I like my clothing to match my life, the events of my days, the trips that I take, the events that I celebrate. Who doesn’t? Surely that is part and parcel of conscious consumption, a topic close to many of our minds. Thoughtful understanding of our objects fit into our lives, and how new objects ought to meet needs, right?
And part of the joy of making is that we makers have the ability to integrate our creations into our lives, or for them to serve our lives, as directly as possible. We can craft for weddings and beach vacations and divorce parties and hiking trips, theme parties and themed lives. We can even make to match our beverages, and that’s exactly what I have done with my most recent knitted project. After all, sweater weather means red wine, does it not? And now I can look the way my glass does in the cold, ready for some red.
Ah, knitting, you saucy minx. You seduce me with your tactility and infuriate me with your pace. Sewing is a puzzle, and knitting is a labyrinth, and I get lost sometimes. You keep me warm with your fuzzy fibers, but in the sticky heat of Mumbai, what need have I of such warmth? And yet I enjoy you, I do. I bring you to movie theaters and on planes, to places beyond the reach of my sewing machine (for Heaven forbid I not be crafting; if I am not making, what am I?). You are a mobile art, if an expensive one (I maintain this thought: sewing can be thrifty, knitting cannot). You challenge me, you force patience, and I cannot quit you, although we do take breaks. You take forever, and yet I keep taking on projects with thinner yarn, which must mean I like your challenge. For example, this Brooklyn Tweed Arabella which I finished right in time for my lightening round trip to Vienna, and then threw into my suitcase to take to Philadelphia, where it kept me very warm, and I had a chance to force my mother to take these photos.
I realized looking at these photos that the nature of the yarn, a glorious variegated Tosh Merino Light in Tart, completely obscures the Quaker Ridging of this project in images. SIGHHHHHHHH.
See, the sweater looks like this:
But of course you can’t see any of those painstakingly worked ridges in my photos because the changing color of the yarn subtly moving from lighter to darker and back again is much more visible than the texture of the ridges. OH well. You will just have to trust me, I ridged them all.
Let me tell you something that knitters already know and people who don’t knit have no context for/way to understand: A fingering weight sweater takes FOREVER. This represents at least 9 months of my time. Of course, I wasn’t working on it constantly, but, like, STILL. That’s a lot of months.
This was my first Brooklyn Tweed sweater experience and based on this, I think I need to go down a size or two. I am still not great with negative ease in knitting, I realize, and I tend to knit big. This sweater turned out huge, and really long, and while I love it, I sort of also resent it because…it took so much time! It could have taken ever so slightly less time!
The sleeves are long, so I tend to cuff them, and the hem is long, but I enjoy that. I love the swingy feel of this design. I made many mistakes (which I can live with), but no, shall we say, deliberate changes, because…I would have no idea how to do that. And I really admire people who do! But I don’t, not with knitting, not yet. Maybe not ever? I don’t know, as I said, we share a deep but problematic love.
Fun side not, those pants which you can barely see are my first round of Palisade Pants from Papercut patterns, discussed in my last post!
I enjoyed the pattern, and might try it again (someday, I’m back to a worsted weight wool, a Malabrigo, for my new sweater, the Rowan Land Girl’s sweater, and feeling fine) in a solid wool next time so the pattern detailing is clearer. It was fun to knit, gripes aside, and I made it over many a glass of wine, red and otherwise. But now that it’s in the world as a whole thing, I’m guessing it’s going to be a red wine kind of garment, which is wonderful, as I said, who doesn’t want their makes to match their life?
This selfie was the best image I could get that showed the true color of the sweater, which has been rendered brighter in these photos by the gorgeous afternoon light my parents’ green roof receives (as a fun bonus, it really captures the frizz of my hair!). It also has the clearest image of the ridges, so forgive the selfie, it has a use!
Do you like your creations to match your bodily consumption, or anything else in your life? Do you find knitting to be a fling, a casual date, a committed partnership, a toxic ex? Do tell!