Ugly Christmas Sweater

There is a new phenomenon in the last few years among hip-Christmas party goers:  the ugly Christmas sweater party.  Tevis told me about it in November last year while I was living in New Zealand.  At first I just laughed and thought, since Tevis has not encouraged me to knit for him for years (except a blanket) at least I do not have to worry about him wearing one of my sweaters and calling it ugly. Then I started to think about what I would knit if I did knit an ugly Christmas sweater.  And I was browsing in the Maskel's wool shop in Auckland and saw 2 skeins of bright red super chunky wool in the bargain bin.  I took it home and began imagining what I would knit for Tevis.

I went onto the Ravelry web site (a kind of facebook for knitters) and looked at various patterns.  Early on I decided that if I were going to knit an ugly Christmas sweater it was going to be a vest.  I do not enjoy knitting sleeves all that much and a vest can be even uglier.  It was clear that 2 skeins was not enough, but I already bought all of the red at Maskel's.  What to do?  Make it with a snowman and  find white super chunky wool.  Lucky me, it was also in the bargain bin.  (It would seem like violating some ugly sweater rule if I spent a lot of money on the wool.)

I did not cast on the sweater until I was back in Sacramento and able to get Tevis' measurements.  I had a super chunky men's vest pattern as a guide, but I allowed myself to riff as I knit.  It turned out to be really fun.  The freedom of knitting ugly is wonderful. If you make a mistake, who cares?  I could take risks without fear of failure.  (Is it a risk if there is not possibility of failure???)  The worst thing that could happen is that someone would think the sweater is cute.  And someone might think so--for a 6 year old--not for a 25 year old.

I finished knitting the sweater the day before Easter and then I began to think about embellishing it.  Googley eyes (for the Googler) were a must.  I looked for a carrot button for the nose. When you think about it, why would button makers create carrot buttons?  For that really big bunny knitter demographic?  Felt solved my dilemmas.  I remembered Mr. Bill when I was cutting out the mouth.  All in all, the result is very silly and a little hideous.  And a lot of fun.

Strangely, Sarah and Marcos want me to knit ugly Christmas sweaters for them too.  One night I stayed up late doodling their sweater designs and caught inspiration for a trio of sweaters for next year.

So now for the big reveal:


It will look even better with a white turtleneck, don't you think?