Winter COULD BE coming, so let’s knit everything

Knittaz elbow strapFirst, if you think knitting is only a cold-weather activity, you probably don’t knit, so just sit back and listen to this one. The only thing that stops me from knitting is the occasionally debilitating pain in my hands and arms (thank you, fibromyalgia), which I usually ignore for as long as I can. I pull my tennis elbow straps tighter and soldier on, one more row my mantra when the going gets tough.

And it does get tough. A friend said to me recently, “There is no crying in knitting!” And I laughed, because she was so wrong. I can only undo and redo hours of work to fix that one damn mistake so many times before it starts to get to me. But, like Mr. Frond, the guidance counselor in my favorite TV show, I am a KNITTA 4 LIFE.

Mr. Frond Knittaz 4 Life
Image: screenshot from Fox’s Bob’s Burgers, season 2 episode 3. Love the “chuckles” caption.

Earlier this summer I made my first pair of legwarmers, which I finished just in time for the heat wave that made this little photoshoot extra sweaty. I’ve been trying to learn new techniques with each project, and this was the first time I knit two objects on the same needles at the same time. Wise knitters advised me that this method eliminates the potential for second sock syndrome, an affliction that can lead to piles of lonely socks, legwarmers, and gloves without mates while their bored knitters move on to new projects.

Knit from Derya Davenport’s Rambler Legwarmers pattern in Ella Rae Lace Merino yarn.

I’m pretty happy with how these turned out, and if it ever gets chillier, I will dig them out of wherever I stuffed them when it was 100 degrees outside.

Then, while other knitters worked on airy shawls and light garments for the warm summer days, I dug out a fresh skein of wool and knit a scarf. Actually, a “scarflette,” but saying that makes me throw up a little. The pattern, Annie Ciszak Pazar’s Single Skein Scarflette, was simple and fun to knit, but it did not include a suggested yarn weight (thickness) or gauge (how many stitches it should take to make up an inch of fabric). Sure, the basic idea works for any yarn, but I had to cut out a whole chunk of the pattern to avoid making a two-foot-wide and really short scarf. Which I discovered after knitting the first several rows of said scarf.


Anyway, all I need now is a nice shawl pin (not something I ever thought I’d say) and I’ll be ready to take on a brisk morning in style.

And now, on to the biggest moment yet in my knitting life story: my first sweater. I bought the yarn for it months ago and kept it stored all together in its own bag, separate from the other yarn. I knitted a swatch to test my gauge when I bought the yarn, but much has changed since then: I have new needles! I’ve completed more projects! I’ve gained speed and skill!

So this week I knitted a new swatch, just to double check. Of course it didn’t match the gauge I needed for the pattern (Flax pullover from the wonderful and generous Tin Can Knits). I was bummed- no one likes doing boring things that don’t show up in the final product, let alone doing them twice or *groan* three times! I asked my more experienced knitting friend if I reallllllllly needed to knit another swatch or if I could just assume that the smaller needle size would work.

Of course she told me to knit another swatch- it’s the right thing to do. You don’t paint a whole room a new color without testing a small patch first. Still, I sent her several very sad emojis, to which she responded with her “There is no crying in knitting,” comment, which I corrected her on.

As tempting as it was to just start the damn project, creating an unwearable sweater because I didn’t want to do one more step at the beginning would be devastating. So I knit the swatch, the gauge was just right, and I cast on.


Here we go!

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