Based on a True Sweater

Oct. 14, 2007

Elizabeth and the Swamp Thing

Elizabeth and the Swamp Thing

Early this spring, Elann was selling R2 Rag yarn for 80% off its original price. I'd been wanting to work with this yarn for several years, but it was always stupidly expensive and never seemed like a practical choice.

If you're not familiar with R2 Rag, it's a very bulky cotton yarn made from bias-cut strips of jersey-knit fabric. I rarely work with either cotton yarn or bulky yarn, so I could never quite bring myself to pay for it. When it was suddenly affordable, I was excited by the opportunity to work with it. I designed this sweater specifically for this yarn, in this colour. It was a fun knit, it turned out very much as I had planned, and and I love the way it looks. For obvious reasons, it's called the Swamp Thing.

Elizabeth and the Swamp Thing

One fun thing that I did with this yarn was to sew the end of each ball of yarn to the beginning of the next, using red thread. This eliminated most of the yarn ends, which would have been impossible to weave in nicely, and I like the way the red spots look in the olive-coloured fabric. I left any remaining yarn tails hanging, which suits the look of this yarn well.

Elizabeth and the Swamp Thing

Unfortunately, I didn't love the sweater on me. It fit the way I had intended it to, it just didn't do me any favours. I am usually pretty aware of what my body is like and how it looks in clothes, and I can usually plan garments that suit me fairly well. Sometimes, though, I'm just wrong. I have had this sweater sitting in a basket since then. I couldn't bring myself to rip it out because I just love it so much, and could not imagine a better design for the yarn.

Elizabeth and the Swamp Thing

Later in the spring, I met my dear friend Elizabeth. In the last few months, Elizabeth and I have realized that we are not dissimilar in clothing size, though we are differently shaped. I know that a lot of people have friends with whom they can swap and share clothes, but this isn't the case for me. When it does happen, it's quite a treat.

Elizabeth and the Swamp Thing

Elizabeth was over at my place recently and somehow the Swamp Thing showed its face. Elizabeth loved it, and tried it on at my insistence. I absolutely love how it looks on her; it might as well have been made for her. It flatters her much better than it did me. She was persuaded to take it home with her. And so, the story has a happy ending.


At 8:18 a.m., Blogger Knitting Mama said...

What a great sweater. Looks great on you. I love that color! (I love greens right now!)

At 9:38 a.m., Blogger jodi said...

Ack! Mandy, this is gorgeous. You've really been rocking lately, you know that? Beautiful, beautiful work.

At 2:25 p.m., Blogger leigh said...

How do you do it?! You're always coming up with such cool things!

At 6:00 p.m., Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Hey! I'm famous! (You could have photoshopped my ass smaller - I'm just sayin'...)

At 4:43 a.m., Blogger Deb said...

Wow- excellent design work!!! The stitch definition is wonderful- and the shaping- vavavavoom! Well done!

At 7:49 a.m., Anonymous brenda in toronto said...

beautiful! lucky elizabeth :)

At 8:46 a.m., Anonymous Ande said...

Whoa! That's fantastic! Really, really beautiful! Kudos to Mandy and Elizabeth! Lucky,lucky girl...

At 5:59 p.m., Blogger knitty_kat said...

I love this sweater. Love it. I wish you would write up your patterns - I would totally buy them!

At 5:30 a.m., Blogger Amy Boogie said...

The sweater is great and it really does look quite good on her. I love having friends I can give clothing too.

At 8:21 a.m., Blogger Marnie said...

I really love that stitch pattern at that scale. I don't always love the way stitch patterns look at a chunky gauge but this looks great and yes, it looks like it was custom fit for Elizabeth. She looks great.

Wonderful details, wonderful shaping and the little bits of red are brilliant.

At 10:57 a.m., Blogger Christina said...

Wow, I love the suggestion of scales and how gorgeous this is and the story of how it became Elizabeth's.


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