For any knitter or crocheter, there is life before swatching, and life after. I learned to appreciate the value of swatching with the sweater I am currently working on. I began following the pattern for the size I normally wear, and after a few days of working on it, it became obvious that there was not a chance it would fit me when I finished. I wasted a few days before I realized this, ripped it all out and started over. After swatching. If I had taken a few hours to knit up a swatch, I might already be done with it, since I now only have a few days’ worth of knitting left on it. My friends, unless you are an expert at what you do, and have had flawless luck in following a pattern without swatching first, do not skip this step. It seems like a waste of time, but it helps immensely, and even though it feels like a waste of time, you save oodles of time in the long run. Check out Knitty for complete instructions on swatching. Also, if it makes you feel better, I know some expert knitters, and not one of them starts a pattern WITHOUT swatching! I’ve noticed since I’ve started swatching that I’m much more aware of how needle size and yarn weight affect patterns and fit.
Now that my sermon is over, back to my never-ending sweater. It is going to be a long belted cardigan. I’m knitting with the most beautiful navy variegated yarn by Manos del Uruguay. This yarn is so soft, so gorgeous, and so pleasant to work with that it took me a very long time into this project to actually get bored and wish to be finished. Much longer than with most other projects. I’m know I’m not the only knitter who feels a great rush of excitement at the caston, pure bliss for the first few weeks into it, and then when it’s about 3/4 of the way done, the torturous feeling that it will never GET done. I have finally reached that point with this sweater. Plus, I want to be able to wear the thing before it’s 100 degrees out. When such boredom and torture set in, one must either set the project aside for awhile with the acceptance that this is a dangerous thing to do, as said project might never reach completion. Or, one must suck it up, press on, and find a means of distraction while knitting the last rounds of stockinette.
My distraction of choice over the weekend was a movie – The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), to be exact. My husband and I have both loved this movie from way back when it came out and we saw it in the theater. All the priceless artwork, the creative way Thomas Crown returns the painting he stole, Renee Russo’s Celine wardrobe, the soundtrack…I’ve watched this movie so many times I lost count, and I can’t get enough of it. It is sophisticated and makes me want to live in that world. Pierce Brosnan has the slick, handsome, wealthy businessman down to a “T”, and Renee Russo plays a strong, independent woman who knows how to enjoy the finer things of life. But my favorite part of this movie has always been her fantastic wardrobe. Even before I started knitting and crocheting, I always paused the movie to admire the sweater she wears in one of the scenes at police HQ. It is a cream colored turtleneck, cashmere, I’m sure, and looks so dreamy with her red hair and copper makeup. There is another scene in which she’s wearing a tweed pencil skirt and a beautiful blue chunky knit turtleneck. If you need a few hours of heavenly distraction to help you plow through a project, this will help. If I still haven’t finished my sweater by the weekend, I may have to take a trip to Blockbuster and rent the original with Faye Dunaway, which is also very good.