It only took me five years to complete, but here it is! Jacqueline Fee wrote this great book called The Sweater Workshop. I bought it fiver years ago with the intention to knit my first sweater. I cast on the sampler hoping by constructing it I’d gain lots of worldly knitter knowledge. As is typical of my crafty endeavors, I petered out about half way through.
Fast forward five years to oh, about last week or so…
I was digging through my UFO (unfinished object) basket and found all sorts of treasures. Balls of yarn I’d forgotten about, circular needles I thought I’d lost, and projects that hadn’t seen the light of day in aeons. Among them I rediscovered the sad state of my sweater sampler and vowed to promptly get to work.
Being a procrastinator, I of course had to first put the kettle on, grab my slippers (the floor is really cold), get a snack (or two), play with the cat, gather my supplies, pick out which tea I wanted to drink, and THEN got down to work.
Once I got going I realized how much I’d actually learned in the last five years. I’ve done short rows, and all sorts of shaping, and even designed and tweaked my own patterns. Working on the second half of the sampler was fabulous! I learned all sorts of tricks for techniques I’d been using for ages. The tips for two-color knitting were especially helpful. It was one of those AHA! moments where you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself because it’s so obvious.
I worked on it a little bit each night this week and wove in the ends last night. It really is a neat little thing. When I do want to get to my first sweater (which I still haven’t cast on for yet), I’ll have this handy guide at my disposal. If I want to do a certain kind of raglan shaping, I just look at my sampler, then flip to the section in the book with those instructions and I can easily refresh my memory. Like so many knitters (and muggles) I’m a visual learner. If you’re the same, I highly recommend working this sampler before you tackle your next project.
Even if you’re not planning to make a sweater, the wisdom sprinkled throughout is well worth the price of the book. The author takes bits of Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s advice and combines it with her own observations in the instructions for each section. I definitely recommend adding this to your library if you don’t have it already.