Accidental trenta

(Written a couple months ago)

The boyfriend’s sweater continues.

American dudes like things baggy, which is a problem when knitting for him. He’d rather give up his hip-urban-loft collection of tiny objects or favorite posters (we have a drinking game going with that site re: our own design choices) than wear a sloppy sweater out of the house. Yes, this is the same man who wears a Batman Snuggie around his apartment, but that’s “different,” apparently.

With men’s patterns, I assume it generally means you’re generally stuck with one size to choose from, small. “Small” can mean a lot of things. This “small,” I guess, is small like store-brand sizes and fast-food soda, meaning not small at all. Reading pattern sizes for men feels like coffee sizes at Starbucks, where you try to translate made-up marketing lingo into something you can actually use; give up; and pick whatever looks closest, and then when you finally get your sweater it comes back in a huge cup, way too sugary and tasting like burnt dirt and there’s not even enough caffeine in it to make the whole rigamarole worthwhile and — okay, I think that simile got away from me  there, but you get the idea.

Anyway. Throw in some gauge weirdness, and the already-barely-small sweater I’m working on gets huge. Huge to where a pleasingly grandpa-style shawl collar starts to channel grandma diva chic, reaching all the way to the outside edge of the shoulder and draping down in back to the shoulder blades. The thing was vast. VAST. Like, Icelandic scenery vast. The armscye was so deep you could lose Sigur Rós down a sleeve. Or, in proper grandma-diva fashion, a poolboy or two.

Once I sewed the collar down, but before handling buttonholes and finishing, I tried it on. Good lord, what a shambolic mess. Bulky, saggy sweaters on a woman with a rack have a certain look I like to call “Hello I am Boob Mountain,” where you’re sort of an amorphous blob with two breasts kinda haphazardly poking out and looking absurdly smooth and boulder-like amid the drapey waves of fabric they float in. No good, dude. No good.

After a long, despairing minute in front of the mirror, I pinned the front shut and did my best to mash my bust flat so I could get an idea of what the sweater lines would look like on a guy. Hmm. Better. Then I started pinning it to the proper fit. Take ten stitches off the sleeve circumference … halve the collar width … bring the bottom of the armscye up by a good five inches … hey, not a bad-looking sweater at all! Just gotta measure the fabric folds I’d pinned out so I’d know how many stitches to get rid of, redo the saddle shoulder, make a gusset under the armpit to get rid of those extra stitches, knit the arms down from the top, rip back the collar to the narrowest part and reknit and resew it and hey! Sweater!

I had to reknit the saddle shoulder three times to get the width right. Sleeve two is taking, oh, I dunno, A YEAR. I’ll have to do all the buttonholes, since I skipped ’em figuring I’d do afterthought buttonholes. (Smart, in retrospect.) But I’m close. Like, four-episodes-of-Archer close.

(Weeks later)

DONE! All it needs is buttonholes and buttons! It’s ready! It’s wonderful!

It’s July!