Long before I became an avid knitter, I often documented my finished projects with a photo, carefully staged and curated and then sent to my mom for praise and approval. Sometimes a friend or two would get a snapshot as well. I did this because for me, finishing a project was a huge accomplishment. Something to celebrate. As you may have seen me reference before, I was never very good at finishing projects. I was the queen of starting and abandoning them, and this was very much the reason I was a monogamous knitter until recently.
Today there are no shortage of places to share your endeavors. Instagram, Facebook, Ravelry, Pinterest, the list goes on. Often times my non-knitter friends (most recently I learned these folks are referred to as “muggles“) don’t really understand the desire to share works in progress or finished projects. “I just don’t get her whole knitting thing” or “she posts a lot of knitting stuff”. There’s a joy knitters get from the creative expression our craft gives. Making something with our own two hands, and most often gifting it to someone. Seeing someone else’s joy from receiving a thoughtful and handcrafted piece of work, it’s a pretty great feeling.
This brings me to my point. Celebrate your knits. Before, during and after. Take the time to beautifully curate and photograph your finished projects, your hard work and creative spirit deserve it. Do friends think you’re “wool crazy” (it’s a thing)? Who cares, embrace it. Are people looking at you strange because you’re hanging out in a park in a sweater when it’s 70 out? Awesome, sweat it out in pride. Are you standing on a stool in your pajamas, braless, on your patio, rearranging a work in progress to get the perfect shot to share? Sweet! Celebrate your knits!
For all the countless hours you spent searching for the perfect pattern, the perfect wool, knitting and re-knitting, finishing and blocking…give as much attention to the documentation of your victories, and share them. I think you’ll find an incredibly encouraging group of people that love celebrating knits just as much as you. xoxo
Earlier this year I knit my first adult sweater, which happened to be only the second thing I’d ever knit for myself. It was quite the project and precedented by much anxious anticipation. Well, I just finished my second sweater and this one was for my incredibly patient and deserving husband, David. He made sure I had time to work on this project too, entertaining Coltrane on more than one occasion. This is his first hand knit and he can’t believe how well it fits or how good it feels. I’ll give Brooklyn Tweed at least part of the credit for that. This pattern, Fort by Jared Flood is incredibly thorough and the design so well executed. David’s new phrase is “every time I wear this it feels like a thousand little hugs from you”. Pretty special.
This sweater project was part of two KAL’s (knit-alongs) one started by Annie Rowden and Karen Templer, deemed the #knittingforhimalong and the other “Summer Sweater KAL” started by Very Shannon. This, along with David’s excitement was enough motivation to keep momentum. It’s been a lot of fun to keep up with all the projects other folks have knit as a part of the KAL’s.
And so it’s come to my attention that I am now a full-time sweater knitter. All the sweaters, all the time. I’ve since started two others, which I’ll be sharing here shortly. It’s a serious addiction, encouraged by incredible fiber and new exciting patterns.
Here are some photos David and I took tonight. As lovely as they are, don’t be fooled, these were not taken in some ethereal backwoods in the celebration of Fall. No, they were taken at the dog park across the street from our apartment, in downtown SF in 70 degree weather. With a grumpy toddler strapped to my back and waning daylight. And that red cup? It’s whiskey. Peace.
Back in May some my favorite knitting friends on Instagram (@byannieclaire and @karentempler) began putting together a KAL (knit-along) centered around knitting a sweater for your man, deemed #knittingforhimalong. Karen wrote a lovely post here and here about the KAL as well as some really helpful sweater knitting tips and tricks.
I recently finished my first adult sized sweater which also happened to be only the second thing I’ve ever knitted for myself. Similarly, I have never knit something for my husband David, though have wanted to for a long time, but struggled with finding something he really liked the design and style of. With the start of this KAL, we spent several nights looking over patterns and finally settled on Fort, a Brooklyn Tweed pattern and chose a gorgeous dark blue shade of Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter.
My initial plan was to begin this sweater as I was working to complete my own sweater, but I just couldn’t make myself do it. I know it sounds funny to many, but I’ve always been a monogamous knitter for fear I’ll lose interest in one of the projects and not finish them. (In recent weeks I’ve taken a leap and started a second WIP…more on this later.) So I got a little late start, but on a recent road trip I managed to swatch and make some progress on this lovely beast of a sweater (K2, P2 x 1 million rows). 🙂 It’s going excellent so far, I’m in love with Shelter and the stitch definition is really beautiful. David approves wholeheartedly and we’re excited for those freezing San Francisco Winters when he can wear it. Totally kidding, but surely there will be plenty of opportunities in this sweater’s life for loving wear. 🙂
Make sure to follow along on our KAL journey on Instagram, #knittingforhimalong