Sweater, the first


This is the first sweater I ever made. It is big and fuzzy and cozy. I made it my freshman year of college, that fantastic time in life when I thought I knew everything and thought I could get away with not reading all of the instructions. Sleeves? Length doesn't matter. Seaming? No problem, just stitch it. Blocking? Unnecessary. I used a pattern as a general guideline, but was completely haphazard with stitch count, sizing and finishing.

I distinctly remember that I was supposed to use something called "mattress stitch," but I didn't know what that was and didn't feel like it was important enough to look up (hubris!).

The finished sweater was supposed to be boxy, but I didn't size it correctly so it ended up being bigger than planned. I would always rather have a sweater be larger than needed rather than smaller, but this was a bit excessive.

I ended up wearing this creation as a coat for fall and winter in Maine. While it isn't water proof, the ribbed pattern made a thick fabric that kept the frigid New England wind at bay. Also, the ridiculously long sleeves ended up being perfect for keeping my hands (and space well beyond my finger tips) warm.

I can fit a shirt and sweater under this sweater, making it an ideal layering item. I am told that big boxy, drop shoulder sweaters are very "in" right now, but I'm pretty sure that was not the case when this monster came into being.

I have since learned a great deal about knitting, reading instructions and then actually following them being the most important. Of course adjustments and modifications can be made to a pattern, but it's a good idea to at least keep the basics in mind. I have also learned mattress stitch and must say, using it makes finished works look a lot better…I mean a lot better.



But when I was eighteen, no one could tell me how to do anything, especially not some written pattern. I thought that, obviously, my teenage self knew better. With this sweater as with most other things, that turned out not to be the case.

I love this thick, fuzzy, awkward sweater despite and perhaps actually because of its imperfections. When I look at it now I'm reminded of how much I really didn't know then, about life and knitting, and how far I've come. And really, another layer, no matter how beautifully imperfect, is always appreciated come winter.


Happy (sweater) knitting!

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