Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fantine? Bof!* Chevron? J'adore......

Fantine in Rowan Big Wool
I am a 19th century French novel enthusiast. I believe that the novel will never again attain the force that it had at the hands of Stendhal, Zola, Balzac, Flaubert and Hugo. So naturally the pattern being titled Fantine, one of Hugo's most beloved characters, clouded my judgment. I should have remembered, however, that although she started out with so much potential, Fantine died a very 19th century death (you know, unwed mother that becomes a prostitute, sells her front teeth, gets put through the meat grinder of the class system that Hugo so despised and dies alone of tuberculosis). The name should have tipped me off that this Fantine was destined for a similar tragic end...
Fantine in Rowan Big Wool
I should have known. The signs were all there to be read by anyone even vaguely paying attention. Impulse pattern & yarn purchase + title of pattern that you like for irrelevant, non-knitting reasons + not reading between the lines on Ravelry posts=train wreck of a knitting outcome. I have finished Fantine and she is, as our Gallic pals would say, moche**. Even my pathetic attempts at having a lovely French grad student model Fantine for me can't undo the utter Fred-Flintstoneness of this garment. It's just shapeless and matronly, and I'm not really in a place right now where I need those two words attached to me--so I'm giving it to my mom!
Fantine in Rowan Big Wool
The Specs:
Pattern: French Girls Fantine
Yarn: Rowan Big Wool, #31
Needles: size 17 addis (ouch)
Mods: I made the scoop-neck, cap sleeve version. Should those two design elements every really be combined? No, not really.
Could we just please bracket off this indiscretion and make like it didn't actually occur? You know, like frat guys that get drunk and kiss and then pretend that it never happened? Thanks.
Socks that Rock Hollyday and Lenore
I am pleased to report that I am finally knitting a Chevron scarf that I actually love. Attempt #1 resulted in a less than attractive admixture of colors, #2 was better but I still wasn't feeling the love and working on the project seemed like toil, but #3?
A Chevron that I WANT to knit...
Oh yes, I have finally found the killer combo of Socks that Rock Hollyday (bright and cheery, like retro 1950's Christmas lights) and Lenore (strurm und drang blacks and purples). The result is making me intensely happy and helping me move on from the debacle that was Fantine.

* French for meh!
**ugly, just really ugly, you could even say fugly

35 comments:

kim said...

I really, really like your Chevron colors. They're so dramatic and fun.

And my condolences for Fantine.

Olga said...

Hugo? isn't he on Lost?

Heather said...

My 8th grade English teacher had us read Les Miserables out loud over the course of an entire second semester. She would translate the French for us. I am forever indebted to her for her patience and foresight.
Love the yarn combo!

peaknits said...

You tell such a great story!:) I love that chevron - carry on!

Jennifer said...

Oh, Fantine... but the chevron, c'est magnifique! Maybe you can make up a fun french name for it instead?

Jennifer said...

PS I've been meaning to ask - is "being willowy" a requirement for applicants to your grad program? !

sophanne said...

#17 addis- only someone who's experienced them can understand the real pain merde!

(Fred Flintstoneness cracked me up- excellent verbiage)

kim said...

Cool Chevron! (How was that?)

I actually sort of like Fantine. Is that wrong?

tiennie said...

I don't think Fantine looks bad! Glad you found a chevron combo that you like - yay!

Michael said...

OMG, I just spit my Peet's mocha, add shot, all over my screen. Kissing frat brothers indeed. Love you.

WonderMike said...

Heh heh. I realized that I commented with my OTHER Blogger id. God, I'm so confused with Yahoo/Google/Blogger tech cluster... coitus. But I still do love you.

Melissa said...

I just learned the word bof this week! Funny how once you see something, it pops up everywhere!

Your chevron scarf looks fabulous--I may have to look at that pattern again...

Kirsten said...

Thank you! I am so happy to know how to say "meh" in French. I will work it into conversation as frequently as possible.

