My little kids get all sorts of sweaters knit for them (by me). Because they’re so small, they go really quickly and are a good way to try out new patterns – small commitment of both yarn and time. The older two get sweaters very occasionally. In fact, they’ve each only gotten one from me versus the 3-4 that each of the little kids has. Being nearly adult sized (Munchkin) and actually adult sized (Seahawk), both the money and time needed are quite a bit bigger.
A while ago, I decided that it was time for me to make a sweater for Seahawk. He was the only kid who hadn’t gotten one yet, and I was feeling a little bad about that. So he and I sat down at the computer together and surfed Ravelry for patterns. I guided him toward patterns from Tin Can Knits because I knew that any pattern I bought from them would be a good value (because all their patterns come in a huge variety of sizes from “baby to big”). Before too long, he picked the Jones cardigan. It was an ambitious project because it’s made from a stitch pattern called “moss stitch,” rather than the traditional stockinette. Add to that the large number of braided cables and I knew I was in for a long project. But I tackled it for him.
The pattern was a lot more complex than I expected. Don’t mistake complex for difficult, though. It wasn’t hard; it was just complicated. And for reasons I can’t place my finger on, I didn’t really like making it. I don’t know if it was the pattern itself or if I just chose an unpleasant yarn (it’s 50% lamb’s wool, 50% cotton). But whatever it was, I would almost always choose a different project to work on instead. Finally, I made the decision that I had to a certain amount of work on this sweater before I’d allow myself to work on any other projects. Then, about a month ago, I told myself no other projects at all until this one was done. You’d think that would have motivated me to just power through it, but no. I still took days off from knitting altogether sometimes just to avoid this project. But finally, about a week ago, I bound it off. What a happy day that was! Not only do I not have to work on it anymore, but it was such a big project that it just felt good to have finished it.
The sweater took me almost exactly a year to finish – by far my longest knitting project ever. Fortunately Seahawk doesn’t seem to have gone through too much of a growth spurt during that time, so it still fits him. And he gets lots of compliments when he wears it out (which has been basically every single time he’s left the house since I finished).
As glad as I am that the sweater is done, I’m even more glad that he likes and appreciates the work that went into it. Knowing that he loves it makes all the “blood, sweat, and tears” totally worthwhile.