Nephew Knit

Back in the summer my sister requested a sweater for my nephew based on something she saw in a fancy kids catalog.  It seemed simple enough - light blue and navy stripes with a lowercase initial on the front.  So I started looking around for yarn.  It had to be washable, come in the right colors, and be... well, inexpensive.  I'm not knitting a sweater for a one-and-a-half year-old that costs me $60 in yarn.  My sister may as well buy the one from the catalog at that rate.  So, I settled on Berroco Comfort.  It hit all three criteria.  So it's not a natural fiber... but it is really soft - and washable!

Then I started on the pattern.  The catalog version had a turned hem and the neck and a rollneck collar.  At first I thought I needed the stripes to match on all sides, so I started in on the front realizing that I was going to have to sew some seams.  Oh well.  I knit until I hit the intarsia for the initial... and seriously stalled!  Since I wasn't working with wool, the yarn just didn't hold well where the colors were joined.  In addition, I had all sorts of uneven tension.  Plus, my light blue was so light that my white initial didn't really show up very well... a fear I had right from the beginning.  I put the project aside knowing that I wasn't going to make it work for my nephew's July birthday.

Months went by...

After forgiving my inability to make the sweater look exactly like the picture, I started in again this winter. I already had the yarn after all.  This time I knitted in the round up to the split for the sleeves.  I also decided to do drop shoulders (like the picture) and definitely dropped the initial from the front.  This was a sweater I could finish!

This sort of stop-and-go often happens to me when I am working on a requested item rather than something I choose to knit myself for someone else.  In the quest to make a product just like the picture, I sometimes lose my ability to be creative, be flexible, be myself.  And the project often suffers.  But this sweater taught me a lesson... not to stop taking requests, but rather to stop putting so much pressure on myself and go ahead with my own interpretation of a project.  Do what works!

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