So!! Yesterday was Travis' birthday. He celebrated by going to work. I celebrated by taking the day off. Ha! But all for him - I got up when he did - crack of dawn - and made him a nice all-homemade breakfast of chocolate croissants, pancakes with blueberry maple syrup, and bacon. (Then he went to work and I went back to bed.) Then, so excited I could hardly stand it, I drove out to meet him for lunch and presented him with his birthday present. I asked him if he had ANY idea what he was getting, and he said he didn't - judging by his reaction, he REALLY didn't.
"What.....wait, is this......when.....how did you.....when did you knit a SWEATER?????"
His next question was, "Did you measure me in my sleep?" It fits him absolutely beautifully, and I'm so happy to finally show it off. He confessed he didn't think he'd get a sweater from me for a VERY long time.
Unfortunately it's starting to get entirely too warm for sweaters, but I'm hoping for another couple of cold snaps before it's all over. I'm definitely into sweaters now - this one took five weeks, but remember I could only work on it at work, on the bus, and at knitting meet-ups, any time Travis wasn't around. So they don't take so long after all!
He does now understand why I've been trying to kick him out of the house so much these past few weeks - when our best man and his wife had their baby and he asked me to go visit with him, I told him to go ahead, I wasn't really in the mood. Of COURSE I was in the mood to see a brand-new baby, but that's how desperately I needed him out of the house so I could finish! Fortunately, Awesome Neighbour came over and asked him to go to a buddy's house Saturday night, bless him, so I got to finish it all up then.
He took photos patiently for a while. And then he started busting out the Sears catalog moves:
The "Excuse me, do you have the time?":
The "HaHA, this guy said something funny!" (that then turned into him cracking himself up):
And the "Seriously, woman, are you done with the pictures yet?":
Pattern: from Interweave Knits, by Jared Flood
Yarn: Rams Wool Selkirk in Red (itchy, but cheap and durable)
Needles: US7 for the body and yoke, US6 for the sleeves and collar, US9 for bindoff
Size: 43 1/2" (and PERFECT fit)
Start: January 23, 2008
Finish: March 1, 2008
Modifications: I was concerned for the hugeness of the sleeves, so I knit those down a needle size. I also added length to the body, on the recommendation of Raveler Courtney, and I'm glad I did. (Thank you, Courtney!!) Just an inch or inch-and-a-half, and it's just exactly right. Why can't my sweaters ever fit me this well?
I hated this thing So. MUCH. by the time I was done, because it was giving me that sense of temporary-project-insanity. The yoke almost killed me, just because it seemed like I'd knit and knit and knit and measure and, somehow, have a quarter-inch LESS knitted fabric than an hour ago. Garter stitch in the round, on the bus, supporting what feels like a ninety-pound sweater over your lap under less than ideal sweater-knitting conditions ("Sorry, the air's not working today,") gets harder and harder as the days trudge on. But I absolutely love it now, and with the fit and the colour and the fact that he's happy with it, I'm thrilled. (He did deem it, when asked, "a little scratchy," but said it wasn't a problem. I don't think he'll be likely to wear it without an undershirt, so it's no biggie.)
I topped it all off last night with a nice dinner - chili-rubbed seared elk loin over five-onion polenta, roasted asparagus, sauteed mushrooms in a shallot shiraz reduction - and I think it was a pretty successful birthday, for a Monday! (I'm not sure which he appreciated more, the sweater or the fact that I managed to handle that much very raw, very red meat to make him a good dinner. Seriously, blech. I'm still working on handling meat comfortably. I'm not sure I'll ever totally get there.)
So now that I know that I can knit an entire man's sweater in five weeks without ever working on it at home, I'm feeling better about garments. I'm going to finish the Juno cardigan from Rowan, then I'm going to start my next sweater (from Fitted Knits). Maybe for me, sweaters are the new socks!
I have a few other minor little happenings to discuss - a happy mail day, a couple of fun scores at bargain prices - finally, something to write about! Maybe I can be a better blogger in March. Finally having an FO seems like a great start!