When I embarked on my #slowfashionoctober sweater, I did it with two things in mind: one was to spend some time in the prep work of conceptualizing and designing a hand-made garment. The other was to break down the process and take my time with each step of knitting it. This has forced me to slow down and really think about each step as I go. What has been really interesting about this process is that I'm typically a very patient person in all areas of my life ... except, I'm discovering, when it comes to my knitting. This is where I totally fall down and get some bruises along the way ~ yes, I have been known to frog a project or two because of my haste.
Case in point: a couple of years ago, I designed and knitted a sweater for my daughter. I'm incredibly lucky to have a teenager who still asks for hand knits and who wears whatever I make with glee. Winter was approaching, and she asked for something very specific ~ something with cables, a bit cropped, and in white. Out of my head popped this .....
.... and I was really proud of how this came out. I spent a fair amount of time looking at lots of cable sweaters and did a few quick sketches and then cast on what I imagined would be the right number of stitches for the raglan shaping and ultimate cable/seed stitch design. No, I did not swatch. No, I did not take accurate measurements. No, I did not apply the proper math. And as you can see, the raglan shaping is slightly off kilter, the hemline is uneven where the seed stitch panel starts, and the sleeves are just a tad too long. But you know what? She loved it, got a ton of compliments from her friends, and it kept her warm all winter long. Most importantly, I upped my skills and learned a lot (although it still has taken me two years to finally commit to swatching!). Oh, and don't worry, I didn't frog it ~ she just wears it in its glorious wonky state.
Fast forward to #slowfashionoctober and I'm now working on a new sweater for my girl. This time, she's requested something squishy, textured, and, yes, again in white. I've done my swatching, I've taken her measurements, and I've calculated the math. This time, I'm pushing my skills further yet in that this sweater is being knit in four pieces: front, back, two sleeves, and I'll be seaming them together.
I have only once knitted a sweater from the bottom up but still seamless so this will test my sewing abilities which need to be stretched. The brioche stitch is lovely to work on and I cant' say enough about Manos Maxima ~ squishy doesn't do the yarn justice.