Someone gave me the yarn. It was Reynolds Lopi in the undyed shade. It is a greyish, beigeish color and looked truly ugly in the skein. But I had seen this pattern in Sally Melville's book, The Knitting Experience 1: The Knit Stitch, an outstanding book. And I wanted to try it.
I guess the Einstein Sweater is famous by now. I made mine in December of 2005. The yarn looked much better knit up. It doesn't look good in the photo at all, but it had a bit of 1950s sporty car-coat style that I liked. I wore it that winter and and the following year, spring, fall, and winter again.
Then I washed it. It grew about five inches in length and some in width. Now I know why some knitting experts warn against garter stitch. Despite its oddness, I loved this coat and wanted to save it. So I felted it. A little. It seems like the same size now as originally, but I don't like it as much any more.
The wonder of Sally Melville's pattern is that it can be successfully made by a rank beginner, and it knits up fast for quick gratification. Besides the use of all garter stitch though, another problem with it is, obviously, those underarm wings. I know that many knitters have cleverly corrected the underarm bulk, but I didn't. I like to knit patterns as they are written, thinking I can make a corrected version later, if need be. But I rarely do.
I did make a baby version, though. Actually I made several, but I didn't have a camera for the first two. I worked on this one while flying to Berlin and bought the buttons (which are little whales and elephants) at a store in the Kreutzburg neighborhood that sells buttons and only buttons. How cute is that?