Baggy, with Pockets & Trauma*, a.k.a. BPT

§ February 23rd, 2009 § Filed under BPT Cabled cardigan, sweaters § 11 Comments

Ack – it’s a whole MONTH since I blogged! Somebody up there took my new year’s post about “arduous travels to meet friends ok” a bit literally, and flung me into this mad caper that went from Pune to Delhi to Berkeley to New York to DC to Denver to Hong Kong and back to Delhi last month. Boy was it fun, but fuck, it was exhausting! And if that weren’t bad enough, I have been living in Delhi without continuous internet access. Oh, quel horreur! It’s been quite a revelation, actually – figuring out how much time I suddenly seem to have to read, walk around and, yeah, work! Somehow, the new year also decided to ring out a long-lasting burnout and ring in a much-needed dose of enthusiasm about doing some academic research. So I’ve been slaving away in the archives, excited about scribes and scripts and old, dusty files. Who knows, I might actually write a paper again!

All that time offline also allowed me to finish the BPT sweater:


Truth be told, I finished this nearly three weeks ago. But apart from all the work and stress of setting up a temporary flat, I also got a major case of zipper phobia. I bought a perfectly matching zipper, read all the excellent tutorials out there, and was determined to hand-sew the damn thing in. But every time I sat down to do it, I froze, because I am terrified of the whole process, traumatised by ugly bulges and puckers and loose stitches and needles refusing to pierce the nylon in previous zipper encounters. A tiny voice suggested a button band, or even a set of invisible hooks. I even bought the latter. But a friend with strong opinions insisted I put in the zipper because it would suit the pattern best, and I took a deep breath and sewed it in while watching one of my favourite films of all time, Padosan. Even though I refuse to show you the inside of the sewed up zipper, I think said friend was right after all:


Truth be told again, it’s a very very comfortable sweater. It’s quite chilly in my flat, and it’s perfect to sit around and have chai in and read the paper. But, since truth we are telling, it’s also not very well-fitting. There’s much to fret about, actually. The sleeves are too baggy at the arms and weirdly tapered at the wrist, the neck (which I was quite thrilled with when it was done) has turned out to be a bit loose on the right, the edges roll up a lot sometimes, the yarn is already looking a bit worn, and worst of all, I chose a non-separating zipper!!!!! So I can’t fully separate the cardigan fronts; it’s literally a pullover refusing to let go! But, I like how the pockets turned out, and the yarn mercifully softened up a lot. It was a bitch to knit with, though – like coconut fibre – and it’s so comfortable I am not frogging anything to fix it.


Project Specs:

Pattern: BPT, from Knitty
Yarn: New England Highland Worsted in a lovely brick shade, I think I used just under six skeins
Needles: Size 6 throughout
Gauge: 5 spi


1) Made a stiff neck instead of a hood. Mainly because I got tired of knitting with the rough yarn. I picked up stitches all around, knit for ten rounds, knit one garter ridge at the edge to make it easier for it to roll down, and then knit 8 more rounds, and then sewed the live stitches down to the pick-up edge. I had a lot of fun doing this, but am not sure if it contributed to the slight looseness of the neck edge.



2) Made pockets. Picked up stitches and knit straight for a couple of inches, then began the cable at one end, decreasing every knit row along the inner edge of the cable, until I had a pocket size I liked. Then I sewed down the top and sides. Amazingly, the pockets matched, and lined up nicely at the top sewn edge. The pockets really add to the sweater’s loungey feel.

If I knit this one again, I’d watch the sleeve measurements more closely and fudge the numbers, to make it fit me better. But other than that, it’s a clean, neat and simple pattern; results in a very pleasing sweater, despite all my grumbling about the things that went awry.


It’s already warming up in Delhi, but I can still wear this in the late evenings and early mornings for a couple weeks more, I think. Perfect end to the cold weather!


(I found a cafe that offers free wireless broadband here, so hopefully I’ll be able to blog more regularly… fingers crossed.)

*Before anyone raps me for flaming the designer and her chosen title for the pattern, rest assured this elaboration of the abbreviation BPT is merely a description of my version, and not intended at the original…

11 Responses to “Baggy, with Pockets & Trauma*, a.k.a. BPT”

  • Mel says:

    So does that mean you’ll be in Delhi in a week and a half? My mother and I will be arriving late the night of March 5 and will be staying in Lajpat Nagar, fairly near the market as I understand.

  • The loose neck is almost certainly because it was designed with a hood – obviously hoods need to come from a larger circumference (or part of one, anyway) than a normal collar does. But I don’t think it looks at all baggy when you wear it, the zip looks great and the pocket is really impressive :) Nice work!

  • Michelle says:

    That’s some serious jetsetting! The BPT sweater looks lovely on you, and the things you didn’t like about it didn’t come to mind at all. In fact all I thought was “wow that looks great!” I have found that a bit of hair conditioner in a soak with rough wool will soften it a bit.

    And drinking Chai wearing a handknit sweater in a flat in Dehli sounds delightful. Enjoy.

  • mazhalai says:

    love the color and you have done a fab job.
    I hope you get some rest and uninterrupted internet access :)

  • Preeti says:

    Nice job! The zipper attachment (my phobia too) looks perfect and I love how the yarn has tweedy bits in it.

  • Rima Aranha says:

    Fabulous! The color is great, and the sweater must be perfect for Delhi right now.

  • lobstah says:

    Jet-setting, huh? Sounds fun, though indeed tiring. I totally hear you about the internet access thing. I think back to 2002 when I had neither a computer nor a tv, and remember all the reading and stuff I got done. Too bad I didn’t knit back then!
    Oh yeah, and I love the way the sweate turned out. The pockers are amazing!

  • Jody McPhillips says:

    Hi there,
    stumbled across your site while looking for knitting shops in Delhi, and was really encouraged to see such beautiful work! you are way ahead of me. I’m moving to Delhi in May and hope to find places and people to knit with (or at least somewhere to turn when I run into trouble!) Will you still be in India? I’d love to have a chat…I’m an American journalist who will be helping to establish a journalism school in Delhi, there for the next year or two.

  • anu subrahmanyam says:


    I really enjoyed looking at all your knitting. I still remember how my mom would spend her days knitting when I was a kid in Delhi.

    But I do have a comment to make…plz go slow on the f*** words and d**n words in the blog. Infact, if you can please eliminate them completely from your ‘lingo’.

    You seem to be such an educated person but with such ‘language’. I guess this is our younger generation in India. You are jetsetting, go-getters..but with words like f*, D*, s* all thrown around. I feel that is because nobody told you that such language is uncouth and not really appreciated.

    I am sure you are a very successful person but believe me you will go even higher if you can just amend your language a bit.

    You may feel offended with this comment. This I just humbly request you to listen to this ‘not-so-old’ school teacher…what I am telling you today is possibly the biggest help you can get…something your parents or good friends should have given you, way long ago.

  • anu subrahmanyam says:

    And yes, please do spell check/grammar check my comment too…I guess, I was so upset seeing such language by an ‘Indian Academic’ that I ‘lost’ my language!

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