By Natalie Deem
With our ‘Sweater Weather Get Together’ on September 22nd, and our Sweater Contest, October 8th, fast approaching (see our calendar or Facebook page for more details), I started thinking back on the first sweater I knitted. At the time, I was working at a yarn shop in Meridian (before the days of the Twisted Ewe), and we just had a shipment of beautiful, self-striping yarns come through the door. I’m a bit of an impatient knitter, and if anything will make me want to finish a project, it’s self striping or, gradient yarn! I always want to see how the next color looks in my knitted work! (If you happen to be looking for some self striping or, gradient yarn, we have plenty to choose from at the Twisted Ewe! Check out Noro ‘Kureopatora’ or, Alexandra’s Crafts yarns!) The yarn that I picked was a wool/cotton/silk blend that moved through my fingers like a dream. I finished the sweater in its entirety in about five weeks. That summer flew by as I spent the weeks knitting a top-down, seamless, open cardigan – I couldn’t wait to see how the colors would turn out!
I had been knitting for quite a few years before I started this project – hats, mittens, scarves, etc., but the project that set me up for successful sweater knitting was socks! I had never had any interest in knitting socks, until one of my co-workers sat me down, and insisted that I learn to knit socks using the magic loop technique. I was so intimidated. The magic loop is great technique, but when you first see it, it looks like a tangled mass of a too-long circular needle with some frightened looking knitting attached. I picked it up quickly, thanks to my co-worker, and completed one and a half socks before I picked up another project. Early on, I learned the meaning of second sockitis! So, a few months later, when I sat down with my mass of Noro ‘Taiyo’ and my cardigan pattern, I got through it with zero hiccups. All of the shaping I had to do made so much more sense to me after knitting socks. The best way to knit your first sweater? Knit a sock first. So, in that vein, stay tuned… we’ll be announcing a ‘Sock 2 Sweater’ class in the coming weeks that encourages anyone to start knitting sweaters! Also, we have sweater kits available at the shop for anyone who wants help starting their sweater contest submissions!