You and I have a tendency to power through knitting projects at a pretty healthy clip, as if knitting is our job or something. Sometimes I knit fast because I’m in a hurry to blog about something. But just as often, I feel like I’m racing against my own attention span. I knit as fast as I can, knowing that at any moment I could feel the call of a new project, dooming the current one to WIP purgatory.
My sister-in-law, known as Aunt Kathy, takes her knitting at a different pace.
Kathy has been knitting since childhood. When I started knitting again in the early 1990s, I’d go to Kathy whenever I needed rescuing from some mess I’d gotten myself into.
Then, 22 years ago, Kathy became the mother of twins, and put her knitting down. When she picked it back up again, she took a truly radical approach to slow knitting.
Kathy knits one project at a time. That would be difficult for me, but it’s hardly radical. Kathy’s time window for that single project is very narrow. It’s two weeks in August, when she and an old friend and a collection of their available children go to Lake George in upstate New York. There are few rules to their days together. They make a pie every day, and Kathy knits. And then she puts her knitting away until next August.
It’s a big day when a project gets finished. With great family pride, I present:
Kathy’s Relax pullover.
The yarn is Skein Queen’s Buxom Blissful, 100% Bluefaced Leicester in a sock weight. Kathy bought it in Davidson, North Carolina, in the knitting shop below the apartment that housed a young Ann Meador during her senior year at Davidson College. We were there to take our respective daughters to see the college, and we made a pilgrimage to pick up some souvenir yarn. As you do.
The year was 2013. So this is a five-year sweater. There is a lot riding on the outcome.
Kathy brought the pieces over to my house on Thanksgiving, to get some mattress-seaming lessons. That didn’t happen, because it was Thanksgiving.
As the end of the year approached, I decided that a once-every-five-years sweater-knitter probably could do without a refresher on mattress stitch, and I stitched it up myself.
Public Service Announcement: Feel free to sew up my knitting, any time.
It’s a good fit, even in its unblocked state.
A little blocking and it will have a bit more of that sweet Relax ease.
A fond look back at Relax’s Lake George days.
I think it’s remarkable that Kathy was able to sustain momentum on this project long enough to get a beautiful sweater out of it. I wonder what she’ll cast on next August. Look for my report in January 2024.