When Knitting Attacks (warning long post)

thunderstrom sweater 001

To steal a bite from the Knitmore Girls, this is a “when knitting attacks” story.

This is my first no-pattern sweater. I have taken sweater classes from Ysolda Teague and Jared Flood on knitting and designing sweaters. I’ve been wanting to make my own design for a long time and this thunderstorm swater is the perfect project because it’s small, so if I make mistakes I won’t mind too much ripping out. And my son had specific wishes that required a custom design. See this post for his drawing. I spent a long time drawing, measuring, swatching, calculating. I bought the yarn I would need. I had a new set of needles and finally the moment came where I felt confident enough to cast on. The amount of love that has gone into this sweater before even one stitch has been cast on is immense. I gave myself two months before my son’s 5th birthday, PLENTY of time to finish a child’s sweater on size 10 needles, or so I thought.

I got an inch into it and felt so delighted. The Malabrigo feels great, I love the new needles I’m working with , and most of all I’m finally making progress on the most special knitting project I’ve ever done because my son designed it. I figure this will be my on-the-go knitting until I get to the bottom of the cloud. So, I take it everywhere, but never really have a chance to work on it until a week later. Finally, some free time. I go to grab my project bag. But, wait… where’s my project bag? In the car? No. Under the bed hanging out with dust bunnies? No. At the grandma’s? No! My anxiety levels are rising. In any of the stores I have been to in the last WEEK?? NO!! The UNTHINKABLE has happened.

Denial sets in. It will surely turn up somewhere. I will sick “the finder” (aka my husband) on it and I’m sure he will find it in under two minutes. That’s his specialty. He is confident too which eases my fear. Until, even he can’t find it anywhere. I have lost my project bag, but I will not admit this to myself for another month. Each week I report to my knit night group, I still haven’t found my bag secretly waiting for it to present itself in one of those right-under-my-nose kinds of ways.

I slowly moved through the stages of loss. My mourning comes finally comes to an end and I accept the fact that I will have to start over. At least I didn’t lose my notes and calculations. Black Friday sales help ease the purchase of new yarn and needles, and we have a long road trip which makes for the perfect knitting storm (pun intended). Soon my mojo is BACK! The project flew off of my needles and I naievly though, “I can do this! He WILL have his sweater on his birthday! I’m not sure exactly how I am going to do the cloud and I still have to knit the sleeves, but I’ll figure it out… right?”


The cloud, I realize, has to be done in intarsia. Fine, I’ve done intarsia once before, no biggie. Note to self, intasia can’t be done in the round! The yarn ends up on the wrong side when you complete the circle. I knit and tinked a bunch of times until I come up with a work around. I figured I will just purl back for the length of the cloud and put in a small side seem in this section. I consult ravelry foums and this seems to be an acceptible solution. I made it work and finished the cloud (painfully, intarisa is not one of my favorite knitting techniques, but the yarn behaved itself for the most part). I held up the sweater to view my work and…. the cloud is disproportionally small and it looks more like a bat than a cloud. My son promptly proclaimed, “It IS a bat Mommy!” This would be all find and dandy if I was designing a batman sweater, but this is a thundercloud sweater, it should look like a cloud!

It is now 2 days away from his birthday, no sleeves done, no yoke done, the tiny bat/cloud looks silly… it is over. I will not be able to finish this in time for his birthday. It’s ok though. I am still going to finish this labor of love… probably not in time for Christmas, but it will happen soon. The knitting itself is delicious and fast. I have decided to just do the entire sweater in black and do duplicate stitch for the rest. I have some practice with duplicate stitch, hopefully that won’t attack me as well. I just hope he still fits in it when I finish! 

In the meantime, maybe I should try to finish his crochet Sonic that is only missing one leg and is in complete pieces… more to come on that.

One thought on “When Knitting Attacks (warning long post)

  1. Oh, no! I'm so sorry. But I'm glad to hear you're not giving up. It's always so discouraging when you have to frog a project you've worked hard on. In this case, though, I think keeping at it will be much worth the effort! (It may not be perfect, but I know he'll still love it.)


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