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.
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…