There are a lot of things to celebrate in November around our house—Aidan’s birthday, Thanksgiving, a week-long break from school, one of our two anniversaries, open enrollment for insurance, etc. But this year, November also marks my ten year knittiversary. That, of course, is a ridiculous way of saying that 10 years ago in November when I was bored during my first year of college, lonely, and desperate for something interesting in my life, I bought a pair of aluminum needles, some truly hideous $2 acrylic yarn and the then-fresh-off-the-press Stitch N’ Bitch Knitter’s Handbook and sat down to teach myself to knit. I still have the book and the very first non-swatch-thing that I made: my version of the Ribbed For Her Pleasure Scarf pattern included in the book.
All of the knit stitches on that scarf and every other project I made over the next year were twisted. These kinds of things can happen when you are totally self-taught. But I eventually corrected my mistake and I’ve since knit up approximately a metric crap ton of yarn. I credit knitting with jumpstarting my relationship with my partner, for being a lifeline throughout grad school, for helping me make many good friends, for making creative work a constant in my life, for helping me through more than one depressive episode, and for making all of my TV watching productive. In ten years, I’ve made a lot of really crappy things and have had plenty of projects that bit the dust before they were even finished, but I’ve also managed to make a lot of fantastic items that do me proud. Here are my five favorite projects at the moment.
I knit this sweater once, realized it was way too big, and then ripped it out and knit it again. It was totally worth it because the fit is great now and it’s destined to become one of my most-worn sweaters. It’s warm, comfortable, and goes with basically everything I own. I can wear it as a jacket during fall and spring, and as a second layer during winter—I’ve already been wearing this several times a week since I finished version 2.0.
#2: Sock Monster
This thing is SO DAMN CUTE. The end.
This is just a basic pair of socks, knit top-down in 2×2 rib. On paper, these socks are the definition of “nothing special.” Except they are Aidan’s favorite pair of socks and he asks me just about every time he puts them on why all the rest of his socks can’t be exactly the same. Major knitting win.
This is the first of many things I’ve made for my godson. I knit it before he was even born, and used organic, un-dyed cotton yarn. It was, I believe, the first blanket that he slept with. Obviously, this favorite is totally sentimental. I love this project because I love the kid.
#5: Every Wonderful Wallaby I’ve made
I’ve made four of these little sweaters as gifts, and I love every single one. The Wallaby pattern makes a great basic sweater that’s well-suited to easy-care yarn. I don’t tend to get caught up in the experience or the aesthetic of the pattern itself, but the Wallaby is the exception. It has clever little construction details, hand-drawn diagrams, and little pictures of wallabies knitting and wearing sweaters. I can’t. Plus, it looks incredibly cute on every kid I’ve seen wear it.
I’m curious about what my list of favorite projects will look like in another ten years. Perhaps they’ll be five sets of matching his and her sweaters? So many glorious options!