Since I am on the verge of finishing up (and showing off) a lovely sweater that should be done any day, I figured it was time to deviate from sewing discussion a little to talk a little about my knitting this year.
I am a selfish sewist, but I am not a selfish knitter. Usually.
Since learning to knit when I was about eight years old, I have done a lot of knitting for other people. My husband has had a few pairs of socks and at least one cap knit for him, as has my son (who is on about to receive a sweater for Christmas, as well!). Friends, family, and a handful of children undergoing chemotherapy, have been the recipients of a variety of knit goods. Until last winter, I had only ever knit myself one successful pair of socks, a small lace scarf, and a single, basic cap. I sew for me, and usually knit for everyone else.
Last winter changed that. I had made some cowls for friends for Christmas and had a ball of art yarn leftover that was interesting. I also had a six hour drive to Southern California to visit family. Since my husband does the majority of the driving, I thought randomly, “I should make myself something with this!”
Until that point, I had also never knit anything bigger than a scarf, so I made the obvious decision to design and knit myself a sweater. I like to make the DIY process as complicated as possible.
I decided to knit a drapey, open-front cardigan sideways and flat, in garter stitch, then stitch up the shoulders and pick up stitches to knit sleeves in the round. I wanted quick and easy for the first sweater I ever made, so I also used giant needles.
I finished the majority of the body during that trip, and then set aside my knitting to do everything else I do when I’m not knitting, and I didn’t pick the sweater back up again until September of this year. Several balls of yarn, and months later, I’m happy to report that my first sweater ever is a success.
I like to think of it as hobo chic. It kind of looks like a threadbare rag that someone living under a bridge is probably wearing, but at the same time I feel like it is actually pretty darn cute. I’d think I was just biased if I didn’t see commercially made cardigans like this and this, and (check out the price of) this one being sold. Hence, hobo chic. Mine is also super comfy and my kid loves to curl up inside of it like it is a big blanket we can wrap around the both of us, which makes me so ridiculously happy. It also gave me the confidence to knit my second ever sweater, which is just inches from completion, and pretty without any trendy hobo-ness to it.
Last winter, I also tried my hand at sewing a drape cardigan. I looked around for a good sweater knit fabric to use and couldn’t find any that was worth the price tag. It was during a trip to IKEA the same weekend I started knitting sweater #1 that I spotted a soft and interesting, and VERY inexpensive throw blanket that I thought I’d use to make a cardigan. It was woven, not knit, which only made the project even easier for me. I used this awesome tutorial (with a few minor changes like bigger front panels to create a longer drape) and wore that sweater throughout all of 2015, and will get some more mileage yet in 2016.