Sometime before Christmas, Mr Pinhouse uttered a request for a traditional Marius sweater.
|Marius Eriksen, after whom the sweater is named, sporting reversed colored sweater. |
Read some about him here.
Most used color scheme on the right.
Since 1953, this sweater has been in every Norwegians heart, and closet. It is the epitome of the Norwegian spirit and love of the great outdoors. Our majestic snow covered mountains, in which we have skied, our long fjords that has fed us through the generations, our deep forests that provided timber for our homes. An embodiment of this nation that once was a small, poor country of farmers. Farmers, that within themselves carried the pride, skill and will, to build a great nation, that today is one of the worlds richest. (insert National anthem of Norway.)
|Photo by Per Eide|
So you see, I took pride in making this sweater for him. It is said to have been a tradition for girls/young women to knit, and give this to their sweetheart, so I went on to continue this tradition.
I cast on December 23rd, just two days after finishing my cable cardigan. I chose a mens size medium, based on measurements of my "client", knitted a swatch even. I spent the next nine days knitting up the whole body in the round, and cast off at the neck. It then hit me that the sweater looked small. In fact it was too small even for me, and I had to frog the whole thing.
I counted my stitches over 4", did some calculations, and decided I had to knit the XL size from the pattern and went at it again. Mr Pinhouse is a slender dude, and not that much bigger than me, so I figured this would be plenty big on him. The knitting went ok, although a bit lacking in the enthuze-department. I did inevitably, make an error on one of the sleeves, and had to frog half of it and re-knit. Tuesday the 4th of February, I finished the last piece.
I steeked the body, which was utterly terrifying. I've always cast off for arm openings, but granted; it is easier to knit the body in the round the whole way up, and slice it up after. The design is quite boxy, and the sleeves (also knitted in the round) are fairly wide, and set in at a right angle. The shoulder seam and the sleeve is meant to meet up below the shoulder, and it was here I started to get that panicky feeling. I could see that the the arm wasn't particularly wide, and the "point of in-set" was rather close to the body and wasn't going to hang low, off the shoulder. Uh-oh.
|Our King Harald V, as a young Crown Prince and student at Oxford in 1960.|
Maybe a bit on the big side, but here you can see the sleeves
set in low on the shoulder. (source)
I shamefully handed it to Mr P to try on, and could instantly see it was not fitting. Too small on top. Too tight around the armpit area, and over the back. Blah....I was miffed.
I mean; how on earth could this happen?? I used the recommended yarn, the same needles. I measured and calculated. I knitted it twice. It is a mens XL for Pete's sake!! I have seen extra large men, and believe me; Mr P ain't it... And no way would those men get into my sweater.
Someone suggested I go up a needle size. But then I have no idea just how much bigger it will get, and I will not risk getting it wrong again. Besides, I like how the fabric looks and feels with 3.5mm needles and I fear knitting with size 4mm will make it to loose. I've never felt my knitting was especially tight, but obviously it is supposed to be much looser. The gauge in the pattern says 22 stitches over 4". I've got 26. Go figure.
Did you ever promise to make something for someone, that ended up all wrong? How did it make you feel? And what did you do about it?