Thursday, January 14, 2016

Out With the Old

I'm back from our trip to Germany and Denmark. And I didn't knit a stitch the whole time. I just wasn't feeling it, for some reason. It wasn't until I was on the plane home that I hauled out my latest sweater to do a bit of work, promptly found a mistake a few rows back, tried to fix it with a crochet hook, made a mess of that, and then, somewhere over the tip of Greenland, stuffed it back in my bag. Sigh.

I did get to wear cozy handknit socks every day, keeping my toes warm in the frigid weather. But I never visited a yarn store; we just never were in the right place at the right time. However, I did see a few people knitting, and saw some nice knitwear on the streets everywhere we looked.

And also this gem -- a mural at a construction site near the Marble Church in Copenhagen. It featured tropes from pastoral art scenes with weird twists, such as UFOs over a group of milkmaids, a giant cat looking in a window at some feasting revelers, and this shepherd, riding a dog and knitting.

When I got home, and packed away some of the things I'd taken to keep warm, I realized that it was time to let go of some of my early handknit sweater projects. A few were just failures, like the weirdly wide-lapeled green cabled vest I thought I would love, but most were just too big. And although they represented a decade of learning new techniques and hours of work, I just didn't need them any more.

So, out with the old. I told each one goodbye in a Kondo-esque way, and sent them off to charity. I suppose I could have recycled some of the yarn, but I didn't. Clockwise from the upper left, they are: Men's Sweater by Staci Perry (too big, but I'll be making this again!), Herz & Baum Vest (weirdly shaped shoulders), Branching Aran Guernsey , Cobra Sweater, ZimmerZipper Cardigan, and the Whitfield Jacket (all too large) . All of them served their purposes, whether for learning or as something to keep me warm, but it was time for them to go. I'm only a little sad about it. I'm glad I still have records of them in Ravelry, though, so I can remember what I learned from them, and perhaps make newer, better versions later.

Almost have the front of the Sawyer Sweater finished. And this weekend, I have plans to go yarn shopping with my sister and I'm eally looking forward to it. So much newness to look forward to in this new year!


  1. I'm speechless to hear that you didn't knit once on your entire trip! I can't IMAGINE not knitting. Perhaps I should try for just one day, sort of like a Facebook vacation. Thought gives me shudders. Welcome back!

    1. It was so strange! A major factor was that I took a sweater. It was a big piece, and I kept thinking, "Eh, I don't wan to haul that out now." I should have taken a sock project, like I usually do.

  2. I'm also a little sad to see your first sweaters go... but realize that you've gotten your joy from them and it's time to move on. I'm so glad you documented everything. They won't REALLY be gone!

    I have learned that when traveling to a place with gorgeous scenery or where another language is spoken (cognitive overload), the vanilla sock is THE BEST BET. And books. When I'm too tired to knit, I can read. When I'm too tired to read, I sleep. When I'm too tired to sleep... maybe that's the end!

  3. I think a plain sock sounds like a good travel project. I haven't knitted for a month due to a thumb injury, it does feel very strange.

    I also know how you feel about early projects that don't fit or didn't quite work out or that for some reason you aren't loving any more. I'm with Janelle, document them and move on. I do have one current sweater that I still like (my Thwaite cardigan) but I'm not happy with how the yarn is wearing, and I also wasn't happy with how the collar seam was resolved. If I can find a better yarn and figure out how to make the collar better I'd probably have another go. I'll save the buttons from the old one!

    Looking forward to seeing how your new sweater turn out...