As for bulky cardigans, I have tried more times than I care to admit and each time I end up ripping. If only I looked "shapeless and matronly". No siree, instead I look like I should be playing linebacker for the Giants! Ask me sometime to tell you about the bulky cardi I made with the cables on the sleeves. Sometimes I still wake up in a cold sweat over that one. As for Big Wool, I find it makes a lovely felted bag when all else fails.

Your Chevron colors are beauties! I covet that Lenore.

guiltypleasures said...

Poor Fantine .. such a tragedy.

The colors for Chevron absolutely rock!

a friend to knit with said...

ok, as i sit here i truly wonder what is wrong with fantine. i need to see it in person to get a full opinion. :)
love the chevron. that is a killer combo.

Shelley said...

The colours in your chevron scarf look great together. I can't wait to see more of it.

The Fantine looks good...maybe I'm matronly though, lol. I love the colour of it more than anything though. Hope your mom enjoys it.

katy said...

ooooh, that chevron combo is really "you." but curses on you for putting "i dreamed a dream" in my head. arrrrrgh.

Emily said...

Chevron scarves are so fun to knit though they do take a long time. I think your choice of colors are great!

Esoteric Knitter said...

Super cute Cheveron combo.

Angelika said...

I really like the colors on your third scarf. They rock. And the yarn color of the "other" one was really nice :)

nicole said...

Je suis tout à fait d'accord. Fantine c'est un pull pour une mémé. Une mémé chic, mais une mémé tout de même!

Moi, mon obsession, c'est Balzac. Et Proust, avec ses madeleines et ses jeunes filles en fleur (quel titre divin!)

SJ said...

Quelle dommage! I say frog and do something fab with that yarn; it's too pretty not to.

Your Chevron, on the other had, is incredible. You've got a winning combination!

(I really must start using my French again. There are so many shades of meaning that a good French adjective captures that English cannot.)

Heather said...

Too bad about Fantine. I have the pattern, too, and will keep your hilarious story in mind if I ever feel like making it.

castingaway said...

Oh, too bad! Well, I discovered a long time ago that me and bulky yarn don't play well together. Love the chevron, though!

weezalana said...

You know I get all warm and tingly when someone talks French to me. Heee.

Chevron is so bright and happy! Good cure for the Fantine blues.:)

Lollybug said...

Oh thank you!! I was having a crappy day and your frat brothers comment just MADE my day!!

Veronique said...

Please, if the next French Girls pattern is named "Cosette", do NOT buy it!
I love the color you picked for Fantine: such a bright, cheerful pink :) I suppose you could rip and reknit, but that depends on how disappointed you are by the pattern.. and how much your hands hurt after working with size 17 needles.

Yarnhog said...

My sympathies. I cast on Juliet recently. For myself. It was an unholy disaster that is now stuffed behind the couch. I won't tell if you won't.

Marsha said...

Ten days in Paris? Lovely! My husband and I did that a few years ago and had a blast. Rather than stay in a hotel, we rented an efficiency apartment (from an agency that primarily serves business travelers). It was less expensive, we had a washing machine, and we had a kitchen, which meant we could really take advantage of the fabulous outdoor markets (and save money!) by cooking many of our own meals.

Knittymuggins said...

Ooooh, I *love* the new (to me) Frenchy words! Sorry that Fantine turned out unsuitable though :( But hey, that Chevron color combo is Tres kick ass if you ask me, so hope that makes up for it!! Have a great weekend :)

knittymuggins

Kim said...

Fantine is yaba daba don't! Oh well, live & learn. Your Chevron colors are wonderful. It seems the best Chevron come from skeins that are so different and look odd sitting next to each other. somehow it works!

Abby said...

luv luv LUV.... the socks that rock colourway...

ali said...

Bummer about the Fantine fiasco... at least it was in bulky and didn't take too much of your time.

You are a generous gift giver, that's a goodly amount of nice yarn. I hope your matronly mother loves it!

Happy knitting-
ali

Dove Knits said...

How sweet of you to think of your mom ;)

That chevron is, indeed, awesome.

Robin said...

LOL at the story of Fantine - it's a pretty color, at least? Those French Girl patterns - they're either great or really crappy!