I've been very busy lying to a close friend of mine. You see, she had a big birthday yesterday (and while I won't out her on her age, I will say that the number ends is "-ty".) We're not normally birthday gift-giving buddies, but this year was special. You only turn "insert mystery age here" once! And I really wanted to knit her something because she is the person who taught me to knit about 5 years ago. If it wasn't for her "Knitting and Sangria Night", I wouldn't be doing what I love, and you wouldn't be enjoying this knitting blog right now. So we all have reason to celebrate this friend of mine.
Figuring out what to knit was the easy part. I made my own "Leap of Faith" sample cardigan late last summer and she complimented me on it. I knew she loved variegated green yarn because her daughter was the model for my Guacamole Sweater and she went crazy over it when she saw the color. So the only tricky part was figuring out how to get her measurements without her suspecting anything.
Luckily, and idea presented itself. I made the Salsa Shrug last summer and have still not written the pattern for it. The reason is that the main measurement that the sizes will be based on (around the person's back from front of right armpit to front of left armpit) is not available on any of the size charts I have access to. (Because it's basically a front-less shrug, a person's chest size has nothing to do with which size will fit you best. It's all about how big around you are minus "the girls".) I had talked to my friend a while back about how tough a time I was having because I didn't know how to get that measurement for a wide range of sizes. So a couple months ago, I stopped by to visit one day (with the knitting bag in tow) and steered the conversation toward this dilemma again. Then I said, "Hey, would you mind if I took your measurements? Then maybe I could get measurements from a few more of my friends and I could just size it from that information!" She was happy to oblige...and didn't say a word when I not only took that measurement, but a bunch of other measurements that had nothing to do with a short-sleeved shrug like "total arm length". She's very trusting that way!
I picked out some beautiful superwash stroll tonal yarn (color: Springtime) from Knit Picks and got to work, finishing this sweater in just a few weeks, and that was with about 6 other project simultaneously on the needles. I was very excited to steek for the second time. The first time, it was terrifying. This time it was exhilarating. I practiced on a swatch just because I wanted to be 100% sure that the superwash fiber was going to cooperate with just the crochet reinforcement, and it went perfectly.
Once the sweater was done and blocked I got a little nervous. In my head, this friend and I have similar builds, but when I tried the sweater on, it was really small on me. Like I felt like I was trying to squeeze into my daughter's clothes. So I called up the friend and told her that I needed her help fitting something that I was giving to my mom for Christmas. My mom is a very similar size to this friend, so she didn't think anything of trying the sweater on and standing patiently as I tried to figure out where to place the clasp I was going to sew across the bust as a fastener. She kept commenting on how nice the sweater was, how she loved the color and how she wished it was hers. And, it was a perfect fit! She kept suggesting that maybe it didn't even need a clasp because she had some sweaters that didn't fasten in the front that she liked a lot. In the end, I put markers on the sweater as if I was going to put the clasp on, but never did it since she seemed pretty adamant about it not needing one.
I needed to make a second sample of this sweater anyway, because I changed the stitch count on the hood after I made my first sample. I decided the hood was too big for what I was going for, and I'm much happier with my second hood. My lovely mom helped me out by modeling my friend's cardigan before I gave it to her, so I got a few pictures where the hood size is clearly shown. I would love it if my friend wanted to model, too, but I wasn't going to coerce her into it..that certainly wouldn't be in the birthday spirit!
When I saw my friend about a week ago, she asked how my mom liked the sweater I made her for Christmas. I assume the hard part of lying is keeping track of what you've said because for a few seconds I had no idea what she was talking about. But I think I recovered quickly and told her how much mom liked the sweater when I gave it to her on Christmas. So when I presented the birthday gift yesterday, we both had a good laugh over what a spectacular liar I am. Hopefully she won't distrust me now that I've led her astray (even for a good cause!) for a few months now!
The Leap of Faith test knit is going really well and is slated to wrap up in about 2 weeks. I don't have too much editing to do once it's finished, so if everything continues to go this well, I expect to be able to release the pattern by the end of January!