my year in sweaters

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my year in sweaters
(I’ve added three handknit sweaters to my sweater chest in 2007)

I don’t know if it’s Bohus-withdrawal, or the approaching year-end, or what, but I’m feeling a bit melancholy and reminiscent this week. This has been a pretty difficult year, I think. I mean, there have been some fantastic happenings (my husband got a perfect job! We found a perfect house! My brother got engaged to a very wonderful person!), but for the most part, it’s been a painful slog. What started out as “probably just a virus” back in February is still affecting me in a major way, and will most likely continue to do so indefinitely (I’m waiting to hear back about some more blood tests, but my doctor is fairly convinced at this point that the myriad health problems I’ve had this year are due to Lupus). I’ve lost a good 20 pounds, and have also lost a lot in terms of my energy and athletic abilities and so forth, am feeling like something of a shell of the person I was just a year or two ago.

Through it all I have had my knitting, and this year seems to have been the “Year of the Sweater” for me. By my count, I finished 5 sweaters in 2007: the three at the top of this post, the Rogue sweater for my mom, and the wee little gansey. Not bad, eh? I certainly can’t complain. Knitting has been a wonderful companion to me this year, giving me something productive to do to keep my mind off the bad things. And while I certainly don’t dislike knitting the littler things, like socks and mittens (oh, I certainly don’t!), there’s just something about making a garment that really satisfies me. I guess I always dreamt of making my own clothing, as a kid, and now I’m getting to realize that dream with my sticks and string! (Of course, it would probably go a lot faster if I didn’t have to make the material myself, but me and the sewing machine have not clicked the way I did with the knitting needles). Or maybe it’s just the desire to surround my aching self in a warm cozy sweater that’s getting the better of me.

I feel like my knitting ability has taken a huge leap forward this year, thanks in no small part to all of that sweater knitting. While I’ve always been a pretty fearless knitter (I mean, what’s to fear? You can always rip out and start over!), through the choices I’ve made in patterns and references, I’ve gained the skills and confidence I need to actually make all the things I want to make, and make them look polished and nice. The wee little gansey alone taught me so much about garment construction (I’m so tempted to go for a me-sized gansey during next year’s Tour de France…maybe I will!). Demi gave me confidence in my ability to “read” my knitting. My modified Cobblestone gave me confidence in my ability to modify a pattern to fit and look exactly how I want it to. And the Bohus Yoke…what can I say? That project was just so amazing for me, and I’m still feeling sort of sad not to be working on it anymore. I have never had such intense project withdrawal after finishing something as I have with that sweater.

I don’t know what 2008 holds, knitting-wise or otherwise. Maybe I’ll get off this sweater kick, and get on a huge mitten obsession, or socks, or lace…you never know. But for now I’m happy to keep churning out the sweaters, and hoping that I can keep my spirits up through it all, whatever happens.

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7 thoughts on “my year in sweaters

  1. The sweaters are all beautiful *and* very impressive knitterly feats. Good for you! I’m so sorry you’ve had such a rough year. Sending hugs and my warmest wishes for a happy and healthier (!) New Year.

  2. I have admired your sweaters and all your knitting since I started reading your blog earlier this year. Everything is so lovely and inspiring!

    I hope the New Year brings you happier days and lots more beautiful knitting.

  3. That is such a nice progression of things you’ve learned this year. I have to agree- there’s nothing as satisfying than making a sweater that fits perfectly and looks good :)

    I’m wishing you all the best for the new year.

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