Unselfish Knitting

Goat Herder Wool

Sometime around the start of fall of each year, I begin taking a mental inventory of what I need to get me through the coming winter. It seems that I’m always in need of something to cover my hands, and I’ve spent far too much of my life doubling up thin, holey socks in an attempt to stay warm. But since I started knitting nearly two years ago (on the 11th. Wow!), my list of winter needs has become a lot smaller. I continue to find myself without any good mittens for reasons that remain elusive (like, should I not have made myself a good pair of mittens by now??), but this year, for the first time in my entire life, I actually have enough warm socks, sweaters and hats to get me through to next spring.

In other words, the need to knit for myself at this very moment is far less urgent than it has been in the past. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be knitting, though, or that I don’t have a good reason to knit. In fact, I can think of four very good reasons to be knitting right now: 1) It’s cold outside; 2) Keith needs socks and sweaters; 3) it is National Knit a Sweater Month; and 4) Keith’s birthday is in November. And so, with these reasons in mind, I’ve decided to spend NaKniSweMo knitting for my beloved.

Goat Herder swatch

Picking a pattern for Keith’s sweater was hard because, like most dudes, he likes his sweaters boring. Eventually, I convinced him to let me make Ann Budd’s Goat Herder Pullover, a simple crew neck sweater with wide ribbing and chevron panels across the middle. I really like everything about this pattern, but one of the best things about it is the potential for making several different sweaters: I could make one as written, one with chevrons across the entire sweater, one with only the wide ribbing, or one in plain stockinette. In a way, it feels like I managed to get four patterns for the price of one, which is a pretty sweet deal.

Because this sweater is Keith’s birthday gift, I happily splashed out on the yarn. O-Wool Balance, a worsted weight 50/50 blend of organic merino and organic cotton, is a very well-behaved yarn that creates a very beautiful and even fabric, but it’s also doing a number on my hands due to the high cotton content. It’s not as elastic or as forgiving as a yarn with a higher wool content would be, but the finished garment will be very easy to care for, and that counts for a lot.

Goat Herder Day 4

Despite Keith’s opinions about excessively detailed pullovers, his feelings towards extravagantly patterned socks are significantly more benevolent. So, I’ve got a pair of those on the needles as well.

Unlike last year’s NaKniSweMo, I am definitely going to make the deadline this year. After a mere 7 days of knitting after work, I’m already more than halfway done the body. If I push myself, I think I can finish the body and start the sleeves by the end of the weekend. I like to think that this sweater makes me a strong contender for Domestic Partner of the Year, and the fancy socks are going to push me over the top.

Fellow knitters! Show me your NaKniSweMo projects!


2 thoughts on “Unselfish Knitting

  1. That yarn is stunning. So pretty!

    For NaKniSweMo, I’m doing Rowan’s Shannon (book 52) in their Kid Classic in like a dark teal color. I’m not very far, this weekend was busy, but hope to make up time this week.

  2. Pingback: 2014 In Review | Self Preservation

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