22 August 2011

Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously

Some of us knit to make small things, knitted-up while watching TV.  Some of us knit to learn a new technique.  Most of us knit to keep our sanity.  And then sometimes, we knit something to prove that we can despite our sanity.

Adrienne Martini decided to knit Alice Starmore's Mary Tudor sweater.  In one year.  And she wrote a book about is:  Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously. 

For those who don't know, Alice Starmore is the (in my opinion) undisputed Queen of Fair Isle colorwork and Aran knitting patterns.  Beautiful, complicated, gorgeous (sort-of boxy in fit, but that's just me).  Only Alice Starmore could take the colors she does and make such lovely patterns.  The Mary Tudor is like the Holy Grail of sweaters.  The pattern book, Tudor Roses, is out-of-print (Adrienne will tell you exactly how much she spent online...be ready to have a lie-down).  The exact colors of the yarn aren't available in the US and the yarn company actually quit making the original yarn.  You can substitute colors but it doesn't come out looking quite the same (Ravelry link - there aren't many users with completed projects). 

Adrienne recounts her adventures in finding yarn, finding substitutes, knitting such fine-gauge colorwork, keeping her family (kids, pets, husband) and work going while knitting this crazy sweater.  She's a really funny writer and I chuckled and groaned right along with her.  She interviews other knitters and visits a "con" for knitters - if you ever want crazy-amazing support from other knitters go to Rheinbeck, Sock Camp, Stitches...Ravelry (that would be me, since I have no travel moneys).  Sweater Quest was a great, fun book not just about knitting to finish a project, but knitting to appreciate the process.

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