A new project is in the works around here, and I’m so excited about it. I’m knitting my very first sweater, something I should have done a long time ago that got buried under every other project and a million other ideas. But now it’s happening and it feels so right.
It’s so, so soft. I keep rubbing it against my face, that soft. Straight up wool, all felted and wonderful, in a gorgeous champagne color. The wool of my dreams, really. And easy to knit with. Perfect for a beloved first sweater.
The pattern I’m using is Agnes by Melissa Labarre. It’s the perfect shape, a little bulky, and definitely warm. I’m planning to crop it just a bit and maybe lengthen the sleeves. I may also not add the pockets, because I’m not sure that I’m up for that particular challenge just yet.
I was an avid knitter circa. 2006, when I would knit long scarves and give them away as Christmas gifts. Purple, hot pink, metallic silver yarn. My taste had not yet grown up with me. I even once knit myself a turquoise purse and then decorated the flap with all sorts of quirky buttons. Fun, but nowhere near the sort of project I’m looking for now. I’m back to knitting, and I only want to do it if I believe in the thing I’m making, if I allow myself to make mistakes, and if I forbid myself from quitting. Another thing from circa. 2006 is that I thought about trying to knit something more intense than a long straight line, I really did. I imagined knitting a sweater and then showing it off at school, wowing my classmates with my dedication and skill. But, when I looked into it, I found myself too intimidated by the confusing notation of knitting patterns, so I let my yarn get lost under the bed. I found new hobbies to fill my time (like crushes on boys and musical theater and such.) It’s a shame that I was so quick to quit, but I understand. It’s hard to go the step beyond novice, to try something more treacherous, to know that you may have to unravel all your work when you find you’ve tripped up.
I’ve unraveled once already when I found that I was doing a new technique all wrong and I had no clue how to repair it. Zip, zip, zip, pull a few threads, lose all your work and your pride too, and start again. Now I’m steadily moving, making sure to take clear notes and keep my place, trying to double and triple check that I know what I’m doing. But I’m already bracing myself for the next unravel, because it may come. And I’ll swallow my pride again because I’m making this dang sweater and I’m making it right, no matter how tricky it gets or how many weird knitting youtube videos I have to watch to figure it all out.
It feels wonderful, though. The knitting. It’s rhythmic, it’s straightforward, it has all the stitches in a row. Very unlike my life of late, I’d say. It’s good to have something mathematical and soft to work on. It’s good to knit and watch How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days on a Tuesday morning. It’s good to watch my new sweater grow and grow, something tangible, something real, some progress I can touch. So, if you need me, I’ll be knitting. One stitch at a time.
Knitting gear I need and knitting gear I want. In all parts of life, I appreciate beautiful tools. Nothing makes me want to sweep my floor more than a gorgeous wooden broom beckoning in the corner. Knitting supplies are no different. I could go to JoAnn Fabrics and stock up, but I don’t want to. If I’m gathering tools that I will have and use for my entire life and pass on to my children later, I want to choose things that I think are beautiful, sturdy things, investments. So I’m window shopping for now. And planning my Christmas list.
Also, there are so many gorgeous patterns out there that I feel like I need to build up skills for. Now that I’ve begun, I can’t stop pattern-shopping for my next project. Maybe someday I’ll get up the courage to try some fair isle and some color work. For now, a big warm sweater is just right. Honestly, I may never buy a sweater again. Maybe.
Here’s all the gear I have my eye on:
Square Gauge Ruler, Twig and Horn.
Wool Soap, Twig and Horn.
Bone Tapestry Needle, Twig and Horn.
Stitch Markers, Twig and Horn.
Mini Snip Scissors, Fringe Supply Co.
Knitter’s Graph Journal, Fringe Supply Co.
“Woolelujah” Tote, Fringe Supply Co.
Patterns I have my eye on: (Mostly just dreaming, because lots of these are really hard. Someday…)
Cricket by Brooklyn Tweed
Tallis by Brooklyn Tweed
League by Brooklyn Tweed
Ashland by Brooklyn Tweed
Eaves by Brooklyn Tweed
Truss Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed
Telly Blanket by Quince and Co.
Forsythia Tank by Quince and Co.