Catching up

Ever feel like you go away for a few days, but your regular life mysteriously (ha!) doesn’t stand still? You come back only to realize that now there are four days’ worth of stuff waiting to be done. And all of it must be done immediately, before you even unpack. Yeah. I’m glad I was able to knit so much on the train, because the rest of the week looks… hectic. Why must my knitting be interrupted by life and work?!? Hehehe πŸ˜‰

Okay, ladies and gentlemen, before I get locked away in the microscope room, here’s what I’ve got for ya:

That would be a back, a front, and a partial sleeve of the pentagon sweater. For reals. I want to be the first kid on the block wearing this sweater!

I’m having an absolutely splendid time with this project. I love everything about it so far. The yarn, Gedifra Korfu*, is knitting up fantastically. It doesn’t hurt my hands, it knits up incredibly evenly, it’s softer than other cottons or cotton blends I’ve tried, and at a gauge of 4.75 spi, I’m flying through those rows! If elann ever gets it in stock again, I won’t hesitate to buy another sweater’s worth.

Although I’m modifying the pattern for my gauge, which is slightly different than the one called for in the pattern, other changes I’m making are really minor. As most of you noticed, I’m using 2×2 ribbing instead of 1×1. I also added just the tiniest bit of waist shaping, but not nearly as noticeable as the ultra-curvy indentations I put on the Filati tunic, for example. I made the torso a little longer… hmm, I think that’s it for now.

The thing is that with this pattern, for (I think) the first time ever, I haven’t had to rewrite the sleeve-cap and armhole shaping. I typically assume I have to do this for every sweater pattern, as they always seem to be too big for the fit I desire. But Norah appears to understand my hatred of batwings – she wrote the Pentagon Sweater pattern to have a (gasp!) 7 1/2″ long armhole! And for the sleeves to be (gasp!) 12″ wide before the sleeve cap! I can’t say this is true for all the patterns in the book, but for this one… my God, woman, you and I are smoking the same bunny crack!

This revelation has, of course, saved me a bunch of time and energy. I am simply knitting the smallest size, adjusting for my different gauge, but not going insane with changing the complicated bits. Woo!

Are you sick and tired of my cheeriness yet? If so, I’ll be happy to refer you to some gloomier posts to remind you of the typical MO around here, just let me know.

*While Googling “Gedifra Korfu”, I came across a thread on a Russian knitting forum. Author “RedStitch” writes, “I decided to knit something for my 13-year-old niece for the summer. But everything looks grownup. I want something modern, not very “showy”, so that overall it corresponds to her age. Ladies, what are you knitting your daughters for the summer? Please share your thoughts… I bought yarn, Gedifra Korfu – 50% cotton, 50% polyacryl…”

The responses are “interesting.” You don’t need to know a word of Russian, as the responders just pasted pictures of the suggested patterns, or links to pictures. Go look, and make sure to click to see pages 2-5 (you’ll figure out how to do that, I trust… ’cause you have to see the one where the photo shoot takes place in the, uhm, bathroom).


54 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. Amanda

    Mbahahahaha! I think it is safe to say that the average Russian knitting/fashion aesthetic appears to be somewhat different than what I might be used to in general… I especially liked the sweater with armpit ventilation. I think that I will jump right on that one, for sure.

  2. miss ewe

    How do you say holy $#!+ in Russian??? Apparently the style for 13 year-old girls in Russia is slutty and overtly provocative. And every girl needs a frumpy bathroom hat. Wow.

    Grumps, you are WAY too fast! I’d say that you put me to shame, but that doesn’t even cover it. But that is a gorgeous sweater you’re working on, and I can’t wait to see it finished on you. (what? maybe two or three days???) Now I’m depressed… gotta go knit and perk up a bit.

  3. Erika

    I don’t know what you guys are talking about. I often wear a coordinated shrug and kicky hat when I go into the bathroom and hold my hand under the tap while no water comes out.

