I started this sweater almost three years ago. I was preparing to move to another country and as I was packing and sorting through my possessions I’ve decided not to buy anything new. Ever.
As my sewing machines and all my craft items were either packed or given away, I realized I would need a new project that would keep me busy and happy, but also was easy to carry around. I had a gift card that I didn’t know what to do with; when I decided I would make myself my first sweater.
I remember choosing the yarn. Spending an hour looking at everything in the yarn store, reading labels and touching the yarn to my inner wrist to see if the wool was itchy or not. I bought a light grey yarn, a type of superwash wool that looked pretty. I had knitted two cowls a few months before in a bulky, virgin wool and I was never able to wear them. They were too itchy. I bought six skeins, to make sure I had enough.
I didn’t use a pattern in the beginning. I just briefly researched the construction of a sweater and got started after I’ve seen a loose knitted jumper on Pinterest. I didn’t do a swatch test. I didn’t understand what gauge was and I matched my needles with my yarn weight by guessing. I just started knitting.
I was very slow, but I enjoyed it. I would listen to podcasts or audiobooks and think of the new place I’d live in. When I moved, the long winter nights, the cold and the knee-high show made finishing the sweater even more pleasant. Little by little I had finished it. It looked like a sweater.
When I tried it on, I realized the sleeves were maybe 30% longer than they should have been. In retrospect, they looked a lot like the Pinterest image I saw but they were not practical at all. The sweater fit awkwardly. I was very loosely knitted and just too big.
No worries, I thought to myself, it’s wool, so I’ll just was it in warm weather and dry it and everything will just work out. It didn’t. There was absolutely no shrinking. I tried wearing it a couple of times, but it just didn’t feel right.
It stayed in the back of the closet for a long time, before I’ve committed to using only the yarn I had in my stash before buying any more new yarn. So I unravelled the sweater and started making another one, in bulky wool that looked faster to knit. Again, forgotten.
A few weeks before moving again, I picked it up again. I used a pattern for the first time. I took my time to swatch and get gauge. I then adapted the pattern to my own gauge and started, slowly, knitting. I unravelled parts of it a few times. I knitted them again.
And then it was finished. And it fit.