The life of a hand-knit sweater is filled with twists and turns. From humble beginnings, it becomes an accomplishment, a joy, a treasure. A hand-knit sweater is something we spend many hours creating, stitch by stitch, but what happens after it’s done? If it’s lucky, it becomes the woolly armour we wrap ourselves in as we go about our daily lives.
A sweater starts with some yarn, some needles, and a dream. You plan your sweater carefully, examining the pattern measurements, evaluating the suitability of your yarn choice, and considering the practicality of the colour for your wardrobe. You assess what new skills you will require to knit the garment, and you determine if there are any instructions you aren’t too sure about. Often, there are swatches and swatches (and more swatches). Sometimes you dive right into the project, and sometimes you need a quick trip to the internet to make sure you have each step juuuuust right.
Once the planning is complete, it’s time to cast on. Is there anything more exciting?! The sweater is still all possibilities at this point. I usually have it in my mind that this will be THE GREATEST SWEATER I’VE EVER MADE. If it turns out well, perhaps I will even knit it again! But then again, I’m known for getting a bit ahead of myself…
Next comes the knitting – many, many, many hours of stitch after stitch. My knitting goes with me to the coffee shop, to the playground, to meetings, and on vacation. I stitch while I watch movies, chat with friends, and supervise playdates. After all those knits and purls, ripping and re-knitting, trying on, weaving in ends, washing, and blocking, it’s done! It’s never as perfect as I imagined, but it really doesn’t matter. I made it, so it is awesome.
Sometimes this is the end for a hand-knit sweater because it can seem too precious to experience life in the outside world. So there it sits – in a cupboard, waiting for the perfect day, the perfect outfit, or even the idea of a perfect body to be worn. But, my dear knitting friends, don’t let your hand knits wait for “perfection”. They are made to be worn, loved, and seen. Take them boldly out into the world!
The life of a sweater should, in fact, be a busy one. It should be put on to experience all that life has to offer. A sweater should be there with you to enjoy a lazy day on the couch, to keep you warm while you head into the great outdoors, to stand guard when the weather threatens to ruin your day, to enjoy a cuddle with someone special. It should travel to the coffee shop with you to meet your friends. It should be thrown in the back seat as you head out of town, or pulled out of your backpack when the evening turns colder.
I know what you’re thinking…what about all the bad things that can happen to a sweater?! What about (*gasp*) the spills? The holes? The moths? The inadvertent trip through the washing machine? Well, it’s true. Bad things may happen to your sweater, but don’t let that stop you! Wear your sweater out in the world with pride. Let it accompany you as you go about your days. You made it, and it is awesome!