It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Knitting Season
While it certainly doesn’t FEEL like knitting season yet, the fall months are just around the corner and I’ve already begun the season’s first knits… despite the weather being in the 90s as recently as last weekend. Instead of easing back into the groove with something simple, I decided to kick off knitting season with an ambitious project… a sweater for the geekling. Because… you know. Why not?
This was an ambitious project for a few reasons. One being that even though I’ve been knitting for 6 years, I am intimidated by sweaters because I think of them as being a more complex project for the pros… and a pro I am most certainly not. I mean… sweaters have sleeves and a yoke, for crying out loud! It’s not a simple square or a hat in the round. THERE ARE SLEEVES! AND MULTIPLE PARTS! AND POTENTIALLY SEAMING! (Yuck.) And I’ve never been good at projects that require picking up stitches, which is usually a requirement of something made up of so many parts, or with seams.
Two being that I am one of those knitters that generally prefers smaller projects. I love knitting hats. LOVE! Hats (toques) are my favorite thing to knit. They’re small enough projects that I can finish one in a short period of time, (Which equals nearly instant gratification) BUT they have the potential for being a little more complex depending on the pattern, to keep knitting one interesting and fun. People think that cables are SO COMPLICATED (trust me, I was one of those people for the longest time.) so I love that hats allow me just the right amount of instant gratification and complexity to keep me engaged long enough to actually finish the project. You mean I can knit something that looks complicated and beautiful in a couple of hours or days? YES PLEASE. This is also a reason why I like crochet… and though I can crochet faster than I can knit, I really prefer the *look* of knit stitches for this kind of thing.
But back to the sweater. There are sweater patterns out there that don’t require picking up ANY stitches and very little seaming, thank goodness, and the one I chose for Liam’s sweater is such a pattern. It’s called the Almost Seamless Pullover Sweater, a free pattern by Helen Rose at Craft Foxes and you can find it on Ravelry here. (See my project on Ravelry here!) I did, however, find errata that is not reported on the originating website so if you give it a try, be sure to change the number of stitches you begin knitting in row 1 of step 4 when you begin the shoulders and collar so that you go all the way around the sweater before turning your work instead of just halfway. (Don’t ask how I figured that out. Just know that spending 2 hours precariously ripping back rows when I felt like something was off was not something I ever want to do again.)
The sweater itself was fairly plain and simple, with the exception of a little garter and seed stitching at the collar, which was a nice touch to give the sweater some texture. I appreciated instructions that said, “Knit until the pieces measures 8.5″ from the cast on edge,” because I could literally zone out and just keep knitting the same knit stitch around and around for what felt like forever. It’s incredibly therapeutic and yet again I found myself asking why I always take a summer break from knitting when it’s so relaxing. (I’m sure the 100 degree plus weather had something to do with it.) But at the same time I know myself, and I realize that if I had been knitting an *adult* size sweater, that much plain knit stitch in the round would’ve gotten SO. BORING. And I probably would’ve given up on the project in favor of something smaller with a quicker gratification turn-over rate. But I’ve found that infant and toddler sweaters are like hats… that perfect balance of complexity to keep it interesting and project size to still finish it. I actually completed this sweater before the kid grew too big for it! And wow, I ACTUALLY KNIT A SWEATER. Which to be able to say *seems* like a big accomplishment and makes me feel really awesome. Nevermind that Liam will only be able to wear it this one season.
Also around the corner *should* be hockey season, which may be another reason that the itch to knit has returned before the cooler temperatures. I learned how to knit during my first few months in Canada, just in time to start knitting things for my first winter and my first hockey season there. I have fond, nostalgic memories of snuggling on the (orange) couch, knitting while we watched (and I learned about) hockey. I’m quite certain that I will cry if there’s a lockout and we don’t end up having a hockey season this year. I guess I’ll have to get all of my knitting done during Sunday/Monday Night Football instead.
Next on my knitting to do list will be a hat for myself to match some fabulous red and white Team Canada mittens I picked up this summer, (Yes, I know it sounds funny that I bought mitts in the summer) and then I’m thinking it will be time to knit a few hats for family members, followed by a few baby hats for my friends that are expecting in the spring. Bring on knitting season!
All the photos on Flickr
(Also cross posted to my craft blog/portfolio)