Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018: Year of Sweater Knitting

I haven't made many (or any) resolutions for 2018, but there is something I want to do more of: sweater knitting....for ME! Last year, I was a lot choosier with my knitting projects due to a busier work schedule and the addition of several new crafts which reduced my amount of knitting time. Additionally, there are some projects that I simply can't knit (or have to knit slooooowly) thanks to ongoing issues with my hands and arms. I have a ton of hats and cowls and unfortunately socks are on "knit sparingly" list, it finally dawned on me that I should focus on making myself a wardrobe of sweaters that match my existing wardrobe of mostly black and grey clothes AND actually fit me.

The two sweaters I knit last year, the Rockling Cardigan and the So Faded Sweater (which I'll be sharing on a later post), made my realize how much I like to knit and wear the sweaters I make provided they actually fit me. And that is the hard part, because I have to do something a lot of us struggle with: accept my current body weight/shape and knit patterns which flatter it. That means that not every sweater pattern that I see and fall in love with will be one that I make, and I'm finally ok with that I've accepted that I can't knit a sweater for the size I wish I was or aspire to be. It also helps that I now have a better idea of what looks good on me, what my actual measurements are and how much ease I like (spoiler alert: quite a bit).

I got a head start by casting on for Sticks and Steel by Veera Välimäki with some skeins of Berroco Vintage Chunky that I originally purchased for an intricately cabled sweater that I could never get gauge on (also, let's face it - I don't have the brain space for something so complext these days). It's coming along well, I tried it on after taking off for the sleeves and I think it's going to be a perfect fit!

SticksSteel

Of course, I have many other sweaters in the queue that I am dying to make. I went a little crazy at the start of this year and purchased two sweater quantities from Webs with a gift certificate I got for Christmas; the first is 9 skeins of Malabrigo Twist in Black, which I intend to pair up with some skeins of Rios in Glazed Carrot to make From Another Place by Leah Coccari-Swift.

Malabrigo
I
also purchased 5 skeins of Brown Sheep Prairie Spun DK to join the half-skein I have remaining from the Maize Hat, and I'm planning to make the Cormac Sweater by Leah H. Thibault.

BrownSheep

I was gifted these tantalizing skeins of Bijou Basin Ranch Lhasa Wilderness in some OOAK (one-of-a-kind) hand-dyed colors and I am 99.9% sure that they are going to become a Comfort Fade Cardi by Drea Renee Knits:

ComfortFade

I've been hoarding four skeins of Knit Picks Diadem in Emerald; while that might not seem like sweater quantity, each skein has generous yardage and I have enough to make a Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu in my size with about 10 yards to spare (I should probably get a safety skein, though, just in case....yarn chicken is never a good situation when knitting sweaters!!).

Hitofude

I was also gifted this assortment of Harrisville Flywheel and have been thinking about knitting the Bethany Wrap by Amy Miller.

Flywheel

Lastly, I had started what appears to be a children's sweater (but was actually supposed to be a sweater for me) with some Fibre Company Canopy Fingering. I'll probably frog this project and I'm not sure what sweater pattern I'll use for it, or if I will end up knitting a sweater with it since it really doesn't fit my color scheme these days. But here is the photo for posterity - if anything, it can be a reminder to avoid aspirational/delusional sweater knitting!

IMG_1171

I think a lot of knitters have decided to knit more sweaters this year, so I am looking forward to seeing what other people are making, too. I also came across a year-long Selfish Craft-along happening in The Corner of Knit and Tea Ravelry group which might be a good source of support and inspiration.

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