That night in San Diego, after the trade show, when I was hobnobbing with the yarnerati while wearing my one-armed Acer, there was a moment when Anna Dianich confessed that her problem with sweaters is she hates to knit the sleeves. We all have things we get bogged down in. For me it’s long rows of back-and-forth knitting, as in, for instance, a sweater body! So I yelled across the circle to her that we should knit sweaters together — she could knit the bodies and I’d knit the sleeves and we’d both get our sweaters done a lot more quickly. When she made a joke about it in a comment the other day, I decided it’s more than a funny moment in a bar — it would be really, really fun to actually try it. If we both chose bottom-up sweaters, I could knit four sleeves, she could knit two bodies to the underarms, and we’d each be responsible for our own yokes. So while she suffered through the flu last week, she also put up with me haranguing her about the idea. Yesterday she said yes, and thus the Tag Team Sweater Project was born.
Our strategy is very loose. Today I’ve sent her a box of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (in Thistle!) for my chosen pattern, Michele Wang’s Trillium. (You saw that coming, right?) She has sent me a box of Swans Island Pure Blends for hers: Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Lila. We’re both buying both patterns. I need to have all four sleeves done and hers sent to her by the 28th; she’ll send me my body by the same date. Then we’re to have finished sweaters for wearing and photographing when we meet up at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle* on March 14th. Yikes!!
I don’t know how this will unfold, but it could be harrowing! Apart from questions like Will they be able to match each other’s gauge, this is a pretty short timeline, even for tag-teaming. I’m not worried about Anna’s sweater — she’s chosen wisely. With that wide neck and stockinette, she’s home free by the time the sleeves and body are joined. The fun part of hers is that short-row hemline. For me, there’s a lot of knitting left to be done at the point of the join: the whole circular yoke with short rows and bobbles, plus button bands and neck. Will my sweater have buttons by the time we meet up? Will it even have bands? Or will it be another episode like this.** You’ll have to watch to find out!
We’ll both be blogging about the project and posting regular updates on our Instagram feeds — so make sure you’re following Anna’s Tolt blog as well as @karentempler and @toltyarnandwool on Instagram.
Do you think we can do it?
*I’m going! Will you be there?
**One-armed Acer documentary photo by Anna Dianich, taken in the darkest lounge of all time. That’s me with Courtney Kelley of Kelbourne/Fibre Company. If you look closely at our right hands, you can tell we’re just about to give the camera the bird. Fun times!