The Occasional Knitter
In more recent years, I have mostly stayed away from sweater-making (how many sweaters can one person really wear? I'm still wearing all but one of the original lot). After all, it is so easy to get distracted and forget what it was all about. But before I left Pittsburgh, Kristen and I did visit a yarn store, so I was tempted into starting another sweater. Normally, if I don't finish a sweater in a couple of months or so, there is probably not much hope for it, but this one has seen scattered activity over nearly two years, so I feel confident that it will get finished on the plane back to the US, if not before. The front pieces (see left) and one sleeve are done, and the back and the other sleeve are each half done. Therefore, another longish train ride or the like will certainly result in much progress. Whether I'll be entirely happy with the decision to use three colors on a pattern intended for one is another question, but I think it will look good enough to wear. It has a very appealing cable pattern, after all. I like cables; they're easy to do and look so impressive. (Although there is the constant problem of dropping and often permanently losing one's cable needle, as happened to me on the bus to Budapest last fall.)
Most of what I make now are scarves. While they aren't very stimulating to make, they progress very quickly when one is sitting at a conference or hanging out with people over the holidays. If the needle size is large enough, I can make two or three scarves in a day of sufficiently intense conference-sitting. (The kind where most of the day is spent in one seat, not the kind where one is constantly moving from room to room and looking at tables of new art books.) My friends are probably hoping that I'll go to lots of conferences so that I can give them more scarves.
I do not make socks, and it astonishes me that Kristen or anyone else would find socks worth the time and trouble. The results can be very handsome, I admit, but how long does the average sock last and how often is much of it visible?
Below, one can see the fair-isle sweater I made long ago. Kristen will have to avert her eyes from the dreaded fair-isleness of it, just as I avert my eyes from the upholstery under it. The sweater's colors are more intense in real life. While it is a bit big for me, I expect to wear it for another twenty or thirty years.