If you haven’t noticed, knitting is my jam these days. There is something so soothing about it. Even when it’s frustrating. Even when I’ve dropped a stitch. Even when I’m swearing under my breath – even then. And after a full day of work-related sewing and sample-making, it feels good to use my hands in a different way, while still engaging in the act of self-love and self-care that I associate with making something beautiful, just for me.
Just like when I rediscovered sewing, falling in love with knitting has found me spiraling down Youtube rabbit holes and losing hours (let’s be honest, days) searching patterns on Ravelry. But even with all this newfound enthusiasm, I still find myself facing down The Fear. As much as I am longing to tackle more challenging projects, cables make my stomach quiver, colourwork gives me the shakes and anything with a needle smaller than 4mm has me backing away with my hands up.
Which is pretty rich, considering the rousing post I wrote last month about kicking that Fear Voice to the curb and just making it already.
So I’m taking my own damn advice. When the new winter collection arrived from Brooklyn Tweed, I pretty much wept when I saw the Snoqualmie Cardigan by Michelle Wang. It is everything I ever wanted in a sweater. But oy, the cables. After whimpering about my cable anxiety on Instagram, you guys helped convince me that a) cables aren’t nearly as hard as I think they are b) I can totally do it with a little practice and c) #justmakeitalready.
With the new confidence that comes from making your first pair of socks, I turned a blind side eye to that 4/5 difficulty rating on the BK website and bought the pattern, along with a practice skein of Quarry. As y’all probably know, wool is a huge investment, so I thought it prudent to just experiment with some swatches before dropping the hammer on the whole 10 skeins. At first, I totally wasn’t convinced I could do it. I had a hard time figuring out how to read a cable chart and my fingers were so clumsy trying to move the cables around without a cable needle. That first swatch was pretty sad.
But I tried again, on slightly smaller needles to try and get the gauge right. And something just… clicked. My brain figured out how to interpret the chart, and it started to feel a lot more intuitive the second time around. And once I blocked that swatch, I was hooked. The cables were just so darn pretty, and I found the process of making it engaging enough that I knew I wouldn’t get bored and quit half way through.
But, just to make sure Snoqualmie doesn’t go the way of sweater projects of yore, I decided this time I was going to make it impossible to quit. And what better way to make sure you finish something then by making a big public declaration of your plans and then following up with the rash decision to host a knitalong? There is no better way, apparently.
Yes, hosting a knitalong when you’re a novice knitter is kind of a bold move, but unlike a typical Closet Core Patterns sewalong, I’m not here to teach. Since I am very much learning myself, this knitalong will be more about working on this project with a group of like minded friends and sharing what we learn as we go along. I’ll also be sharing resources that will help explain each step of the way, and am hoping that more advanced knitters will be present to help us work through some of the more challenging parts.
I know this pattern has been very enthusiastically received online, so I’m hoping there is a community of folks out there just as excited as I am to cast on. And for those of you who I know are longing to tackle Snoqualmie but are feeling a little intimidated, consider this the kick in the pants you need to just make it already. We’re all in it together now.
I’m in no rush, so this will be a leisurely knitalong over the next 8 weeks or so. I’ll be checking in each week with my progress, along with links and help for some of the different techniques we’ll be encountering. I don’t have a formal schedule since i’m sort of flying by the seat of my pants here, so hopefully you’ll enjoy this chill, anti-stressful pace.
I’ll be back next week with an interview with Michelle Wang, the designer for this inspiring pattern, and I’ll also help you gather your supplies before we tackle swatching and casting on.
Oh, and prizes! Michelle and I will choose our favourite Snoqualmie at the end, and the lucky winner will receive a yarn kit from Brooklyn Tweed, a copy of the Stowe Bag pattern from Grainline Studio and a $50 gift certificate to one of my favourite notions shops, Fringe Supply Co! And I’ll throw a few printed patterns of your choice into the mix as well.
So who’s with me?! Let’s keep in toucgh here and on instagram using the hashtag #SnoqualmieKAL!
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