I’ve been an addicted knitter for some years now, and have steadily developed my skills in that area. I spent hundreds of dollars on yarn for various projects I had in mind several years ago, but have been stalled on most of them because I’ve lost interest in the projects themselves. One of the hardest things I’m discovering about knitting is matching up a gorgeous, favorite yarn with a project worthy of the stuff.
For example, I have some heather green 100% wool yarn for which I haven’t found a good sweater pattern. I thought I would use it to knit Kate Gilbert’s “Arwen” sweater,
but after knitting up a few inches of it, I got bored. I loved the hood, but for me there was not enough texture or interest, and I hated the hem and sleeves. But what else could I knit that would look good with my genuine Lothlorien leaf brooch? Nothing in my Jo Sharp books appealed (too boxy and conventional). My Viking knitting pattern book had some cool stuff, as did my Alice Starmore fisherman’s sweater books, but I can’t knit a really warm sweater and expect to be able to wear it much in Israel, even in Efrat. I thought about creating an original Shimshonit-designed sweater using the techniques I learned from Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson’s Knitting In the Old Way, but I couldn’t think of anything original.
I had despaired of finding anything before the moths find the wool, until I was looking today for a knitting pattern to use some pink mohair I’d bought for my daughters for a poncho or cape or shawl or something. I didn’t come across anything interesting for the mohair, but I did come across the Sweaterbabe website which has so many beautiful, creative, interesting knitting patterns, I found at least three or four projects that would work beautifully for my heather green, plus some for my lovely nut brown color wool DK and a dozen other yarns hanging around with nothing to do. Not only are the sweaters, hats, scarves, cowls, and vests wonderful looking, but customers who have knitted her patterns say they are extremely well-written and easy to do, even as first-ever knitting projects. I also liked the finished projects gallery where she posts photos from happy customers proudly wearing their beautifully-knit projects. (I’m especially impressed with how neat and well-knit they look, even on the novice knitters. Photoshop jobs? I hope not.) The site is intended both for knitters and crocheters, and includes advice and tips for both types of crafts. There is also a blog, an email list with monthly free patterns, and an “Ask Sweaterbabe” page to post your specific questions to Sweaterbabe Herself.
I have traditionally been a cable fan, knitting standard-shaped sweaters and avoiding openwork. But I’m getting more interested in lacework in my middle age, and Sweaterbabe’s many sweaters with lace combined with cables and unusual shapes have me intrigued. In the end, I have decided to knit either this lacy drape-front cardigan (which I can close with either my Lothlorien pin or the lovely silver scarf pin my friend Heather gave me) :
or this dramatic wrap cardigan:
And with all of Sweaterbabe’s dozens of other projects, I think I’ll be busy throughout the winter.