the whole thing is knit in Cascade 220 Superwash.

I made nose-holes‡‡ of I-cord loops.

The eyes took as long as the rest of the sweater put together. I had alligator eyes all over my living room for weeks. When one gets a solid vision of what one wants, it's hard for one to accept anything different.§§

One thing I believe the pattern misses, and that I missed too, is that when you put the sleeve stitches on holders to knit the body, you cast on an inch under the arm.

Which - and this is very important - adds two inches to the body of the sweater.

[SUMMARY: Math even I can do.]

On the one hand, I was delighted to get gauge. On the other, getting gauge meant I was the full two inches bigger than I wanted.

I had planned to sew up the sides, take out a couple of inches, but figured I'd better try it on the good Doctor first.¶¶ Yes, it's just a bit too big.

The neck is also big, being unfinished. I knit a nice 3-2 rib collar about 37 times and it always seemed too small.## So I left it unfinished for maximum headroom. Yes, it's just a bit too big.

I told Brother I wanted to take it home and finish it properly and he assured me Doom will be wearing a t-shirt under it most of the time, so aesthetically it's OK.

[SUMMARY: Aesthetics are what you're looking for in a sweater for a five-year-old.]

I don't know if he doesn't want to put me out or if he's afraid they'll never see it if I get my grubby hands on it again.

Hey! We've had a fair amount of knitting around here lately. You'd almost think this was still a knitblog.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): And, y'know, it's all about me. And my lamp.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): And I would've finished it *much* faster if Dr. Doom hadn't given me a VERY COMPELLING game for my Nintendo DS for Christmas. *ahem*

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): And I'm not sure why I keep using this one, except that it's familiar. The sizing is all wrong, vis-a-vis boys S-M-L. I always ask Brother to measure a shirt that fits, then try to match the inches from there.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Wing... sleeves... heheheheheh... I'm funny.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): With the new office, I no longer have a clean white wall behind a hanger to photograph my sweaters. Whatever shall I do now?

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Sound effect: "RAWR!"

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Note the find cow hat on Brother's head, a Valentine's present from his favourite Seester. He brings me Icelandic sludge and lopi, I bring him cow hats.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): nostrils-nose holes ... to-may-to, to-mah-to.

§§FOOTNOTE (twisted definition time): Read: lesser.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (you can beat it into my head): I may not be a math genius, but I do have my moments of clarity.

##FOOTNOTE (square head, round hole, pound pound): Which I determined by trying to fit it over my own head, under the suspicion that heads grow less than anything else in a person's life, therefore kid heads must be nearly as large adult heads.


Iron Needles said...

Seriously awewome!
Best. Aunt. Ever.

All I ever knitted for my nieces were stupid felted slippers.

Anonymous said...

you are such a rockin Auntie! I would love to be able to make that myself, but i need to take a class on intarsia.

Marin (AntiM) said...

Thank you, thank you.

IN, at least your slippers weren't two months late. I'm guessing. So you get bonus Aunt points for that.

I have great faith in your ability to do intarsia, Kari. I believe it is easier than Fair Isle. Speaking as someone who's never actually done Fair Isle -- it just looks easier.

Jacquelyn4444 said...

Holy hell, that may be the coolest sweater on earth... I want you to be my Auntie M!

Anonymous said...

your sweater is awesome!!!!

great idea as well!

Juno said...

That sweater is made of win. I guess I better get my auntly shit together and start on the sweaters I promised the beasts at thanksgiving. cough.

Marin (AntiM) said...

Thank you again, thank you -- I was proud enough of myself, but the validation really tickles me.

Jax, I will always be your AntiM. Do you need an alligator sweater too?

I'm not competitive or anything, Sarah, but I wish to not just beat eBeth's sister in the Aunt race, I wish to blow her out of the frickin' water.

Did I say that out loud?

Bless you, Julie.

And Juno? If I can inspire even one Aunt to do great things for her nieces and nephews, it'll all be worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

That is one incredible piece of awesomesauce. And that's the first time I've ever used that word.

Marin (AntiM) said...

Awesomesauce is one of my favourite words and I'm honoured you lost your awesomesauce virginity to Dr. Doom's sweater.

And I love that sentence because it has so much twelvehood potential.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I could be any more impressed with your knitting skills. You ROCK!

How will you top it, this December???

Marin (AntiM) said...

Thank you, sincerely, for your kind assessment of my knitting skills.

Thank you, somewhat sarcastically, for keeping me up nights wondering what the heck I'm going to do to make next Christmas a cut above.

Maybe finish my Christmas knitting on time...?