The Seven-Year Sweater

In 2008, I started a PhD and a sweater. This year, I’m finally finishing both of them. Starting with the sweater!

2015-07-02 14.20.02Do you know the Six Swans fairy tale? The one where six brothers are cursed to be swans unless their one sister knit them shirts out of stinging nettles without speaking—and it took seven years? I would have so failed at that task. Here’s what I had a year and a half in:

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My version of the ironically named Easy Weekend Pullover was made with cotton yarn. If you’re not a knitter, you should know that cotton has a bit of a reputation for being hard on your hands. Think of it like running with a weighted vest on.

So I would get really into this sweater for a while (like, for a month in 2010), finish part of it, and then get tired and forget about it again.

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But I as a wrote at the start of this year, my DIY goal for 2015 was to finish my unfinished objects (UFOs), and this sweater fit the bill.

2015-05-08 22.42.14So in May, I dug it back out. I had a front piece and half a back piece at that point. Keep in mind that this is my first bottom up, set-in sleeve sweater, so I didn’t even know if the pieces would fit together well.

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I knit the sleeves two at a time.

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And I had to redo the shoulder portion, because it turns out that I did not remember that I was knitting the smallest size!

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So the sleeves are a bit on the loose side, I but I can live with that.

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I am proud of myself for learning a new skill to finish this sweater: setting in sleeves! I highly recommend watching a video tutorial before attempting it (this one is good, as is this one).

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The shallow armscye seemed like it would be a problem for my broad shoulders at first, but it actually worked out fine because the neckline is so wide. The neck is probably my favorite part of the sweater.

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It was 90 degrees when I took these pictures, but I was so happy to have this knitting project done, I didn’t want to wait for a cooler day.

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I hope this can be an inspiration to other people with creative projects that have been on the back burner for waaaaay too long. I went from liking the weird salt-and-pepper yarn to hating it to actually kind of loving it. I went from certain I would finish, to certain I would NOT finish, to being determined to finish, even if the whole thing turned out completely weird and unlovable to anyone but me.

There’s probably a metaphor for writing a dissertation somewhere in there.

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What was my point again? Oh yeah—just finish it! Finish all the things!

 

 

 

 

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