Friday, April 8, 2011

The Trees are Naked! (and a Baby Surprise Jacket update)

Me working on the seam

All good things much come to an end, and on Friday, March 25, A Knitted Wonderland* ended. That evening Mom and I took down our tree sweater and Dad came to help us carry everything and take pictures.

We're almost done

We had just gotten started when my friend Stephanie saw us while she was walking through the plaza. She works downtown and walks past the Blanton Museum almost everyday. She walks a lot. Recently she walked a marathon. I don't know where she gets the energy.

Me and Stephanie working on the last part of the seam

Anyway, Stephanie stopped to talk, help us take the seam out and take a picture or two. I had started at the bottom of the seam, Mom started at the top and Stephanie jumped in in the middle. It went pretty quickly.

Dad's picture of an Albino Squirrel

While we were working, we saw one of UT's famous Albino Squirrels. Several people, including Dad, took pictures of it. In fact, Dad took more pictures of the squirrel than he did of the Capitol.

The seam is undone

We were one of the last groups to take our tree sweater down. We had a couple of people stop to ask questions and take pictures of our tree. I know at least one group came specifically to see our trees, but they didn't know that that we would already be taking down the tree sweaters. I saw one guy stop and take a picture of Flat Stanley with our tree, which was awesome. I wish I asked him to send me a copy of the picture.

Giving away the tree sweater

I had a hard time deciding what to do with our sweater. The group in charge collected sweaters from anyone who didn't want to keep them. Half were going back to Magda Sayeg to be unraveled and used for future projects and half were going Emancipet to be unraveled and used to knit dog sweaters. I had considered holding on to ours and using it for a wall hanging. Katie had expressed some interest in keeping it, and she wasn't there to weigh in. It would have been an easy decision if they weren't going to be unraveled.

Finally, with some gentle nudging from Mom and Stephanie, I put it in the Emancipet box. They use old towels and blankets for the animals to snuggle with. I hope if they have too much yarn they'll keep mine intact and give it to a pet. Or maybe I'll see a dog around town wearing my former tree sweater. Maybe they'll keep the flower intact and use it to embellish the sweater.

At any rate, that's one less piece of clutter in my life, and Katie didn't mind that we donated it. And there will always be lots of other chances to make wall hangings. Wall hangings that fit my wall better and don't curl.

All my pictures from "A Knitted Wonderland" are here.

Baby Surprise Jacket Update

My Baby Surprise Jacket grew pretty quickly. Since the last update, I knit the center stitches only for rows 80-99. In rows 100 and 101, I picked up the rest of the stitches, including stitches along the gap you can see in the picture above. The problem with picking up stitches along the gap is that a ridge is created. Because you pick up one side on an odd row and one side on an even row, the ridge is on the outside on one side and the inside on the other side. (Say that last sentence 10 times fast.)

I cast off on row 114. I'm not sure exactly when I did the button holes and how I spaced them out. I lost track of that somewhere along the way.

This is the finished knitting piece before the shoulder seams. I asked Dad to try to fold it in to a sweater to see if he could figure out how. (Elizabeth Zimmerman actually suggests this in her book.)  He did pretty well. He got half the sweater right, but couldn't quite get the other sleeve to do the same thing.

Baby Surprise Jacket Shoulder Seam
 It took me a while to figure out the best way to do the shoulder seams. I used this tutorial on Pamudom's blog. I think the Yarn Harlot uses the same technique, but I had trouble with her tutorial because it has pictures only. I guess I'm a verbal learner. The one ridge (two rows) to one stitch ratio worked well.

Button Placement
A couple of nights ago I worked on placing the buttons by placing bobby pins where the buttons would be. This gave me a chance to make adjustments. I plan to finish sewing on the buttons tonight.

All my Baby Surprise Jacket pictures are here.

* - Mom, Katie and I volunteered to knit a tree sweater for "A Knitted Wonderland." If you're tuning in late and want to find out more about it, I recommend reading all my tree sweater blog entries.

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