One of the things I read on a regular basis is Knitters Review, an online newsletter of sorts that is delivered to my email box every Thursday. When I was working, I would look forward to reading it during lunch and sharing it with my knitting colleague. Clara Parkes does a great job reviewing new yarns and products, sharing experiences at festivals and retreats, and in general is a good source of information. The website also offers a “boutique” and is host to “the forum,” a bulletin board for posing questions, getting answers and fostering discussion on every topic you can imagine. (one that particularly stands out is a discussion thread that began with the question “do you ever knit after sex?” I never laughed so hard in all my life.) The ‘thread’ featured in today’s newsletter is this: Have you ever knit something so hideous that you threw it away?
At first, I gasped in horror…..throw knitting away??? Are they kidding? All that time, effort, MONEY? If it is truly awful, it can always be recycled, used another time for something more suitable. Perhaps someone else would like it, and it can be a gift. And then I got to thinking (dangerous, that). I have had my own share of knitting disasters (sad, but true), and I’m sure any crafter that has been at it for any length of time has had their share as well.
This brings me to my first sweater. Some of you may know by now that I learned to knit on socks. Yes, as backward as that sounds, I taught myself how to knit (I had only a very basic knowledge on how to form a knit and purl stitch—-and actually found out halfway down the sock that all my purl stitches were backward) by knitting socks on two circular needles. This brought quite a shock to the gals at my LYS, but for the purpose of this narrative what it did, was leave me totally uneducated regarding choosing appropriate yarn for my first sweater. When one chooses yarn for socks, face it, it’s all basically the same: fingering to light DK weight, wool or some combination, and you can get enough for the whole project for less that $20 (cashmere excluded, of course). It’s sock yarn. Presented with the possibility of making a sweater, the possibilities were endless, so while browsing around my LYS I fell in love with this fluffy, soft, novelty type yarn, a sample of which was made up into the cutest little baby shrug you’ve ever seen. (This should have been my first clue that this was not intended for an adult sweater….Baby hoodie? Infant shrug? Funky scarf, maybe). I blazed ahead, buying over $100 worth of this lofty, soft yarn, anxious to start knitting it up, and frankly, just tired of knitting only socks.
Now this pattern is one in which the body is knit all in one piece, flat, up the front, shaped for the neck, then down the back, leaving you–basically–with a rectangle with a hole for your head. The sleeve are then picked up and knit to the cuff, and you sew up the side and underarm sleeves and you have a sweater. From the very beginning, DH HATED the yarn, thought it was vile and reminiscent of some type of body fluid. I, however, blinded by love of its softness pressed on.
By the time I got the thing finished, I was sick of looking at it, sick of fighting with the nature of novelty yarn, mad at myself for spending so much money and time on this hideous monstrosity, and have never worn it. It was too wide, too short and the sleeves were wonky. Thinking about it now, I’m wondering if I could cut off the ribbing, frog the rest and save it for a baby ‘something.’
What? You want to see this vile thing?
Okay, but only because it’s yellow.