Several years ago it seemed that Austermann had this one advertisement in every knitting magazine. Rainer saw it and fell for the man’s sweater. I’d never seen him so excited about a sweater’s design before and, since he’s so supportive of my hobbies and really does his best to engage in knitting conversations, I knew the only thing to do was knit it for him.
Thus began the epic. I searched and couldn’t find the yarn, much less the pattern. He searched and finally found it in Germany and had it shipped to his 84 year-old Oma. She put it in her suitcase and took it to Florida where his parents have a house. They stored it til spring, put it in their van and drove it several thousand kilometers north to us.
It’s a bulky wool sweater and so I put it aside, not wanting to knit a thick wool blanket onto my lap in warmer weather. When I finally picked up the pattern and my German knitting translations page, I was horrified. This wasn’t the pattern! “Knit in K1 P1 rib for the whole sweater.” Where were the tightly braided cables that Rainer liked so much? I searched high and low for the right pattern, got no responses to my emails, combed my stitch dictionaries for a cable that looked similar…nothing.
Finally, I convinced someone to send me another scan of the pattern. Hope returned. Now we’d be getting somewhere. Except the pattern was the same one causing me so much grief. Grrrrrr. I’m not sure when, but at some point I noticed a little sentence tucked away in the end section of the pattern under ‘Finishing’. I could have kicked myself. If the pattern was in English, I would have picked up on it the first read through, but dealing with a second language and with new knitting abbreviations, I missed the little bit that read: “Using two strands of yarn and working over two stitches, duplicate stitch up the middle rib on the front and 20 sts to either side.” What? It’s a fake? And indeed they are very much like something Elizabeth Zimmermann would call afterthought cables.
Yarn: Austermann Murano
Pattern: Modell 16
Needles: 6mm and 6.5
He loves it and wears it quite a bit. It’s a warm but lofty sweater, not heavy but thick and lovely. The yarn isn’t plied, so if he doesn’t shave, the mock turtleneck fuzzes up dramatically under his chin.
It’s a raglan knit in pieces to preserve the incredibly long colour transitions.
There are only supposed to be three cables on the front, but I miscounted and set the center off one stitch too far to the right. A second cable one stitch too far to the left countered that nicely. At least, that’s what I’m telling everyone.
So close to Christmas you’d think I’d squirrell this away and make him wait, but I think he deserved this sweater as soon as possible. It is, after all, a gift to myself to see something I’ve created cause this much excitement and gratitude.