Optimistic Knitter

Optimistic knitter

I wrote this for Alana Dakos’ Never not Knitting podcast when she was asking for contributors. At the time the cardigan I talked about wasn’t finished. Now it is, so I thought it would be fun to include the transcript in a post with some pictures of how it came out…

Knitting teaches us a lot about ourselves. Me, I think I must be an
optimist who likes a challenge. I wouldnt have said that about myself
before I became a knitter, and before one project in particular, but
there’s only one other conclusion..


About 18 months ago I sat down with my mother in law and we chose a
project and some yarn. A cardigan for her, to be knit by me, with
yarn she bought. The pattern is an all over lace cardigan, to be made in one piece and the sleeves thenadded, in a cotton based yarn. We chose an Eco wool. It’s nothing
like cotton. You can probably see where this is going.

Then I got pregnant, and spent 9 months throwing up. Yep, the whole 9
months. Not the time to be working on a cardigan for my mother in
law! So it languished in a project bag, just the first few rows of the
first sleeve completed. I finally had the baby, a little girl and
began thinking about this project. Particularly during the night
feeds.. I wasn’t going to knit my baby anything until it was complete.
Otherwise I would never complete it.


And I started work on it in earnest. It went slowly. I decided to do
the sleeves first to get the hang of the lace pattern before I started
on the main piece. Thing is, I love lace knitting, and the yarn is
good, and the pattern is great. But between the baby and the three
year old, the night feeds and the nappy changes I got to thinking
about those 400 odd stitches that would make up a row of the body of
the cardigan. And I got to looking at the sleeves and the lace
I decided this really wasn’t going to end well.

I’d had Ysolda’s Little Red in the City book for my birthday and was
quite keen on the idea of a little designing of my own. So I decided
this was the project to begin on. I’d knit it in pieces and the body
would be stockinette stitch with a kind of belt of the lace pattern at
about the waist or just above.


I’m really starting to enjoy this knit. It’s going well. Then i get
to thinking. I’m an English knitter, the kind who takes her hand
right off the needles to do a great big looping arm around to form a
stitch. I should learn to knit continental. And I’ll do it half way
up the back of the cardigan. So the gauge might change a little, it
probably won’t show, right? Right, actually! I am now a continental
knitter and I no longer have a big long loop
around. And all that stockinette stitch is going fast and getting me
some good practice.


So it’s going to end really well, right? Well, you can see for yourself.. I think she was pleased with it and I think it looks pretty good.
I believe it is.

Knitting teaches us a lot about ourselves. Turns out, I’m crazy.


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