There’s no other show like it ’round here
A sweater is always a gamble. You can increase your odds of success by measuring gauge carefully, by swatching assiduously by knitting top-down and trying on as you go. Sometimes it’s impossible to take all possible precautions — like when the sweater is knit in pieces and sewn together at the end. But maybe it’s a style you’ve never pictured yourself in. Maybe it’s a shape or fiber or type of garment that’s unprecedented in your experience. In the final analysis, you put it all together and hold your breath while you slip it on.
When it all works, it’s like you’ve caught lightning in a bottle. Here is a short-sleeve cotton sweater, all in lace and with a swingy, slightly cropped silhouette. Not something I can say I’ve been drawn to before. But wouldn’t it be perfect to wear to work in the summer? Could it be something I could claim as my own? The thousands who have knit this popular sweater before have made it look so easy, so possible, so believable.
You’re nervous about the seaming; you haven’t had that much experience, and it’s a place where something could go wrong. You carefully count rows and mark down notes as you knit the back and two fronts so they’ll be exactly the same number of rows, the pattern corresponding precisely. You join the shoulders with a three-needle bindoff and knit the sleeves at the same time, side by side. Finally the moment comes to sew the pieces together; it takes you two days of careful work.
It’s a perfect fit. The look is unfamiliar at first, but not excessively so. In moments, it feels right. The miracle has happened, somewhere between the needles, the yarn, the chart, the counting, the sewing. A garment. A confection whose color reminds you of a sorbet flavor you craved as a child. A cool breeze of a sweater, a creation that transforms your image of yourself.
A risk taken. A reward received.