Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lessons Learned

Here are the top ten lessons I have learned from knitting 13 sweaters this year.

Lessons Learned from the Sweat of Sweater Knitting

1. Stitch markers are your friends. Use stitch markers to help you pick up stitches. Use stitch markers to break up cable/lace patterns. Have a bottomless supply of stitch markers, because you will lose them. You will break them. They will somehow end up in your bed, your laundry, the bottom of every bag you own and in your cereal.

2. Only knit sweaters you WANT to knit in yarn you really enjoy or it will feel like a painful process.

3. Gauge swatch: ALWAYS!

4. Trust your instincts (when it comes to size and everything else). If your gut keeps telling you that the little pink cardigan you're knitting might be too small, the odds are high that it will be, whether you are three inches from the start or three inches from the finish. And let's face it, nobody likes to frog a whole sweater.

5. Measure your recipient and understand how the garment should be worn (+/- ease) BEFORE casting on!

6. Know your body and how you like sweaters to fit. Don't knit size A because you think you might fit into it after you lose baby weight (ahem, speaking from experience here). Knit size B now or don't knit it at all.

7. Read other Ravelers' project notes on Ravelry. A problem from the pattern may have already been resolved by another knitter - which would clearly save you time, a headache and an investment at your local liquor store.

8. Recognize that babies grow... fast! And that means any handknits won't fit or be worn very long. When in doubt, make the size larger than you planned.

9. Raid your stash! I was able to make 9 sweaters from my stash!

10. Be okay with ripping, frogging and throwing in the towel. Knitting is supposed to be a pleasurable experience, not one that ends in tears.

Have you learned any lessons from knitting this year?

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