Sweaters are like Stories

I have begun scheming for a new sweater. I have a number of sweaters in the cue to finish/start knitting, so this one is a ways off, but I was thinking through the sweater and I realized how similar the creative process for knitting a sweater was to writing a book.

There's an extensive outlining/desiging stage, where you (or I) have to visualize the entire sweater and process, like doing character sketches, world building, and plot outlining/creation.

Then there's writing the draft, like knitting the body of the sweater, a stage only describable as "a long slog." This stage has it's joys (seeing the pattern emerge) and the seemingly quick progress of the beginning. It also has downsides: the "black hole" of trunk section (comparable to writing acts two and three of a story in five acts), and the knowledge that even when you complete the sweater, you still have a long way to go before you have a "finished product."

Finally, you have to knit sleeves, and the color, and do whatever finishing you need to. Of course akin to the editing a story into a presentable format.

Now admittedly I knit sweaters in a particular sort of way designed to eliminate seaming and end weaving in. Some people knit sleeves before their done with the body or block before they seam for instance. So your milage with this metaphor may vary.


So this new sweater, that I want to design. I want to knit a jacket, sort of like a frock coat. Subtle fair isle pattern in dark earth tones. Wool. Probably with worsted or heavy worsted weight yarn. The bottom would be hemmed, so the pattern would start at the bottom edge. The body would be 30-35 inches or so long (It would have the longest knitting black hole in the world), and some sort of nifty collar, and several clasps to hold the thing together.

And as I see the sweater come together, I feel just the same way that I do when I figure out the next little bit of the plot. Completely satisfying.


Before I get there, though, I have a sweater under way; I'm almost up to the underarm gusset, so I'm making progress for sure. I feel like I'm almost out of the black hole, so that's a great deal of fun. It's going to be a great sweater.

Also in the cue, is a remake of the first fair isle sweater I attempted, because the pattern was so much fun, and I can't wear the first sweater, because it's awkwardly sized. And I accidentally got the perfect yarn, when I was getting the yarn for the current sweater. I also have the final sleeve of a sweater from last semester to finish when the yarn comes in, and another sport weight grey-heather sweater, possibly a cardigan, for myself.

There's also the great sweater trade, which I haven't thought much about recently, but that's in there as well.


In other news, I didn't record this morning, but I finished the edit on the story last night, which was incredibly satisfying. The "spider-men" line and ungendered aspects of the story remained, but the narrative voice comes through stronger, and I took out a lot of the hackneyed god/fate/destney crap. So I'm happy.

Best, Sam

comments powered by Disqus