Since yesterday I’ve had a knitting epiphany and, inspired by my new knitting friend Annelie who makes really nifty sweaters and cardigans, it’s now clear to me that I really do need to knit more sweaters. My knitting inspiration has been quite low lately, I have a few things I want to do but they require some preparations and I haven’t had the peace of mind to do those preparations.
Do you ever get the feeling that people judge knitted garments and rank them? Not knitters themselves (although that is also possible) but other people. Socks and mittens are good things to make because they are useful (except perhaps the fingering weight socks that traditionally haven’t really been that popular in Sweden; when people think of knitted socks here, they think of heavy ones, made of worsted weight yarn to wear in your heavy boots during winter (preferably if you work in the woods somehow), or on the ice cold floor of your vacation cabin) unless you make too many of them, or perhaps too many of the fancy looking ones. A hat is a good thing to make, also useful and very much appreciated if you are a young adult and your mother made one for you.
Scarfs are okay, they are quite useful, but are looked upon as too easy, most people learned to knit in school and therefore feel that theoretically everyone can make a scarf (I’m the only person I know who went to school in Sweden but doesn’t remember knitting in school, I don’t know if that’s because I never did it or because I already knew how to knit and it therefore didn’t make any impression on me).
Blankets… Blankets are good, useful and warm, everybody needs a blanket from time to time. Baby clothes? Sure, how nice of you to make it but isn’t it really just because you don’t have the patience to knit bigger things? Shawls? Shawls are not really considered a useful garment (unless you ask us shawl users who are totally dependant on a cosy shawl every day) and why do you need so many? No, the answer is sweaters. When people think of knitting, they think of sweaters and that’s what they expect you to make. Nice sweaters, warm sweaters. A knitter makes sweaters, and the occasional socks, mittens, hat and scarf before winter comes around, but mainly sweaters.
Disclaimer: I might be wrong on this but I have knit in public for more than ten years and this is just observations that I’ve made from comments I’ve gotten. Other knitters might have a different opinion and experience.
So, is this the reason I should make sweaters? No, of course not, I couldn’t care less what other people think about my knitting, it’s mine and I do whatever I want with it (and yes, I do need all that yarn). But, since I’ve started this blog three years ago I’ve made a total of 66 shawls, wraps and cowls to this date. Not all of them has been for me but 41 of them are mine. This means that technically I have 41 shawls (actually more, this is only since the beginning of the blog in 2013). During the same time I’ve made nine sweaters, cardigans and tank tops for adults. 6 of them has been for me. Six has been for me. There is obviously room for improvment here.
I’ve made sweater comittments before. That resulted in one new sweater. My epihany now concerns a reflection over what type of sweaters I’ve knit and if that is really necessary. The first one was the Pink Dream in the oh, so horrible linen (we’ve come on speaking terms again, these past weeks, me and linen). Second, we had the Ballou, that turned out too big, on thin all needles, that I didn’t even bother to blog about (really should frog it, the yarn is delicious and could come to better use). Then there was Cria, which turned out nice but was tricky in the beginning and was nothing short of a crazy game of yarn chicken. And again, thin needles. Then we had the chic lit Chanel jacket, a lovely thing on super thin needles that was quite complicated and took forever to finish. Lastly we have the ribbon yarn sweater and the burgundy tank top, none of which I’ve gotten around to take Pictures of yet but I can say that due to a misunderstanding with the pattern, the ribbon yarn sweater turned out a little more over sized than expected. The burgundy tank top is lovely though.
What I’ve been thinking is that I don’t have to make it so hard. I don’t have to knit in fingering weight on needle size 3 mm. I can knit in worsted weight on needles 5 or 6 mm and that will really make a difference. That is what I should look into. I have so many lovely sweater patterns and over 40 shawls and it’s time those sweater patterns got into use. I will try to make a sweater, a nice one that fits (I will swatch!), in heavier yarn before next summer (I want to say before winter but we do have Christmas in a few months). I will still make shawls, I love shawls, but I should get some sweaters in there too. I can do it, I know I can!
Pattern: Island Retreat by Cindy Garland. Yarn: Luxury Fingering from Stunning String Studio, colors Glow Stick and Natural. No mods except I might have changed the color of the shawl body beads (and changed my yarn color choices a million times) from green to white. I’m happy with the result.