Last week I tried to make myself a “quick” and “easy” top.
I fought with that project all week, making stupid mistake after stupid mistake, and having to rip out seams and start over again and again. By Sunday, I was so discouraged by my repeated difficulty with what should have been perhaps 5 hours of work (three 40″ French seams, 30″ of hemming, and two yards of whip stitch) that I gave up and did nothing. I didn’t even pick up my work bag all day.
And so, on Monday, instead of continuing to punish myself, I put the top aside and started a project I knew I would enjoy– a baby sweater, using assembly techniques I’d never done before, in a gorgeous handpainted yarn that would delight me with every color change.
At first I told myself that I shouldn’t be knitting a baby sweater. This project is so far down my queue that it doesn’t even appear on the list I have in my notebook, and you know how I feel about making lists. But I craved the meditative calm of knitting, and I needed something that would qualify as instant gratification (which baby sweaters generally do since they’re so small), and every lone skein in my stash that finds a purpose is a victory.
By late Monday night, I was finished with the first sleeve and feeling like an artisan again.
On Tuesday, I did some kitchen work, as we often do on Tuesdays, and after I started the bread dough, I sat down in the studio and took another swing at the top. Four hours later, it was done.
So now I’m back to working on the baby sweater, but now it’s a reward for having persevered in finishing the project at the top of my list.
Of course, now I suffer no illusion that knitting this sweater is a waste of my time.
This pattern is Yael Baby Sweater by Naama Zahavi-Ely, a top-down seamless raglan that is truly in one piece: you never break and reattach the working yarn. The sizing is a bit wonky– the measurements would turn out about right, in my estimation, for a size 0-3 months and the pattern says it’s 9-12 months size– so I’m trying to fix that as I go along and make it bigger. The yarn is Malabrigo Rastita in Peacock (tonal blue), which is a little thick-and-thin but not enough to throw off the consistency of the twist, and definitely soft enough for baby garments.