Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Most Interesting Knitting Project

My cousin Joan emailed today reminding me that she's waiting to hear about my Most Interesting Knitting Project. So here we are Joan. This, by the way, happened in 1994. Shocking how little grey hair I had then!

Dear Son #1 is an rock and ice climber, and he got me started on the most interesting knitting project I've ever done. He brought me a magazine with a large full colour picture of a mountain in Patagonia and asked, "Can you knit this into a sweater?"

How to go from a magazine photo to a sweater? What an interesting challenge!!! Here's how I did it: First step: create a black and white copy of the picture and divide it into a grid. Then cut, out of heavy paper, a full size
pattern (from a pattern for a sweatshirt in his size). Divide this paper pattern into a grid of the same number of vertical and horizontal divisions. On the paper pattern the blocks were 6" wide and 4" high. Draw the design on the paper pattern, according to the grid on the black and white copy.

That left a question: when in the 6" x 4" rectangle do I change colours? The answer to that was to create a gridded 6" x 4" rectangle on clear plastic, divided up according to number of stitches per 4 inches, and number of rows of knitting per 6 inches. By laying this plastic grid over the full size paper pattern I could see exactly where the colours changed.

So I started knitting. It was absolutely fascinating!!! I was knitting on it all day. And all the next day, etc. And then I got into trouble. I woke up at night with pain in my hands and arms. Running hot water over them and massaging them helped. But after another hour I was up again with the same problem.
Because of being up most of the night, I was too tired to do anything but knit the next day, and the next. Well, you can guess what was happening--I gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome by over-obsessing on this knitting project.

This may not look like a picture of a mountain, but if you're a climber, you might recognize it. #1 was walking down a street in Banff wearing this sweater when another climber saw him, pointed at the sweater and said, "Cerro Torre!" That's the name of the mountain pictured here.
So all in all I thought it was a success.

I did run the picture completely around the body of the sweater. This is a view of the back. I know, it doesn't look much like mountains, but believe me, that's what the magazine photo showed.

This reminds me of the sweater I had knit for him just a few months earlier. Someone had given me this yarn, and I didn't know the fiber content, but it made a lovely, soft and bouncy knit. The sweater fit #1 just great, and he took it along when he went to France for a few weeks.

While in France he washed the sweater in a laundromat, and when he came home again he modeled it for me:

We sure had a good laugh over it. And then we tossed it in the trash. Couldn't see how it could be saved.

As far as I know that's the only sweater that met that fate.

Following the acquisition of carpal tunnel syndrome, I left off knitting for a whole year. When I picked it up again I knit one or two rows and put it down for a while, and just gradually got back to being able to knit for longer periods of time. Even now when I begin knitting in the morning I find my left hand going numb quite soon. So I put the project down, read a bit, and when my hand feels better, pick it up again. It doesn't seem to bother me later on in the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment