An Aran Obsession

The Wash Sweater is coming along nicely. I've finished the first pattern repeat of the back, and now just have to work another 66 rows of it, do a bit of shaping for the shoulders and I'm halfway done with the body! It's also awakened this urge to knit lots of fancypants cabled sweaters. Now, I'm no stranger to this urge. It's no secret that I've got something of an addictive personality. I can't just knit a pair of socks, I have to knit six pairs. I can't just make one veggie-themed ornament, I have to produce (ba-dum-ching!) a whole set. And of course there was that time with the mittens. I'm not as bad as some other knitters I could name, and there are whole episodes involving honey cowls and French Press Slippers and Felted Clogs I could point at.

Not that I've ever had an episode like that; I knit way too slow for these urges to come to anything. I'll knit one of something, get hooked on it and queue up fifty bazillion patterns to make more of that thing, and then by the time I finished the first thing it's been long enough that the urge has passed and I can make other things instead. I'm guessing this is going to be more like that. Especially since sweaters take so darn long.

But in the meantime I'm embracing the cabled sweater mania. I took out several books from the library and spent a nice amount of time this evening leafing through them and browsing the patterns. Two of them are Alice Starmore books. Now, Alice Starmore has been on my bucket list for quite a while; her patterns are absolutely gorgeous and engagingly complex. In particular, I've got my eye on St. Brigid as a jumping in sweater, although Cromarty, Na Craga, and Irish Moss have also made my list. (See? Obessive.) Anyhow, I've wanted to knit a Starmore sweater pretty much since I started knitting but I've always felt that they were beyond my abilities.

Well, flipping through these patterns tonight, it hit me like a bludger to the head. These aren't beyond my abilities at all. I'm knitting this Wash Sweater and it's a walk in the park. A very long walk in the park, mind you, but a walk nonetheless. I'm knitting this with complete and utter confidence and loving every minute of it. (Please, universe, I know this is the part where you usually smack me down for my hubris, but I'd take it as a kindness if you'd skip that this time.) The designs in Aran Knitting are more complex, sure, but they aren't really so much more difficult. To continue my park-walking metaphor, "difficult" would be if someone plunked down a mountain in the middle of the path, complete with sheer rock faces to climb and dizzying chasms spanned  by those flimsy rope bridges that are so popular in movies. "Complicated" is just a walk, only with more steps and a windier path. Nothing to be afraid of there. But for the longest tiem I equated "complicated" and "difficult" and it's only just now struck me that it's not true.

It's absolutely liberating.

Which, yeah, I can admit is sort of silly considering that it's just sticks and string, but it's a nice feeling and I embrace it wholeheartedly.

And now, it's Friday night. There's snow and biting cold outside, I've got my knitting and a movie in here. Life is pretty darn good.