I have such exciting news! Two bits of news, actually, and one just as exciting as the next! I'm sorry I've been a little absent in the blogosphere lately - I do have some sewing to share with you very soon, but in the meantime this sweater is Where. It's. At.
Meet Thyone. Despite appearances, what you see before you is not, in fact, a sweater - but instead the most delicious hug ever produced on two needles. Seriously. I willed so much warmth into this thing while I was knitting, I wouldn't be surprised if it had superpowers. It is so much more than just a sweater.
I might be overreacting slightly. It's not like it's even my first sweater - but it has been about three years since the last one, and I left the majority of my handknits at my parent's house when I moved to New Zealand* so I've been sorely lacking.
To be fair, up until very recently, my knitting in general has been pretty lacking, probably due to a few factors. You know how people talk about 'seasonal knitters'? People who knit in the winter and then put it down for the warmer months? My knitting may not be dependent on the weather as such, but it is dependent on my environment. I am a social knitter: productivity increases when I'm around or interacting with other knitters. I am also a convenience knitter: I knit in waiting rooms, when I'm the passenger in a car, when I'm flying (there's a lot of waiting in flying) - basically anytime I might have some non-sewing down time. There just hasn't really been that much of either lately.
Even with all those restrictions I seem to have placed on myself, I am on a ROLL. I think this sweater just presented itself at exactly the right time, to be honest. We had an unseasonable cold snap here in Auckland that pushed me to start thinking about warm layers early, so I started snooping on Ravelry. I found the perfect sweater pattern, and the sample in the photos was knit for a person about my size and in my Wardrobe Architect colors, and figured I'd store that knowledge away for later. A few days later, Jimmy Bean's Wool started a free international shipping promotion, and that was the final nail in this warm, wooly coffin. How could I not, really?
By the time the yarn arrived the weather was back to summery, but by some miracle (and a lot of Netflix) I managed to stay interested in this sweater the whole way through. It is a rather interesting sweater, to be fair.
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that this sweater has been the main feature of my Instagram stories since the day I hand-wound the yarn into balls. Hah! I guess that's how I've maintained the 'social knitter' aspect - holding myself accountable to you guys through regular updates made me feel like progress had to be made. I also followed a couple of knitters on IG so that their progress would pop up in my feed. Of course, my epic sweater progress was in part the reason progress on other projects wasn't being made, but hey - this is what I was feeling motivated to work on, so I worked on it.
This sweater also helped me to remember something I'd forgotten: Knitting is cathartic. It's a bit like how people describe yoga (my particular body doesn't agree with yoga but that's okay) It is calming and relaxing, it can be mentally stimulating, it provides something non-threatening to focus on, and it allows the knitter to slow down and simply exist - something I sometimes struggle with. I've realized during the creation of this sweater that I'm a much happier camper on the knitting days than not, and that's a pretty cool thing.
The minute I cast off, my fingers started itching for the next project. Seriously, I hadn't even blocked this sucker yet and I was already thinking two or three sweaters down the road. At first, what I wanted was simply to get something - anything - on the needles, but then I started to consider the object I'd just created. It blends amazingly with my Wardrobe Architect pieces, and I can tell I'm going to be living in it this winter. It makes sense that I should put a certain amount of care and thought into future knits - lest I spend two months of my life working on something that ends up not fitting into my lifestyle.
The thought never even occurred to me that knitting should be included in my Wardrobe Architect, but it's definitely happening now! I still need to work through a list and figure out which holes most desperately need filling, but even the simple thought of including handknits is making my Wardrobe Architect feel much more complete.
My next knit is going to be an Icelandic Lopapeysa with yarn my sister brought back from her trip there last year. It's a very unique yarn, and I'm really looking forward to getting started! I've got some sewing to catch up on first, though- so expect a deluge in the very near future.
If you want a play-by-play of all the nerdy details and my edits to this pattern, check out my Ravelry project page :)
*At the beginning of this post, I mentioned there were two very exciting things. The sweater, as wonderful as it is, may be dwarfed by my other news: A few days ago, my New Zealand residency visa was approved - Four months ahead of schedule! The Powers That Be have decided that I'm allowed to carry on living in this fine little country, and soon I'll have the sticker in my passport to prove it! Not only does this mean I get to feel a little more settled with my living situation, it also means I can start planning a trip to visit my family this Christmas. Happy Residency to me!