The Latest Project, the Latest Controversy

When choosing a project, I often look for patterns that will teach me a new knitting technique, or a whole new skill. My current project, which more than meets that requirement, is Samus. I’m knitting it for my friend Suzanne, with whom I went to graduate school. She’s expecting in three weeks. I’ve sized her sweater for non-pregnant fitting, so my deadline is fast approaching. This has made for some complications, because the new technique I’m learning from this pattern is sewing in grosgrain ribbon.

The idea of sticking my knitting into a sewing machine terrifies me, so I’m sewing this in by hand. I’m not the fastest hand-sewer in the world. It’s taking me much longer than I thought it would. The ribbon in the picture above is only half of the job. I still have to do the other side, and then I have to sew in the zipper, which is the technique I learned from my last sweater. Can I do it all in three weeks? We’ll see. I’m pretty psyched about how this sweater is turning out. Here is the bottom edge:

On another note, did you know that whether men and boys should knit at all is a controversial issue? Never mind whether my buttons should say boys or men, check out this highly educational exchange.

17 Comments

  • cheri says:

    If the baby is due in three weeks you probably have plenty of time to finish the sweater up. It was a few weeks after the birth of my babies before I fit into any of my non-maternity clothes. She will love that sweater, there is something very special about non maternity clothes once you fit into them again, and something hand knit by a friend would be absolute heaven (knowing I knit none of my friends would knit me anything).

  • Yarn Boy says:

    Thanks, Cheri! I appreciate the detail about the specialness of fitting into non-maternity clothes. That’s one aspect I hadn’t thought of, which makes me especially excited about giving Suzanne this sweater.

    And I know what you mean about how being a knitter means that no one else knits anything for you. I’ve found that offering a trade is the best way to go, ie. I’ll knit you one of these if you knit me one of those.

  • Kristina says:

    I LOVE the detail at the bottom of the sweater, wow! I’m sure your friend will love it, especially because of all of the personal time & talent you have put into it. Those gifts are always infinitely more special.
    That forum is really something. Apparently playing piano is a “girl activity” too…whatwhat?!
    Just wanted you to know that your blog has, in part, inspired me to try knitting again. My grandmother taught me when I was a kid, but I wasn’t that great at it, largely due to the fact that I was not patient with myself when it “didn’t turn out right.” In trying again now, I was amazed by what my hands remembered.

  • John says:

    I’m speechless. 1) about the sweater. It’s beautiful. 2) about the “forum”. Good grief.

  • Rose says:

    That’s so pretty, the design is similar to celtic knots.

  • Rose says:

    And in response to the exchange on that christian site….oh dear. I am speechless at it’s stupidity.

  • Miss Bliss says:

    The sweater looks lovely! I had to stop reading the forum because I was getting a bit too agitated. I’m just glad you knit and you write this blog to share your knitting adventures with us.

  • liz says:

    And OF COURSE boys and men should knit. It’s very manly, and teaches math, spatial relationships and keeps the family warm.

  • Adam says:

    Hey the sweater looks great, I really like the color too. And as far as the forums go, man some people really make me irritated sometimes. Especially since I am a Christian, and it really hurts me to think that people who claim Jesus as their savior can be so narrow minded and condemn their kids from learning to knit because it’s “feminine”. I’m proud to be a male knitter, and I’m amazed at the cool things I can make with my hands, and there is no doubt in my mind that I’m a real man, and not someone who wishes they were a girl. Oh well, sometimes you can’t reason with people, what can you do, but keep on knitting!

  • Heather says:

    I stumbled upon your blog today, I love the boys knitting history. Last summer I taught my (much younger)little sister (11) and brother (7 at the time) to knit! My brother picked it up very quickly and of course my sister made fun of him.
    I informed him that ‘men knit’ and he had nothing to be embarrassed about. To my amusement the next day I overheard my brother showing his sister’s friend his knitting. Then he said, very seriously ‘You know, men can knit too.’
    Thought you might enjoy this little story! I have pics of both of them knitting on my blog!

  • Jenni Haveman says:

    Jesse,
    That’s a truly beautiful Samus you’ve got in the works! The designer, Brynne, is a member of my knitting group (she’s not only a talented designer, she’s an exceptionally kind person and wonderful friend). I’ve seen the original, and your ribbon looks every bit as good as Brynne’s!

    Suzanne is so fortunate to have a friend who puts in the work to create such a special gift (and how wonderful– a mommy gift!)– and you DO have at least a couple of extra weeks beyond the little person’s birth day!

    I tried to check out the link to the “Christian” site with the whole debate thing going, but the site’s experiencing some problems (hmmmm– maybe they weren’t too popular with that one?) I’m so glad to “meet” a talented MALE knitter!

  • jay says:

    Great colour… ooh, beautiful! And I think you have every right to be scared of sticking your knitting in a sewing machine (this from someone who would save his sewing machine in a fire!).

  • Brynne says:

    Your Samus is looking beautiful and I’m glad that you stretched your comfort level to sew in the ribbon. When I made Samus I figured that hand sewing is always easier to fix than machine sewing, so why not try something new?

    Good luck to your friend with her new baby. I hope she likes the sweater!

  • The Seamus is looking really awesome. I created my own version of this sweater and I made it for mom for Christmas. There’s a pic on my blog. I didn’t like the knots on the bottom because they’re technically not correct . . . but I’m just a picky, crazy Celt . . .what can I say!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your finished product.

  • Christina says:

    I love how everyone forgets that a few hundred years ago knitting was Exclusively for men. It was considered a priviledge for a woman to spin yarn for her husband. Knitting guilds were started by men, no women allowed. Kind of a club house deal, but that’s the way it was. Even the first knitting machine was invented by a man. Women did the seaming, and wound the thread from hanks onto bobbins.

  • Chris says:

    That is a gorgeous cable band, and a great detail shot of the ribbon facing! I came upon your blog because I’m about to start the Samus sweater, and I ended up reading all the way back to January (and will hit your archives later) — I love the thoughful way you approach the subjects you broach!

    I hope you don’t mind, too, that I will cite you as an example to my husband that not only do boys knit, but some of them are straight!

  • Sean says:

    Hi Jesse. I’m just backtracking through your archives. That sweater border is really beautiful. Sorry if you answer this in one of the posts I have yet to read, but how long have you been knitting? The stuff you knit (and design) looks so great.

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