I Have a Dirty Little Knitting Secret

I don’t knit sweaters for myself.  I did once.  It was Noro and not particularly the most enjoyable knit.  And then I had to add the sleeves to the body and what little love I had for the whole thing went out the window.  I’ve worn the sweater once just to say that yes I have worn it and have pretty much refused to touch it since.  (Though I am seriously considering reclaiming the wool at some point.) The bottom line is this.  I hate that sweater.  I hate the fact that I put all that effort into something that was turned out so awful.  I hated the entire experience enough that I have yet to successfully complete another sweater for myself.

I have successfully knit four other sweaters.  One for my mother and three for my husband.  I can say that for each one of them there is an element of the finished product that I am not pleased with. (Don’t ever let a store clerk, no matter how nice she is, convince you that you will like a colour more once you start knitting it.  You won’t and every time  you look at the very pretty cabled sweater that you made for your spouse and the only thing you will think is ‘I wish it wasn’t that colour’.)  But none of them are horrible failures and I don’t cringe at the thought of  other people seeing the sweaters walking around in public.  (Just for the record, the one and only time I did wear the sweater I made myself out in public the other three people who saw it all made a comment about how horrid the sleeves and shoulders were and that if that could be fixed it would be a nice sweater.  This did not shock or upset me.  It just confirmed that I was right.)  So I know that I can knit sweaters.  I can cast on a sweater, work the body and the sleeves, put the decreases in the right spots, add some cabling, make a collar, seam the whole thing together and have a finished product.  I know I can do it.  I just can’t do it for myself.

Apparently, this is an issue.  It’s just not really an issue for me.  But apparently it’s some sort of anomaly that I would rather see my sweaters on my husband then on myself.  I see sweater patterns that I would like for myself and think how nice it would be to knit and have and then I think about what happened the first time and the fact that I work with very young children so I am really never going to wear a handknit sweater because the thought of  little painted fingers or runny noses getting anywhere near a handknit sweater makes me a little sick and that it’s probably not the best thing for me to burst into tears in front of the children (it gets kids really upset if their teachers cry in front of them, trust me on this one).  Then I move onto the next pattern and make myself a shawl or a wrap or gloves.  Stuff I like to knit for myself.

I have cast on other cardis for myself.  The ill fated Featherweight was such a nightmare that even though I had well over 1/2 the body finished and both sleeves finished, I frogged the whole thing.  I really, really don’t enjoy knitting lace weight on that large of needles.  And the Wallis cardi only sees action when the project bag has to be moved so I can get to something else.  Yet somehow, I’ve cast on Roam.  I have no idea why.  (I realize that it can be pointed out that I have both the yarn and the pattern and that it’s on my YOP list.)  But I don’t really know why.

I’m going to try really hard to stick with this.  I realize that one some level I have PTSD (Post Traumatic Sweater Disorder) going on and that maybe if I can break through that I can think about the Central Park Hoodie or the Inaugural sweater.   And I can have lots of pretty cardis for the autumn and spring that I can wear to and from work without having to wear at work and that I can snuggle under when I’m cold.  I can get lots of yarn out of my stash, therefore freeing up space.   I will try to be positive and hopeful and truly believe that this will work out okay.  Because I do know one thing.  If the final product reduces me to tears and gets tossed in the back of the closest, my husband had better be willing to wear red, ’cause I’ve got 14 balls that will never be a sweater otherwise.

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11 responses to “I Have a Dirty Little Knitting Secret

  • Natalie

    It will work out, and it will be wonderful, and rainbows and unicorns will dance with joy at the beauty of your new sweater.

    Don’t let the first one get you down (I can’t actually get my head through the neck hole of my first sweater), just move on to wonderful pastures new!

  • Emma

    I think you might need a good luck with the cardi! And if you like the yarn and the pattern, and have been successful knitting other sweaters, I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. And you can always gift it if you hate it!

  • Tonya

    Good luck. I get envious of all the finished cardis on my friends, so I need one too (just cast on Susie). I know you can do it. (seed stitch and all – and seed stitch is so pretty when done.)

  • Kim

    Doesn’t Natalie know what happens to unicorns in this neck of the woods???

    Loving the yarn and the pattern is a good start. It will be a good spring/fall jacket/sweater, so you’ll use it.

  • Alittlebitsheepish

    Oooooh, Roam is super, good luck! 🙂

  • Faith

    That’s a lovely pattern, I can see why you are pushing through your woes, it will be worth it when you have a fab hooded cardi, I like the suggestion to gift it if you hate it and if it’s bloody awful gift it to someone you hate.

  • erin

    good luck! I know you can do it! we will encourage you along the way.

  • Triona

    Oh gosh, I can relate–I don’t like to knit sweaters for myself either. Now that I’ve started designing, though, I HAVE to knit them for myself (since I’m the model for my pictures), but then they tend to languish in the closet unworn.

    The sweater I knit for my hubby, on the other hand, gets tons of wear 🙂

  • babygreens

    I agree with Faith – bon courage, and gift it along if you hate it. I can empathise though, I have a vision of perfect little woollies to pop over my tea-dresses, but I need to exorcise my fear demons on a cardi for small girl first. At least if that one goes wrong she’ll grow out of it in a year. Anyway – I love the Roam pattern, give it a go!

  • Michelle

    YOU CAN DO IT! I hope having a super success will reboot your thoughts on sweater knitting! I LOVE the Central Park Sweater pattern! I’m rooting for you!

  • Tale of a Terrified Sweater Knitter: Episode One « whendidibecomeaknitter

    […] writing my post earlier this week about my dirty little knitting secret, I realized that I am terrified to keep working on my Cardigan.  The fear that I am going to put a […]

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