Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Secret Shame

I've been knitting for quite a while now.  It sort of sneaked up on me, because I very much still consider myself a novice.  I've learned a lot and I've made a lot but there is so much more that I haven't.

Part of it is that I have such a short attention span.  More complicated and time intensive projects get ignored for years in favor of yet another pair of wrist warmers or socks.  I love knitted accessories, both to make and to wear and so, I have an embarrassing confession.

I don't knit sweaters.  I very much want to, there are so many lovely patterns and there are very few things I love more than a nice sweater.  I live in central Texas, a good sweater is usually all the winter wear I need for the year.  I've certainly tried to.  When I first learned to knit in high school, my second or third project was a sweater.  Despite having only just mastered the concept of knit and purl, owning one set of needles, having erratic tension and absolutely no concept of gauge I dove right in.  I bought three skeins of (the now discontinued) Lion Brand's Chunky USA, cast on an amount that 'looked about right' on 5mm needles and went to town.

I successfully made one of the densest acrylic squares (a term used very loosely) known to man.  Because I'm a compulsive pack rat I still have it somewhere, waiting to be reclaimed and the yarn used for something a little more reasonable.

After that I sort of broke up with sweaters, at least until I had some more skills under my belt.  A few years of an on again off again relationship with knitting I started developing an interest in something more complicated than garter stitch scarves.

I enjoy learning by just jumping straight in and making an absolute mess of things all the while hoping for a reasonable outcome so once I felt relatively confident I had the hang of basic shaping I cast on Mrs. Dacy's Cardigan. 

Now, this is a lovely pattern.  It should have produced a lovely cardigan.  But with me at the wheel, so to speak, it didn't so much.

Because I was working on it so infrequently it took ages to finish.  And my tension seemed to change every time I picked up the needles.  So that long ago gauge swatch I knitted when I was picking out yarn was more than useless.  I ended up with a baggy, oddly proportioned sweater beast that I can never leave the house wearing because my god.  

 At least it's at all wearable.

Despite it's problems, I have to admit it's one of my favorite sweaters.  It's ridiculously cozy.  I take this as proof that I need more hand knit sweaters in my life.

So, I'm currently working on Ivy.  It's been an incredibly frustrating experience because of my inability to follow directions and some random small tragedies (usually cat related.  Thanks for the help, guys.)  I've restarted it at least twice and am currently working on the left front.  Again.  The Boyfriend has suggested just making it a wrap vest because at least that way the end is somewhat in sight.  But it feels like if I don't finish this damn thing then the sweater will have won.

I will not be defeated by an inanimate object let alone one that I'm making.

And that's the story of my misadventures with sweaters.  The End.

 Or is it?

Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results?  I don't know what you're talking about, I would never.


  1. I don't really do sweaters either. I had my fingers burned early on by a Pink Mohair Cardigan (flashbacks!). Your cardigan doesn't look too bad to me, I rather like it ;-)

  2. Oh, mohair. It looks so pretty but that's just to lure you in.

    Thanks about the cardigan- it's hard to tell just how badly it fits me in that photo. I'll have to see if I can get some action shots of me getting all tangled in the sleeves.

  3. Boyfriend FAIL! I am sure it was a well-meaning, yet misguided, attempt to be encouraging rather than saying "since you are inept...". Of course, if he is like any men I know, he probably doesn't even remember, or will claim not to at any rate, saying it.

    Anyway, I really don't see the secret shame here. It is not like you are admitting you have a crush on Scott Baio or anything.

  4. Scott Baio would be embarrassing. That guy's a total chachbag.