I’m a late convert to knitting – I only learned how to knit when I was 30. Though we were supposed to learn how to knit in school, I only got taught the basics of crochet. In my middle teens, I had asked a great-aunt to teach me, and she dutifully did – she loved knitting, and did a lot of it – but I ran out of steam, and interest, about 30 square centimetres in. (That’s about 6 cm length of a 5 cm wide headband, if you want to know.) It was… boring. Drab. Slooow.
When I got into historical textile stuff, my excuse for not doing knitting was that a) a lot of people already know about it and do it, so it’s not in danger of becoming forgotten, and b) it’s a rather young technique, only coming up into its own in the early modern times, with sparse bits starting in after about the 13th century. So no need for me to get into knitting… at all.
Two things did change my mind: My friend, who gifted me with hand-knit socks (my first pair, that fit totally perfectly, and I fell in love with hand-knit socks at that moment), and one of the colleagues-since-turned-friend at the first Textile Forum, who knit 17th-century long stockings from very fine yarn on homemade wire needles (because you don’t get needles that fine anymore). A technique that is used for something as crazy as that? I definitely need to learn it.
So learn I did, while knitting the thing I really wanted to have: Socks. From there, I moved on to more socks – patterned socks, socks knit two-at-a-time on dpns, socks knit two-at-a-time with magic loop (I suffer from a specific variety of second sock syndrome, in which the second sock ends up being two sizes smaller than the first one if I don’t knit them simultaneously), hats and lace stuff.
What I never did yet, though, is a sweater. Or pullover. Or (what I like best) a cardigan.
In the end of 2015, I finally had decided that I really want to knit one now, and I picked out a pattern and took my measurements and bought a ton of yarn for it (you remember that “before” photo from a few days ago, right?). I knit a swatch, and washed and petted it, and I was good to go… and then came that book debunking the diet myths. No use in knitting a sweater in a size I won’t ever wear again, especially with the incredible speed I knit (read: I do knit moderately quickly, but in the end, it is quite slowly as I tend to put it aside and not work on it for longer stretches of time). I was also not willing to guesstimate any measurements – so the wool went into storage.
It’s still in storage. I got a new pattern, though, and new wool (it’s not my fault, these skeins just sort of ended up coming home with me, and yarn that comes home with you while you technically have a yarnbuying embargo in place only doesn’t count as new yarn if you have a project in mind for it and cast on sort of immediately, right?) and yesterday… I cast on Vignette.
I’m totally excited. My first upper body garment thing. I really, really hope it will turn out well!