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.

5 thoughts on “Experience (Or, Choosing What to Knit)

  1. I am so happy you posted these sweaters again. I was just looming over my stash and realizing I have 6, maybe 7, sweater quantities of yarn. It appears this nay be the “Year of the Sweater” for me. I am most concerned with fitting my bust and/or knitting things too short. Even though I have a short torso, I find that every single thing I knit gets shorter and wider with wear. I think it is just the natural tendency of the knit stitch to shorten and widen. Also, I really want a fitted v-neck sweater, but I find myself only feeling confident choosing cardigans so that the bust can be accommodated easily.

    On my list are:
    Effortless Cardigan
    Featherweight Cardigan (gotta get the pattern)
    Fitted V-neck (SCARY!!!!)
    Honeybee Cardigan (converted to worsted, most likely)

    I also love the styling of your Labyrinth. I have yarn I could make that with as well.

    And why are neck openings so large in the patterns for adult sweaters?! For toddlers, yes! They have HUGE heads, comparatively speaking. Adults? Not so much.

    I also find that while I am drawn to the interesting and complex knits….my Pie in the Sky sweater still remains a plain in the round stockinette. Oh how I dream to be able to make it and have it fit property over every curve.

    I hope you enjoy reading this essay. Lol!

      • I went through the stash more specifically last night….and I do think at least 2-3 sweaters are in order. 😉

        I also remembered that other VERY IMPORTANT reason for the choice of cardigans (how could I forget!?) – Nursing. I haven’t stopped nursing for almost 6 years. If I want to wear my sweaters, cardigans they must be. Lol.

  2. Its so cool seeing all the different sweaters you’ve made for yourself. I keep thinking I ought to try and knit one for myself-but fear of making a mal-fitting one always stops me. Your post makes me think I should just jump in! If it doesn’t fit well, I’ll just make another!

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