Knitting Moods

 My knitting mood swings wildly.

 I have some beautiful gray wool in my stash and I fully intend to buy enough to knit a sweater. However, right now? I don’t want to knit a beautiful gray sweater from lightweight yarn. I want to knit an intricately cabled Aran sweater, preferably the pattern found in both Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitters Almanac and Knitting Around. In cream, probably.

 I think that I would chose Knitting Around simply because there is a very lovely picture of Meg Swansen’s husband Cullen; in which he is wearing an intricate Norweigan sweater and his hair is Shiny and Pretty.

 Not that that has anything to do with knitting. Er.

 Moving on. Knitting moods. Ah, yes. Aran sweaters.

 Periodically, the mood strikes me and I want to harken back to Ye Olde Days of Knitting. Natural wools. Traditional patterns with no shaping that look like intricate and finely detailed wool sacks. (I’m looking at you, Starmore!) Pullovers that, while beautifully executed with the requisite stripes, look like you fell out of bed and walked into the world wearing your nightclothes. Warm and useful and usually not very attractive, but heck, when it’s under twenty degrees outside, you just want something that will keep the wind from taking the skin off the back of your neck. Which, in Ye Olde Days, was probably a pretty good trick, considering that not dying was a remarkable feat.

 Unfortunately, just before I commit my precious spending money to some foolish venture, I remember why I don’t knit shapeless sacks, no matter how traditional. I think they look darn ugly. So I put my money back and buy beautiful subtle gray colors and plan for a lovely cardigan that I will be able to wear for years and years, probably.

 The urge has been stronger lately. I know that I must buy Christmas presents for my dear family and I will. I know that I will buy the rest of the gray wool that my kindly LYS owner is holding back for me, and I will. But I will be eyeing the Cascade Ecological wool she has on the shelves. It’s aran weight and comes in a lovely cream color.

 I sense my resistance fading. I sense that my knitting mood will eventually overcome my rational brain and…AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

(slaps self repeatedly)

 Much better.

 But, then again..

 In Knitting Around, there’s Shiny, Pretty Hair.


 This reminds me of why I try not to shop when it’s below twenty degrees. Weak resistance, you understand. At least, that’s what I think I’m planning to blame it on.


December 4, 2008. Snark Editorial.


  1. samantha replied:

    well thats odd. Just the other day, I was thinking about buying some eco wool to make myself an aran cream sweater!

  2. jinniver replied:

    I think the lure of Ye Olde Days hits a lot of people at least occasionally. I haven’t had it happen in knitting yet, but it did when I was quilting. I decided I was going to make an Amish-look quilt (with the solid fabrics and traditional design you’d find in an Amish quilt) and I was going to not only hand quilt it, I was going to hand piece it. So my Mom and I headed over to Intercourse, PA in Amish country to buy the fabric at our usual store, and Mom told the Mennonite woman cutting my fabric about my plans. She stopped mid-cut, gave me a stern look, and said, “Even the AMISH use sewing machines!”

    Quite the mood killer. And I can’t remember if I thanked her for bringing me to my senses…

  3. Knitasha1968 replied:

    I’m pretty sure that Cully is Meg’s son, not her husband. Her husband was Chris.

  4. Jennifer replied:

    You can always add shaping to an aran sweater if you keep the side panels in stockinette… I’ve done it myself, and will do it again the next time I want to bathe in cables without looking like a potato. (It also saves yarn!)

  5. Jasmin replied:

    Yeah, cold weather = wool purchases. Your definition of “cold” is what I call “ass-chapping cold”. For me, under 70 degrees is cold, and 50 is “cold enough to die”.

  6. Helen replied:

    I so agree with you!
    Those gorgeous traditional sweaters look like ugly sacks when worn by anything other than a blocking board!
    But…. you CAN change them.
    I have (gasp) altered the lines of a St*rmore! I changed drop shouldered to set in sleeves, and it made a world of difference.
    Luckily, the yoke sweaters aren’t as un-shapely… so the Bohus tradition is still available w/o alteration

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