  4. Tam

    Maybe you translated the original query incorrectly. From the responses she got, it seems like her original question was, “What could I knit that would make a 13 year old look like a cheap streetwalker?” The one cute design was the one that the person posted the actual pattern for. That one, I liked. It looks very similar to the sweater on the cover of the latest “Interweave” magazine.

    I thought the bathroom photo was okay except she was wearing the wrong pieces of knitwear. She should have been wearing the little stripey wrap skirt and fuzzy top combo from the middle of page 5. The skirt looks like a hand towel wrapped around her waist. A very small one. The top looks like those fuzzy covers that you put on the toilet lid. That ensemble would have fit in much better with the bathroom theme.

    I can’t wait to see your pentagon sweater. It’s coming along nicely!

  5. Valerie in San Diego

    Personally I got my biggest laugh out of “TOP & JACKET” being written transliterated, using Cyrillic characters… Though the chain-mail style cropped tank is right up there.. SO stylin’ .

  6. Siow Chin

    Don’t tell me that these are the garments that my daughter might like and that I might have to knit for her 8 years down the road!

  7. freecia

    Ms. Bo Peep, I think we’ve found the person who stole your hat.

    That lime green one would be cute for those who are legally allowed to watch R rated movies if it didn’t have the Frankenstein stitching at the breasts. What, your 13 year old needs to have an emergency nursing top?

  8. Mags

    BWUAHAHAHAHA. Get thee to a ???????? (that’s the only Russian word I know). That forum is laugh out loud funny. Because I’d wear a hat in my bathroom. Really! I had my little sister come in and tell me that I was not mistaken, and that those designs really not suitable for girls her age.

    I totally agree with Tam. Maybe you translated wrong πŸ˜‰

    And gargh, how come you knit so fast. I’m jealous. The colour is gorgeous πŸ™‚

  9. Jenna

    Hey, I just saw that your Kimono sweater is on sale at Anthropologie for about half the price – only if you’ve totally abandoned the idea of knitting it yourself, of course πŸ˜‰

  10. Iris

    I’ve got an 11-year-old daughter, who already has a chest. Some clothing styles in ready-made are not to be believed. I remember reading something about how when you go from the kids’ sizes of 2-6x to the next range of 7-14 you go from cute to slut in one step – and boy was that comment spot on.

    Ready-made 7-14, targetting pre-pubescent girls, looks like a hooker’s training ground. In most cases, the smallest adult knitting patterns can be made to work, or slightly adjusted to make them fit. My normal non-work attire is (full-rise) jeans and golf shirts – so guess what she wears? – (full-rise) jeans and tee shirts (loose ones) – and yes they cover her navel. No Brittney Spears wannabees at our house. She’s wearing size 12 jeans, with size 14-16 tops for them to be long enough.

    In a related vein, I once mentioned on a knitting list a really unfortunate sweater pattern Vogue Knitting published some years ago, with all-over bobbles, some of which fell in just exactly the wrong places. Wow – did people remember that one. The latest Interweave Knits has a sweater (don’t have it here with me) with a detail on the yoke that has bobbles at it’s lower edge, that I believe also has this unfortunate bobble placement. I’m beginning to think they should have 16-year old boys review patterns and choose the ones they drool over the most – for deletion.

  11. Suzann

    Nice hardware. Who knew bathrooms in Russia were so classy.

    The knits do seem to be on the Sluts R Us side. That being said I have seem quite a lot of 13yr girls here dressed like that. You have to wonder if they have be orphaned. I can’t imagine any mother allowing her 13 yr old daughter out of the house dressed like advert for a porn site.

  12. Theresa

    I took a class with Ms. Norah once on sleeve cap shaping and she was absolutely militant that people need much smaller sleeve caps (and sleeves) than they think they do – much more flattering that way.

  13. Sarah

    I don’t even know what to say about the pics in that forum. I cannot stop looking at them. So. Disturbing. And what IS she doing in that bathroom pic?

    Can’t wait to see the finished sweater, I’m interested to see your mods to the neckline.

