Thoughts from a top-down raglan


  1. Good things take time. I have spent more hours on this Improv than I have on any other item for myself. There have been days when my wrists and shoulders ached from repetitive motion. Not all garments come with a deadline, so this won’t always be the case, but it will remain true that if it’s worth having… it’s worth making.
  2. Similarly, it’s worth it to do things right. My #rippingforjoy moments weren’t nearly as dramatic as some of my other  co-KAL participants, but I definitely had to do (and re-do, and re-do) several parts to get them just right. Nobody wants to yank out five hours of stockinette stitch… but nobody wants to have a sweater in her closet that doesn’t fit right. Rip it out. Try again.
  3. Finish as you go. In her comprehensive tutorial, Karen Templer suggested completing the neck band shortly after the yoke takes shape. This was game-changing for me. To be able to look at that finished element made the whole sweater feel more “done” the entire time and– best of all– eliminated “finishing fatigue” when all the major elements were already completed. I would also add in here that weaving in ends as you go is a delightfully easy way to cut down on final finishing.
  4. Always knit with friends when you can. I gushed about the incredible community that joined me in this sweater saga, but I’ll say it again: fiber people are the kindest people. Something that amazes me about knitters is how we don’t get jealous of one others’ work. Our world– and especially our virtual world– is a competitive one. We women compare and slander and belittle ourselves and one another if we feel like we don’t measure up. Not so with knitters. I can cheer on the semi-famous Instagrammer with complex cablework and 1,000 more likes than me because, dangit, her sweater is gorgeous! And while I might envy the talent, it manifests itself in a hunger to learn and grow my skills, rather than a comparison game. Nobody thinks I’m silly for making a simple stockinette pullover when others have intricate colorwork or tricky construction tricks. Nobody revels in someone else’s mistakes. When one frogs, we all mourn. When one completes a masterpiece, we all happy dance. The world needs more knitters.


Pattern: Improv by Karen Templer
Yarn: Madelinetosh Silk Merino in Modern Fair Isle
My project page: To the Victor goes the Sweater


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