I’m an annual knitter. This means that about once a year, when it gets cold, I see some cute sweater float across my Pinterest feed, and I pull out my knitting needles and chubby thread I mean yarn and try and remember the difference between a knit and a purl. Usually this involves watching video tutorials on the Purl Bee and getting my friend Giedra who is an experienced knitter to re-teach me the long-tail cast on again, which she patiently does, year after year. I know to those of you who don’t knit this may sound like I have some sort of mastery of the art, but trust me when I say my knitting skills are rudimentary at best.
Then I begin the process of improv-knitting a sweater for the lucky, lucky child who will be this year’s new handmade sweater recipient. And when I say “improv-knitting” that is just a fancy way of saying that I make it up as I go. And yes you are right if you are thinking (as well you should) that it would make all kinds of sense to actually follow a pattern written by, you know, a knitting professional or something but here’s my general problem: it’s usually been about year since I logged into my Ravelry account (for you who don’t knit — this is THE epicenter of online knitting information. Sadly, Ravelry has no sewing-equivalent, though many have tried) so I’ve forgotten the password, so why bother trying to reset it when I could just make something up? And how am I going to find the perfect hooded sweater pattern that uses exactly the gauge yarn I have picked out? Better just to wing it. This always seems to make perfect sense at the time.
There are a number of problems with this approach as you might have already guessed. Number one is that improv knitting almost always results in a sweater that does not fit. Clementine is JUST NOW growing into the pink and yellow number I made for her three years ago. Though that was crochet, but the general approach was still the same. And Hugo, as you may be able to see in these photos, is already busting out of the tiny sweater I made for him last winter like a delicious little baby sausage.
Mmmm. Baby sausage.
The other problem is that I often start these projects mid-September with great zeal and motivation but then lose steam, forget how to knit, have to reteach myself how to knit, and then end up finishing them in late spring, or more often, the following year. Timing. If I lived in Iceland this wouldn’t be a problem. And actually this summer was so cold that he did end up wearing it a bit in July (JULY?!?!), so all was not lost. But soon this little sweater will be on its way to cousin Penelope. Lucky thing.
I used Shepherd’s Wool yarn which is made here in Michigan (yay!). You can see the sweater I was inspired by here (I think mine turned out better ahem), and if you use Pinterest you can follow my Someday when I am a knitting superstar Pinterest board to see what other ambitious projects I intend to recreate. My “things-made-with-yarn” blog category contains my other mostly ill-fitting knitting projects.
Please do not pin or repost pictures of Hugo. Thanks!!!