Friday, 19 February 2016


I have a little crafting moral dilemma for you to side with today. 

Do you think you should take time to knit the things you wear the most? say, items that are worn on regular rotation or do you think taking the time to knit or crochet should be for special items that you wear more occasionally?

This cardigan has been on the needles since April 2015. It was my intention to knit it in the summer ready to wear in the winter. I thought it would be an easy mindless knit for sitting in the garden with, it would fit me well and I would be reaching for it on a weekly basis to keep me warm in the office or between tutoring appointments.

In all honesty I started to really hate it with a vengeance by this January. It was hard to knit in the evenings because it was black, I ran out of yarn, I knit two right fronts and had to rip one back which was a pain when it had inserted pockets and then I lost the 9 buttons I bought for it. It never really caught momentum even though I really, really wanted it.

This experience has made me take stock of why I knit or crochet, what I might knit in the future and which designs to choose. I mean it is just a black cardigan, I could should have gone out and bought one. If it was an unusual shade to go with a skirt or something I might have been more satisfied but it really is just a black cardigan. Luckily, I like it, it fits and I got to go button shopping again so that is all an added bonus eh?

In answer to the original question - I think knitting is for special things that are unusual, creative, different and head-turning because one thing is for sure, I am never going to knit a black cardigan ever, ever again! 

Yarn: Drops cotton 14 balls (£1.09 each)
Pattern: Rowan Classic cafe (book one) 'Whitney'
Determination: Supersonic!

What about you? What do you think about the dilemma?


  1. My Mother knitted just about every cardigan and jumper in the house, but she was a demon with the pins, clicking away non stop. I used to knit rather than crochet or sew and it was always for special things, Aran in particular as it is difficult to buy just what you want.

  2. Well done for persevering Jo! I make a cardigan a year but I try to choose a pattern that makes it special, meaning different from the standard M&S cardigan. I NEVER choose a pattern that needs assembling later (avoiding the issue of making to right fronts). I am usually pleased with the result but knitting cardigans on small needles is thankless really and I do wonder why I am punishing myself this way when I could be doing something more fun. I have lost my knitting mojo a little actually but no doubt will soon cast on for a new cardigan. I lost my favourite bodiless cardigan recently (Lady Grey, on Revelry), use it as a scarf in winter and scarves are easily lost... Oh, Richard bought me a crafters lamp for Christmas. It is hideous but helps with knitting dark yarn :-)

  3. I think knitting and crochet is for all the things you want to make and not for those you don't. I know I will never knit or crochet with black yarn for the reasons you mention.

    There is a black skirt I am planning to sew though, and not at all looking forward to it. I shall probably do it though as I missed it last summer when I didn't have it. Otherwise, I think it is a nice mixture of what you want to make, and the kind of things you need to make. I have the most beautiful shawlette made out of silken gold. But I have never worn it, as I have had no occasion to. On the other hand I have a cheap shawlette made out of acrylic and this is it's third year as it is so comfortable and pretty and I love it.

    In the end there are some 'posh' must makes and then everyday ones. I like to wear what I make, that is the point of them and I don't have many dressy occasions. That said, I would go ahead and make whatever I wanted if I wanted to enough and could afford to. Just so I could look at it sometimes and marvel at myself.

    Borrowing from Christina, I also have a crafting lamp. A marvellous thing. Couldn't cope without it as eyes all over the place now. I use it for reading too. Not expensive like some are - mine was from Argos. I think making a cardigan a year is a brilliant idea also. I think they are just so useful.

  4. I think it's always hard when you loose your momentum with a project and then they end up sitting around for ages. I have a similar one with a throw I started for D's office and I constantly look at it thinking I really should get that finished. It's been on the go for a year now and every now and then he asks how it's coming along especially when he see's that I have started yet another project.

  5. Just knit or crochet whatever you fancy, but if you really hate it don't worry about taking it out and using the wool up on something else life is too short to be stressing about a bit of knitting.

  6. While I can understand why you reached the conclusion you have about the projects you choose to make, you have created a uniquely stylish "classic" that is to me a treasure. I'm glad you are enjoying it! xx

  7. After all your frustration, this cardi has turned out really well and looks just great. I think you will get your wear out of it. I wouldn't make anything dark as I know that I wouldn't be able to see it. I think if you make something for every day use you get more satisfaction that if you make a posh sometimes worn cardi.

  8. Your cardi looks great, and will last longer than a shop bought one. My mother was a great knitter and I am still wearing a couple of jumpers over 30 years later, though these are not everyday wear. But I know what you mean. The main part of making it yourself is the pleasure in seeing something beautiful grow. These days it often costs less to buy ready made too. But well done you for persevering.

  9. Well done for sticking with it. I recently gave away all my black wool because it is hard on my eyes. I rarely knit for myself. But, when I do, it is mainly hats and scarves for everyday use.

  10. I have a sweater languishing in a basket with very similar issues, although it is gray. The thing is I have spent billions on yarn to make things that will never be worn or even given away. By the knitting or crocheting was what I needed to do, I needed to play with yarn and create it is as simple as that. I swear I rarely make things that fit or that I wear, but I will keep on just the same. I love the black cardi, I am glad you perceived.

    1. Keep on Meredith! Every item gets you closer to your ideal fit.

  11. Well firstly it looks great, so well done for persevering and finishing it :-) I tend to lean towards the "special" side rather than the "everyday" stuff, but having said that it's always good when you get lots of wear out of something you've made - somehow all the effort to make it seems more worthwhile. xx

  12. Well done for persevering. It is a cardi you will wear all the time. Sounds like you were right though, knit for fun!

  13. I think that you should use the things you make, not just keep them for best, so I guess in that way the answer to your question would be yes, make every day things, but.... I am pretty sure that even if I could knit I would only knit things I loved! Does that make sense? Anyway, I think that your cardigan is great and looks good on you, I hope you enjoy wearing it after all of that hard work! The buttons are so pretty!! xx

  14. Well done for getting through a black item as big as a cardigan. I am hard to fit, so whatever I make for myself gets worn all the time regardless of how plain or fancy it is. If I want one, I will make one so it fits properly. I made a lovely blue cardi and vowed after that I would make a different cardi for myself every year but i got sidetracked with other things until now this season, the cardi is getting worn and I need to undo and rework the sleeves to fix the damage and praying I can keep track of the row numbers! Your cardi looks nice on you and with customised buttons, it is totally worth having something unique to wear.

  15. I totally agree with you Amy! My home-made items are on my back more than they are in the wardrobe.