I have learned how to knit 4 or 5 times over the years. Each time I would pick it up again, learn the knit and purl, and get a few inches into a project. Then I would get distracted by a new sewing pattern or make a mistake and not know how to fix it. It always ended up abandoned in a drawer somewhere!
In 2018 I decided to take a knitting class with my friend and co-host of the Love to Sew Podcast, Caroline! We both wanted to try knitting again and we took a beginner’s knitting class where we made a hat over three sessions. After I was able to finally complete a project from start to finish I felt SO inspired to start my next project!
Since that class, I have knit 8 toques (hats), 2 cowls, 1 pair of socks, and 2 knitted sweaters! I really enjoy the relaxing and meditative process of knitting. It is so great to have a small, portable project that I can do while I wait or relax in front of the TV.
This first knitted sweater (OK it’s a cardigan) took about 8 months to complete and I was so excited about the colors, yarn, and the design. This is the Throwback Sweater by Andrea Mowry and I knit it in worsted weight Homestead yarn from West Coast Colour. I opted for a cardigan since I run hot and I was curious about the process of knitting front bands. It also has a beautiful colorwork yoke which I was really excited about. Colorwork has been my favorite kind of knitting so far, but I have yet to try cables or lace, so we will see!
I basically copied the colours Andrea used for her sample because the rusty red was what initially caught my eye about this pattern, and the blues and greens she paired with it are just perfect. I went for a brighter green and I love how it all looks together.
I learned so much making this sweater and I honestly had no clue what I was doing for most of it. I was studiously following the instructions and trying not to worry about what was coming next. When I needed help I asked my knitting friends and they were so amazing! This project really pushed me in my making and forced me to get outside of my comfort zone.
Knitting is a much slower process than sewing, it’s was almost like a shock to my system. Knowing this project might take me years to finish (it didn’t, but it sure felt like it might) forced me to accept that there were not going to be instant results and really slow down. Make it about each stitch, not the final garment.
I hit a lot of walls along the way and would put it down for weeks at a time. In particular, when I finished the colorwork I almost abandoned the project. Row after row of stockinette stitches!! It felt like looking down a loooonnnnng tunnel. But, I would always pick up my work after each break and keep going. Eventually, I was more than halfway and I really got a surge of energy. I’ve come this far, might as well finish it!
I am really happy with how it turned out! It really is amazing to me that I took hundreds of yards of yarn and made this. Magic! I’ve since finished a second knitted sweater and have a third in the works. You can follow me on Ravelry @helenscloset!