Thursday, 3 April 2008

Musing on sweaters

I love sweaters. I wear them pretty much every day, thanks to the smart casual dress code at work, even in summer. You'd think, since I'm a knitter, that I'd knit the sweaters I wear. Wrong! Every single sweater that I've ever worn to work is from a store. Blasphemous? Maybe. Here's the logic.

I am not scared of sweaters. I learned to sew long before I'd even thought about knitting. I have made clothing, quilts, doll clothes... Heck, the garb I'm making now is my own design, and coming out pretty well! So the issue that seems to be the biggest for most knitters simply isn't there for me. I love the finishing stages of making things. And it's not the size - I knit a blanket, I'm knitting a coat. I can handle size.

No, the big issue for me is gauge. I have 5 sweaters in my wardrobe that I wear more than any other tops I own. Two white, one black, one charcoal grey and one baby-blue. Every single one of them is in the 15-25 stitches per inch gauge. By way of comparison, the Jitterbug socks I made were 8.5 stitches to the inch. The yarn from which my sweaters are made is finer than the thinnest cobweb-weight yarn I've ever seen. It's roughly as thin as one strand of 6-ply embroidery floss, though of course not cotton.

I could knit sweaters like these, assuming I could find yarn and needles fine enough. And make myself blind, and take years per sweater. Or I could just buy the really nice sweaters and save my yarn money for something that is fun to knit, like socks. I can wear my handknit socks.

It's all part of the mission to only knit things I love knitting and will wear. And that is why I will rarely knit sweaters.

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