Remember that knitting project I started last September? Well, I finally finished the sweater in July. It was knit by a village, for sure.
I called often on my friend, D, and organized Girl’s Night Out for Knitting with her and C. Whenever I forgot what D taught me, I looped YouTube video instruction until I caught it again. I joined an online knitting network for moral support. Finally, I ventured out alone for a knitting class at the yarn shop, which says a lot about my level of desperation. Eventually, a baby sweater began to take shape.
But I stalled out repeatedly. I’d get only so far with a guide at my side; on my own, I’d get stuck. For every row I knit, there were at least six unraveled. Probably ten. I dropped stitches. I twisted stitches. I split stitches. I knit when I should purl and purled when I should knit. It seemed I would never reach my goal. I should have knit that sweater many times over in the time it took to complete.
Then, in late July, I captured and held an expert knitter at my house for the weekend. Aunt Bea couldn’t escape my knitting neediness. I trailed along behind her, knitting bag in hand, thrusting my wrinkled and worn pattern in her face. She patiently taught me to decrease and bind off, encouraged my wild desire for a signature statement in stripes. I broke free of that doggone pattern like a horse let out of the barn!
I resisted the urge to unravel, determined to finish, conceding perfection. And do you know, just moments before Aunt Bea sprung loose for the airport, I sewed up two tiny sleeve seams. Sweater complete. What a relief!
A few days later, I tried my work of sweater art on wee Ollie. Oh, my. Have you ever seen a sage green sausage? This was not the intended effect. My D-i-L looked on as I tried to stuff him in it. Ten months in the knitting, it was, I fear, as expected: too little, too late. Classic, eh? What was there to do but start another?
So it was back to the yarn store, with fear and trepidation. I couldn’t afford another ten month knit-a-ganza. I cast on for the largest size this time. It had to fit!
A mere five days later, I had knit another. I know. I can hardly believe it, either! But it’s true. In all of the fits and starts and frustrations of the first project, I learned something. I learned a lot, actually.
My mom was right that it was a great pattern to learn on. But she was mistaken to suggest that it was an easy pattern to start with! Still, I was ecstatic to realize it did the trick. The challenge kept my interest; I learned to knit. I really knit! And what a relief to discover that Ollie’s second sweater fit. He will wear it through the fall, no problem at all.
I’ve already started on Henry’s sweater, blue with green stripes. I may be a one trick pony, this being the only pattern I know, but I am going to ride it as far as I can.
~ René Morley