  14. Jen

    Yikes! I have never understood the urge of people to take pictures of knitting in the bathroom – the mirror shots are just silly and you can’t see anything about the garment – but that takes it to a whole new level!

  15. Ruth

    Man, I’m glad I’m not the only one who saw those pictures and started tsking. My daughter is 10, and I wouldn’t want to see her in most of those sweaters when she’s 20, let alone 13.

  16. Courtney

    Wow, I can’t decide if that was a real forum or a very elaborate joke concocted by the “You Knit What?” blog.

  17. Jennifer

    Well, if Russian bathrooms are as drafty as mine is, you’d be happy to have a little something extra on to keep you warm. It even matches the tiles!

  18. v.j. kohout

    I am suprised there are so many negative responses. I kept a tally and of the pictures presented in the responses, without going to the links, I found at least eleven perfectly age-appropriate, some very cute. I marked four age-inappropriate and about six that I simply didn’t like regardless of age. The shrug/bolero in the bathroom is sweet. Those are worn over another top. Forget the hat.

    Did you look around in your local malls what the young girls were wearing last few summers? And why should not Russian bathroom have nice fixtures, particularly if they are going to take pictures in it?.

  19. Kristen

    Great link! It answers so many of the Russian knitting questions I’ve had over the years! (and I admire that you can read that language!)

  20. Rachel

    I spent three weeks in the former Soviet Union, circa 1990, and I don’t recall seeing *any* bathrooms that remotely resembled that one. Or anyone wearing a handknit bathroom outfit quite like that one, either. Who knows, maybe democracy has, er, brought about a resurgence in bad taste?

  21. marie in florida

    oh–i’ve been reading the responses. i like the clothinig pictured but didn’t consider the answer to the question of age appropriate to a new teenager. i did want to tell you that i had to follow the link to “Leon, The Professional” , if i could just remember that actor’s name; even tho i was just talking about him yesterday. goin’ now to see what that might be.

  22. Jennifer

    Wow…. Yeah, the bathroom one is interesting. Some of the options weren’t appropriate for a teen at all. Some were. I did like the one with the ribbon in running through it.

  23. Stephanie

    It must be some good bunny crack you two are smoking. I’m really glad the sweater’s turning out to be a pleasant experience. Those sweaters… scary (and the bathroom??).

  24. Smokey

    As somebody married to a member of the Ukrainian diaspora, I like to think of myself as something of an expert on matters of taste in the former soviet republics (and, yes, I’ve noticed enough similarities that I’m willing to make that broad, sweeping generalization!). I’ve got two thoughts:

    1. These looks are not substantially different from the styles promoted for 13 year olds in the U.S.


    2. Those styles seem pretty spot on for what I see the Ukrainian relatives wearing in photos (although, I don’t remember any relative ever deciding to do a fashion shoot in the bathroom!).

  25. gleek

    oh my… what is it with russian fashion?! i see most of the russian women on the train in the morning and i wonder who allowed them to leave the house looking like that! well, if anything, it’s good for a laugh πŸ˜‰

    that sweater is almost done! you’re the quickest knitter i’ve ever seen.

  26. --Deb

    Oh boy . . . my niece didn’t wear anything remotely like any of those when she was 13! She doesn’t now that she’s 17, either. Sheesh . . .

  27. Kate

    Wow, that website was freaking me out. 13? Some of it is pure club hoochiness!

    And bunny crack? That’s a new one on me.

  28. carrie

    oh my. that’s some lousy taste. methinks when you revolve your photo shoot around bath fixtures, you should drop the come-hither look.

  29. Michelle from New Brunswick

    The sweater is looking great … can’t wait to see the finished product πŸ™‚

    ps. anyone who went to the russian site may want to run a virus scan as my virus alert popped up when I accessed the site.

  30. Kathy

    Help! I have looked through all 5 pages of that Russian bbs about 10 times and I don’t see the bathroom photo shoot. The only picture I see with a hat is the one in the middle of p. 4 where the 13-yo is wearing a red/blue mohair figure-eight shrug, hat, and matching gauntlets (lovely — not). There is one picture near the bottom of p. 3 in a post from Perla that is just a box with a red X — am I out of luck?

