This is my Clairette Cardigan. It's something of a roadmap of grief and growth. I started it in February of 2014 and challenged myself to complete it by my birthday. That would have given me three months from start to finish. When my Dad died, unexpectedly, a month into my challenge, I turned to knitting this sweater for therapy. The inconsistency in gauge and tension reveal the different emotions I was facing at any given time--tight stitches when I was tense or frightened, loose ones when I was too exhausted or too numb to hold the yarn properly in my hands.
By the time summer came, I had completed most of the body. But, it was summer, and woolen sweaters were the furthest from my mind. I played around with the sleeves a bit that the fall, trying to modify them for a more customized, preferred fit. About three-quarters of the way through them, the project was pushed aside once again. Practically a whole year went by before touching it, and well, it's amazing how much you can grow in a year (in more ways than just in regards to knitting--but we'll stick with the knitting here, today.) I've been making a very sincere effort to improve my stitching. A chronic loose knitter, I realized I needed to build different muscle memory to improve my consistency and gauge. It's encouraging to see how far I've come. But also frustrating. When I picked up this project again, with improved stitching capabilities, I had to go up a needle size (ok, maybe two!) and allow myself to return to my loose knittin' ways to keep some consistency in this sweater.
Up next, for a large project, is a Praline. Since seeing Melody's, I've been dreaming of one. I have the yarn to do a Perry as well, but I figure I should avoid knitting (basically) the same sweater twice in a row. What can I say? I have a type--long and drapey, simple and classic with just a touch of feminine detail. So, an elbow length, fitted cardi in amazingly soft alpaca sounds like a fun knit to break up the predictability. It's still going to be gray, though.
PS: There is still time to get 15% off in the shop. Just use code NEWYEAR when checking out. Expires on January 12th.