Thursday, January 31, 2008

Evie, you sweet sweet thing

When I started knitting again as an adult I vowed never to do big projects. Only socks, and the occasional baby item for extra good friends. The last time I knitted a cardigan was in 1988 and it was a Jenny Kee designed commemorative bicentennial cardigan. While I havent been able to find a picture of the actual cardi, heres a little taster of some of Jenny's other 1980 designs. You'll be able to imagine it from there.

Making it actually taught me a thing or two about reading patterns and doing colourwork. I'd made about half the back before realising the design looked funny. After some more indepth thinking I realised that was because I was reading the pattern from left to right and had produced a perfect mirror image of the design. Hmmm. I think that Mum actually finished it for me. In the same year I went to Finland as an exchange student and took a side trip to Leningrad, as St Petersburgh was known at the time. (Yup am feeling old.) I ended up trading Jenny Key's vivid interpretation of bicentennial joy for a black fur Russian hat, which I still have.

So since 1988, no cardigan has ever been on my needles. Its taken me 20 years to move on from Jenny. But then I saw Evie. In all respects bar the centre front opening, Evie is the anti-Jenny. One colour, non-pastel, elegant fitted design rather than a boxy high neck square. It was love, I had to make her.

Progress on the vast (in comparison to a sock anyway) swathe of stocking stitch for the back of Evie was helped along no end by my newly acquired ability to knit and purl without looking, and the entire fourth season of The Wire. (If you havent seen this show, which is highly likely because Channel 9 buried it on a midnight slot, do yourself a huge favour and check it out.) Heres the waist detail on the back.

I'm now about half way through the left front, helped along by the first season of Heroes. The front requires a little more attention as the reverse stocking stitch ridging is carried on up the entire front of the piece. I cant claim to be a big fan of Heroes, but it is a very pleasant background to knit against. Heres the detail of the left front.

In summary, Evie is a joy because it has just enough detail to be interesting to knit without being arduous. I think the ghost of Jenny has been successfully banished.


Rose Red said...

Oh my. I can't believe that anyone ever knit a Jenny Kee pattern. Wow!!

Nice Evie, Evie is very nice. A most excellent replacement. Which will also match the Russian hat, yes?!

Madge said...

Yeah, the 1980s were hard to get over...and now I see in Vogue Knitting they're coming back again. Eek! Bat wing sleeves, boxy shapes, fugly sweater dresses...wasn't once enough?!

In comparison, Evie is a cool, serene lake of classic sensibility. It's nice to see you jumping into her so happily.