As I’ve noted here before, when I first learned to knit I bypassed most of the usual beginning knitting projects, like scarves and hats. After making a few cat toys to get the hang of guage and tension and casting on and binding off, I decided that I need to just dive right in, and made a sweater for my nephew. This sweater made use of several different stitch techniques, including knitting in the round, picking up stitches for sleeves, and cables, and it taught me a valuable lesson about why one should never trust a pattern’s measurements completely (the neck ended up being too small to fit over his head – alas).
My next project was a cardigan for myself. I found a pattern in a leaflet at the yarn shop, bought a pile of yarn, and get started. There were a few stops and re-starts, like when I accidently sewed one sleeve on inside out, but eventually, I finished this. It’s warm and soft and comfortable and a pretty shade of olive green and last winter, after all the effort I put into it, I wore it exactly once.
Since then I have learned a lot more about knitting. I learned that I had no clue what I was doing when I did the seams on that first cardigan. I learned that I should always swatch and then adjust the pattern’s numbers so as not to have to do side gussets later. I learned that there easier ways to increase and decrease for armholes. I learned that one should never pay attention to the length the pattern suggests for sleeves because your arms might be a completely different length altogether. And I would occasionally think about that cardigan and ponder all the ways that I should have done it better.
Today I wore the cardigan again, for the first time this winter. I pulled it down from the shelf and put it on and looked at it, really looked at it, for the first time since I finished it back in April. And I was actually pretty happy with what I saw. Sure, I didn’t know how to do invisible seams back then, but the texture of the pattern hides a multitude of sins. And the fact that the sleeves are a little too long doesn’t really matter, since I always roll my sleeves up anyway, out of habit.
I wore it to work today and it was warm and soft and comfortable, just like it was meant to be. It’s the very first thing I ever made for myself, and you know what? Despite all it’s little imperfections, I think I can be proud of it.
I think I am going to be wearing this cardigan more often.