Five years ago, my older brother and his delightful wife gifted Coastal Knits to me for Christmas. My sister-in-law Mel left me little notes in the book about particular patterns she liked. In any other family, this kind of behavior would have been seen as presumptuous but not in mine. I’ve mentioned before the level of craftiness and artistic talent that runs rampant through the people I love and Mel is no exception. She knows the kind of time, skill, and focus that goes into sometimes even the smallest pieces. She left the notes to be funny and I did laugh but I also left them in there. Mel and my younger brother’s wife Cassie have become the sisters I never had, they treasure my family the way I do, and they’re a truly integral part of my life. Which is why, five years later, I am still knitting away on the Bayside Pullover I started for Mel shortly after receiving the book.
No, this isn’t a laceweight sweater on US 00000 needles; it calls for a fingering weight linen used on US 4 and I’m actually using a DK to make it more solid. Yes, I am kind of a terrible person because it’s taking this long. The point is, my mission for 2016 is to adult better (basically) and part of that is fulfilling my obligations to other people. I don’t mean things that I feel obliged to do (implying negative feelings toward either the people or the projects) so much as things that I have promised others. And just because I’m obligated doesn’t mean that I’m bitter about it–I’m taking quite a bit of pleasure in watching this sweater grow, out of finishing the gloves that I knit for my husband, out of picking up some truly luscious yarn and completing something. I’m 30. New year, new decade. It’s time to finish some things.
Pattern: Like all Knitbot patterns, Hannah Fettig has done a lovely job in writing this. It’s easy to follow, easy to memorize, and I don’t have to focus too hard on it while I’m knitting so I can easily binge watch Making a Murderer with my husband while the sweater just magically gets longer. I love the way the cables go around the sleeves and then down the sides, undulating with the waist shaping. Really, the whole book is beautifully done–the patterns are well-written, the illustrations and photography are gorgeous and make me want to visit Maine and Northern California again. I want to knit practically everything in it. Fettig and Alana Dakos (Never Not Knitting) have done a beautiful job.
Yarn: I couldn’t afford Quince & Co Sparrow when I started this project and I wanted to make the sweater a little less airy because Minnesota so I used Knit Picks CotLin instead. My issues with Knit Picks aside, I do really like this yarn. It’s got a good hand and some subtle texture thanks to the linen content. Like any cotton or linen, it’s a little hard on the hands because it doesn’t have the stretch and bounce of wool, but I knew what I was getting myself into. I can’t even use that as an excuse for why I’ve been picking this sweater up and putting it down for so long. I have Knitter’s ADD–I’m very easily distracted and I enjoy starting new things.
It’s time to finish these things for the people I care about because it will make me happy and it will make them happy. I’m enjoying the journey this sweater has taken, cast on in New York to bind off in Minnesota, and I know I’m going to enjoy the look on Mel’s face when she (finally) gets to wear it.
(If you’re interested in seeing my progress on finishing all these projects, watch #d4bindoff2016 on Instagram!)