In an ideal world, I would have unlimited time to knit myself sweaters. Sweaters all day, every day. A new sweater every month. I started knitting because I wanted to make sweaters.
In the real world, however, I have a part-time job and 2 children (3, if you count my husband, which I usually do because, among other things, he’s just as likely as the children to stand directly in front of something and shout that he can’t find it). I have a house to keep (sorta) clean, laundry to do, food to cook and a million other little tasks that leave me with far less personal knitting time than I’d like.
I have a Camaro sweater WIP that’s been on the needles since last fall. A Weekender that’s stalled because I need to finish up 2 more sample knits for 2018—and then will have to start samples for 2019. A Mesmeric cardigan that’s nothing more than saddles. The list goes on.
What am I to do, then, when it’s fall and winter and I’m, you know . . . cold? I do have some handknit sweaters in my sweater chest, but not enough to wear them exclusively. But to actually buy a sweater—it feels like a betrayal. A betrayal of my knitter self, the design industry, the yarn industry—I am a knitter and I should be making sweaters!
I really don’t enjoy being cold, though, so a few years ago, I talked myself into buying a couple of sweaters. One is a big wooly pullover that stretched out so much when I washed it that it’s more like a tunic. It’s warm and cozy, but not particularly flattering, so that one doesn’t leave the house much.
The other is this colorwork yoke pullover decorated with subtle ribbon yarn bobbles. It can be dressed up or down, fits well, and stays in pretty heavy rotation.
But, I wore it out this past weekend, and . . . it happened.
Someone—no, multiple someones!—asked me if I had knit it.
I hate this question.
It fills me with shame.
I dropped my head and muttered, “No, I actually bought it. Like a regular person.”
Like a muggle.
I know the question is not meant as a slight. When I wear something I have knit and someone asks about it, it’s always followed by a flattering comment. So surely they just intend to compliment me on my work.
But it feels like sweater-shaming.
To have to declare that I—a knitter who loves knitting sweaters—did not actually knit my sweater feels like admitting defeat.
I have failed! Failed to uphold the knitter’s oath.
Wait, no, we don’t have one of those.
Despite the fact that at no point did I pledge to knit every article of clothing I would ever wear, it still fails like a failure. I guess somewhere along the way I got it in my head that I should be a walking talking advertisement for the joys of knitting and the warmth and comfort of handknit sweaters.
I should probably work on that.
How about you? Do you buy sweaters? Do you feel guilt or shame about them? Or do you always wear handknit—and how did you get there? Share in the comments!