Recently I decided to take a knitting class. It’s nearly fall here even though it is going to be 96°F today. The leaves are starting to turn orange and I have always thought of knitting as a fall and winter activity like with a cozy fire crackling in the fireplace, a mug of hot tea steaming, and knitting needles clicking away. I don’t have a fireplace, but I’m working on the mug of tea and knitting part.
I’m still sewing often, blog posts to come, but I’m kind of excited to have a real “slow craft” project. I whipped up a simple black dress on my sewing machine in a couple of hours this weekend which is great! Don’t get me wrong! But, there is something about working on a piece for several weeks, not just because of mistakes, that I am looking forward to. Slow craft really gives you time to think and reflect while you are working with your hands.
I am really interested in knitting my own sweaters (It may take me a couple of years to finish a sweater as I have only learned to cast on and knit and purl so far.) It turns out there are a lot of free patterns, on Ravelry or Red Heart, that are plus sized, so I don’t even need to look that far or invest that much to try one!
This weekend I was perusing knitting books at a book store and I bought Knit it! by Melissa Leapman and I love it! (It has a whole chapter called, “I goofed!” Perfect!) It has a large range of sized and projects that increase your skills as you go on. I can see using this book for a long time and referring to it often.
Unfortunately, I also picked up a book called Big Girl Knits: 25 Big, Bold Projects Shaped for Real Women with Real Curves. OK, I’m not thrilled with the title. All women ARE real women, come in all shapes in sizes, and may or may not have curves, but maybe this will tell me how to grade up smaller knitting patterns. (As a beginner, that seems totally impossible to me right now.) I picked it up and started flipping through it and came across and whole section of Do’s and Don’t for plus size women. This consisted of sayings like “Don’t turtle that neck” and “Never wear a crop top” and “Think twice about horizontal stripes!” I think, Oh, this must have been published in the 1980’s or something. No one would write this ignorant slop today. Nope. 2009. Seriously? We’re trying to make our own clothes in our own styles for our own bodies and you still want to impose some goofy, stupid, arbitrary rules on us because we are plus-sized? We are allowed to exist, take up space, wear bright colors, horizontal stripes, and whatever the hell we want!
I feel so bad that anyone should have to be subjected to this kind of thinking while trying to knit a freaking sweater for themselves! I took a piece of paper out of my bag and wrote a note to put in between the pages. I hope it helps somebody else and keeps them out of the shame spiral this book is intended to create.
So in between sewing posts, there might be the occasional knitting post. Maybe in a couple of years there will even be a post featuring an entirely knitted sweater and a sewn garment too! Who knows? The world is my craft store! Take care of yourself and don’t let other people tell you what you can and cannot wear.