Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Are Your Knits Working Hard Enough?

I'm passionate about wearing one's handknits. Yes, actually wearing them, and not letting them sit around as museum pieces. This is especially true for sweaters. I see (or used to, pre-pandemic) lots of knitters wearing accessories, but not very many wearing sweaters. Even at Rhinebeck. If you're not wearing handmade sweaters, why? Is it that you're nervous of making one because of concerns about fit or cost? There are answers to that. Think seamless and top down. Look for workhorse, inexpensive real wool. It's out there. Is it because your sweaters don't turn out as well as you had hoped? Is it because you've made all the pieces, but they're waiting in a shoebox at the back of your closet while you gather the energy to seam them together? Get over it all. Make sweaters and wear them. To death. When thin spots emerge at the elbows, darn them or patch them. When the cuffs wear off, re-knit them in leftover yarn or find other imaginative solutions. When the sweater has finally given all it can, felt it (another reason to use non-superwash wool), cut it up, and make tea cozies and mitten liners. Got the idea?

Today I 'm making good use of my latest Perth Cardi. This is my third, the other two having gone to sweater heaven. This little cardigan, which I prefer in alpaca or an alpaca blend, is the most useful sweater in my wardrobe. It fills the awkward gap in spring and fall when you need some warmth but not too much. It can also be worn layered in winter, and it just happens to be my favourite reading-in-bed garment. 

It's perfect this morning when the furnace has clicked on to cope with the 4C temp outside (going up to 18C this afternoon, I hope). It seems we're likely to have a long and difficult, possibly semi-locked down winter. Plan to make some sweaters to enliven the dark. And get outside and enjoy what remains of sunshine and warmth. Look at these gorgeous helianthus that I passed on my walk yesterday afternoon!