  31. Carrie

    I didn’t read all the comments, but I have to ask: how do you say “ugly shit” in Russian?

    Your sweater is lovely, though – I can’t wait to see it done.

  32. TracyKM

    Are you sure that’s not the Russian equivalent of “”?

    I do like (most of) the green tank top though.


  33. Kris

    I the bathroom pic is on page 3 and she is wearing a blue and white heathered shrug and matching bedcap.

  34. AuntieAnn

    I have 2 things to say:

    1.I immediately bought the 50% off Anthologie kimono sweater in Peacock. Thanks for the tip!

    2. Just try to find a pattern that an 11-yr-old thinks is “cool” and that does not say “hooker”. I personally would welcome any suggestions (that are not in Russian). The bathroom outfit would not qualify, although there are a few on that site that just might.


  35. Teresa C

    Interesting. Copyright laws must be pretty relaxed over there, seeing as you can just copy the whole pattern into the web page.

    Hey-where did you get that chocolate-the one with the little tiny animals, but most importantly, the Earl Grey Chocolate? My daughter will be in Cambridge tomorrow and, well, you know…..

  36. v.j. kohout

    I spent some time following the thread to the end.

    From the suggestions she received the author – RedStitch – chose a very pretty top first pictured on page one (bottom) in green. Lacy bodice with ribbon detail. Her version, in off white with light blue ribbon is at the bottom of page four.

    I think similar top is in the knitting book I received in mail just few days ago. I think it is Interweave Knits but I am not sure.

  37. melissa

    this is so funny. a google search last week led me to the exact same site. although i can’t, for the life of me, remember exactly what i was googling.

    nice job on the sweater. i am so getting that book when i get paid friday.

  38. ~Kristie

    I wish I could translate that site to English to really see what they are saying. On page 5 there’s a photo of a grey sweater vest that I’d like to knit. Since I’m not as fortunate as to be able to read Russian, does it say how to get the pattern for it … then again, even if I had the pattern, what would be the odds it’s in English?

  39. Elisabeth

    I have to laugh at those pictures for the 13 year old Russian girl. I have to admit, when I went to Eastern Europe a few years ago the girls might have dressed slightly more provocatively (if that’s spelled wrong, please forgive me) than they do in the Midwest, but I don’t think that the young girls were wearing small halter top styles with large holes in them. In a few of the pictures, the girls didn’t look very happy to be wearing what they were wearing. In fact, I noticed on one that the girl wearing the strange black thing that somebody had a post about it with a frowny face. That was good to see at least.

  40. gigi

    who knew russian girls were so…so….tarty? this is absolutely not what i thought was going to be coming off the needles of our russian sisters and brothers. hmmmm i guess the whole world is all tarted up now.

    and natch – your sweater is looking fabulous grumpster

  41. Mary

    The ribbon top caught my eye also. My daughter would like that one.

    Can’t wait to see the pentagons on the sweater.

  42. sue f.

    They must have taken the infamous bathroom picture down. I think that there were a lot of really cute little knits in there, I especially liked the one Redstitch made with the matching purse. Like it or not, that IS how a lot of adolescent girls dress. The only one I would call goofy was the one with the armpit ventilation but during the summer it would at least be comfortable.

  43. v.j.

    In response to Kristie. There is nothing that could be translated about the grey vest. She, Sandra the writer, only says: “I also love anything unusual and original..”

    Nice vest.

  44. LornaJay

    Um. Could you let me know which designers *do* make those batwing sleeves, please? I’m just having to remodel a Jaeger pattern because the sleeves are 30cm at the armholes, and I need 40cm.

    So, if you want narrow sleeves, try Jaeger (the old Jaeger Magazines that is)….

  45. Amber

    You know, I think out of ALL the sweaters posted on that site, I saw one that I actually liked, in fact, it was posted several times in varying colors. I sure do wish I could read Russian!

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