Thoughts On Sweater Knitting - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Each Week (more or less), I'll share a quick (or sometimes not quick) snippet of what I'm currently working on, no matter how small (or rough) it is. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was farmsitting up at Nan's, and I knew I needed a big project to work on. I'd been eyeballing the Lila pullover for some time, and just needed a sweater's quantity of wool. That's where Nan came in - generously letting me take some luscious White Gum for this sweater (!!). Marlee of Have Company happened to be on the same wave length as I was, so we started our sweaters around the same time and kept each other up-to-date on progress using our lil' hashtag #crosspacificknitclub



It was a fun and eye-opening process - knitting this sweater, making mistakes, slowly fixing them, seeing Marlee's sweater progress, loving her sweater, suddenly feeling very inferior and slow. It was a process in self-care and weird competitive vibes for sure.


The anxiety and jealousy vibes I was feeling made me ashamed. I didn't want to feel these things, because knitting a sweater shouldn't invoke those feelings, and Marlee had been nothing but incredible supportive the whole way through (read: ALL the moral support when I was majorly confused about short rows and concerned I'd made a sweater for a giant).

So I stepped back from the sweater for a day or two, mostly because my hands were starting to hurt (early onset arthritis, anyone?), and took a little time to reflect on those feelings. I think they stem from a really deep-seated desire I feel to compete, to be instantly gratified, and get validation on the interwebs. The more I took a hard look at those feelings, the more ridiculous they started to seem. And when I finally verbalised them to a friend, I realised how utterly useless they were. Since I'd gotten my petty feelings out in the open, I could actually move into making this sweater happen, and do it with focus and good intentions. 


After that, I finished knitting it, was feeling pretty happy with it, and then went to block it (because, ya know, trying to be a "good" knitter"). Then the shit hit the fan because it looked as though it had stretched waaaay out. So there I was, on the bathroom floor scrunching and squeezing and hoping it wasn't 7 sizes too big. And it took over 2 days to dry, so I was a hot mess for 2 days wondering if I'd just made a sweater for a pregnant human. 

Turns out I was overreacting and it was a pretty good fit afterall. 

Lessons learned - try to be less critical of myself when knitting (even if I'm slow AF), trust in the magic of blocking, and trust in the magic of internet friendship and KALs (knit-a-longs) to keep you honest, grounded, and supported. Oh, and grey is remarkably challenging to photograph - that was the other (much less profound) lesson learned.