Thursday, October 22, 2009

Code (Bl)Ewe

Dear Mom,
CarolWHGSbL has taken my Parka design, made it her own, and is creating a work of art. I am thrilled.
Part of her design process has been the inclusion of Afterthought Pockets. I put them in the Young Lady's jacket and Carol wanted to put them in her parka to carry keys or gloves, maybe her phone and an ipod. As the name implies, Afterthought Pockets are placed in the knitting AFTER it is done. This way you can be sure that the pockets go exactly where you want them to be.
HOWEVER. Cutting into perfectly good knitting is definitely scary and sounds absolutely crazy. But once you have done it, you are liberated. The first time, though, requires a team of emotional and experienced support. I remember my first time. At Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp, in 1992. I cut a steek into a hat. It changed my knitting forever. I digress.

The surgical team gathered at my house yesterday.

Yes, it was an elective, cosmetic procedure. But surgery nonetheless. Scalpels, clamps and sutures were replaced by scissors, locking ring stitch markers and double pointed needles. Careful measurements were taken... and retaken...and pocket placement checked... and double checked... measurements triple checked. Pocket area carefully and clearly marked. A Clean Visual Field maintained.

We held our collective breath as CarolWHGSbL snipped the first stitch.

That deserves a close up shot.

The snipped stitch is made at the center of the soon-to-be-pocket-opening and the yarn is then carefully (didn't really need to say that) unraveled to the left and right to the desired pocket width. As scary as that first snip is, the unraveling part is probably the most unnerving part because now you are making a big gap in your beautiful knitting and exposing live stitches.
These live stitches are then placed on double pointed needles. Here you see the surgical nurse  DebbieWtPFHatPC passing off the required needle to the surgeon  CarolWHGSbL.

And here you see all the rescued stitches resting comfortably on their needles.

The stitches on the top needle are then worked to create the pocket lining and the stitches on the bottom needle are finished off for the outer pocket border. Pretty slick.

If you've been at all observant to the details in the previous photos, you will have noticed that CarolWHGSbL was wearing a lovely blue hand knit sweater in the first photos, and is wearing a lightweight bright pink shirt in the later pictures. I think she may have broken out into a sweat at some point during the procedure.

I am happy to report that the pockets were successfully completed and the Parka is home, blocked and resting comfortably. The Surgeon is justifiably pleased and proud.