Experience (Or, Choosing What to Knit)

In the year 2010, I knit a bunch of sweaters for myself.

Now that I have had a chance to wear these sweaters, I have learned something about myself.

What I want to knit isn’t always going to turn into what I want to wear. I want to knit interesting knits with colorwork or lace panels or shaping or something. I want to wear simple, streamlined sweaters that don’t call attention to *ahem* certain places.

So, in the sweaters that I knit, I have found certain features of note that I will need to remember when choosing my next knitting project for me. I thought I would break it down for you (and for me. Next time I want to knit a short, all-over lace, boxy cardigan I will come back and read this again).

Exhibit A – The Pink Sweater

Don’t let the photo fool you – it didn’t fit at all.

Frequency of use – I wore it once or twice and never out of the house.
Features I like – color
Features I don’t like – knit in bulky yarn (makes me look fat), oversized (makes me look fat), collar is goofy (my mistake – I veered off pattern)

Bottom line – threw it away in disgust (after felting it in hopes of turning it into a kids coat)

What I learned – oversized bulky sweaters, no matter how fun a quick knit, are not going to look good on this body. Ever.

Exhibit B – Chai

apparently, I was in a headless woman phase in my photography during this sweater knitting marathon….

Frequency of use – fairly often, expecially when dressing up
Features I like – softness, color, wood buttons, 3/4 length sleeve, round yoke, overall fit
Features I don’t like – the yarn pills so horribly that I take a sweater stone to it every time I wear it, the neck is a little too wide

Bottom line – despite the pilling this is a definite keeper

What I learned – one ply merino, while super soft, isn’t fun to maintain  & the more boring the knit, the more I will wear the product

Exhibit C – I called it Mermaid

Frequency of use – ALL THE TIME
Features I like – washable, length of body, color
Features I don’t like – three buttons at the top, weird collar

Bottom line – this is my workhorse sweater and my kids will probably remember this as being the only thing I ever wore.

What I learned – washable wool will get worn more often because I’m not afraid of ruining it & either leave it with no buttons, or put buttons all the way down. Three buttons at the throat are no good for me.

Exhibit D – Labyrinth

I never did take a good picture of this one….

Frequency of use – only special occasions
Features I like – softness of the silk/merino blend, colors, sleeve shape, neckline
Features I don’t like – too short in the body

Bottom line – I save this for special occasions, and then spend the whole time wearing it wishing I had made it longer.

What I learned – I have a long torso so maybe I should knit like it.

Exhibit E – Wispy

I never got a good picture of this one, either. Darn – it doesn’t look that good anymore….

Frequency of use – very often
Features I like – it is small and lightweight, color, perfect for not quite cold kind of days
Features I don’t like – the sleeves shorten up with wear and are now a weird length, frames my largish front thus actentuating it.

Bottom line – this is my go to sweater on cool days, but the sleeves bug me and I feel fat in it.

What I learned – just because I knit the sweater in the picture, doesn’t mean it will look like that on me. And also, Malabrigo Lace is awesome, but shrinks up a little with wear, so knit sleeves longer next time.

Exhibit F – February Lady

Okay, I was nine months preggo when this was taken…

Frequency of use – often
Features I like – squishy yarn, color, 3/4 sleeves, all over lace
Features I don’t like – squishy yarn, color, body length, all over lace

Bottom line – after months of use, I haven’t made up my mind on this one. For sure the body is too short, a lesson that I didn’t learn on all the sweaters before this one.

What I learned – all over lace is awesome – fun to knit, gorgeous to look at, but hard to wear. And, for crying out loud – knit the body longer, woman!

So, that brings us to the present. Hopefully I will learn my lessons well and the next sweater that I knit for myself will be the perfect sweater.

I am leaning towards this one…. with a longer body, of course.