(Note: I just re-read this before posting, and all I can say is that this may be the most random content ever. I've somehow attempted to connect Pride & Prejudice with a dachshund sweater.)
When I saw the Willie pattern on Ravelry, I knew that I would be unable to resist it. I bought it the day it was released but waited a few weeks before I finally let myself purchase the yarn. I decided that if I could get it done in time, I would submit it to the State Fair knitting competition.
The bulk of the pattern, including the intarsia, only took a week or two of non-attentive knitting. But once I finished it up, I had to knit the button bands. Button bands, or more specifically picking up stitches, is the bane of my existence. I'm terrible at it, and I avoid it like the plague. I search for patterns that don't require picking up stitches, which consequently is the reason I am so terrible at it. Not wanting to tackle the button bands I set the poor sweater aside for a few weeks, until I worked up the courage.
(Warning: Tangent) In the meantime, while I was searching for the energy to tackle this final step, I continued my summer reading by re-reading Jane Austen. Last week's selection was Pride & Prejudice. I love this book. The entire time I was reading it, I couldn't stop thinking of Colin Firth*, and I decided that I HAD to watch the A&E/ BBC mini-series adaption from the 90s. I was too impatient to wait for it to be returned to the library so I purchased it on Saturday. If you haven't seen this version, it's very true to the book particularly in regard to the dialogue. And it's long. It's about 5 and a half hours. With Rykert at work last night, I picked up my almost finished sweater and plugged in the DVD, and got to work. Perhaps the button bands would have been better, if I hadn't been distracted by Mr. Darcy...
Anyway, I'm so terrible at picking up stitches and knitting button bands that it took 4 tries to get it right. There was a lot of ripping. And it literally took 5 hours (though there were computer and other distractions as well). But by this morning (after a late night), the little sweater was finished.
The sweater is knit in bulky weight yarn, and is supposed to be about a child's size 2, but I'm doubtful about that. I used Cascade 128 in unisex colors. This pattern is absolutely adorable. Look at that head and tail.
It's not perfect. I'm not skilled at intarsia, so there are bumps. And as I said, Pride & Prejudice distracted me and so the button bands are a bit bumpy. Needless to say, I don't think it's a blue ribbon winner. But that's not the point. I was going to skip the fair entirely this year, but I was convinced otherwise. More on that later.
*An even further tangent: I think I could write a dissertation on Pride & Prejudice, Colin Firth, and Bridget Jones' Diary.