Gosh I just can't believe my luck this year, receiving two absolutely stunning knit kits from two amazing companies. I find it so funny and interesting how if we let our hopes and interests be known, the universe has a way of providing.
Months ago, I was talking to my hubby about how badly I wanted to learn how to knit a sweater and how much I loved Wool and the Gang's knit kits, but I was a little disheartened because with having a beautiful, new little person in our lives to take care of, the luxury of a kit like that was currently out of my price range.
I had worked with Wool and the Gang in the past, but was pregnant at the time and fell through with finishing the kit they sent me (it was a Zigazig Shopper tote by the way and I absolutely loved it), and I was so scared they'd never wanna work with me again. I got brave though and went back to work, finishing that beautiful knit tote bag and sharing my progress on instagram. My plan/hope was to finish the bag and then reach out to them to see if they would ever be interested in doing another collaboration with me. I had never done anything like that before, reach out to a company, and I was so scared they'd never want to work with me in a million years because I had felt like I had let them down the first time. But I was going to go out on a limb and ask anyway. Gotta be brave and go after our dreams right?
Well they beat me to it. I shared one single photo, and it seemed like the next day, they contacted me about a new yarn (their awesome new Tina Tape Yarn) they were super excited about and wanted to see if I'd be interested in helping promoting it. They let me look through several stunning kits to choose from and as soon as I saw this Soul Sweater, I knew it was the one.
So. Freaking. Dreamy.
Gah I couldn't believe my luck and honestly felt a little teary over the whole thing. It felt like an answer to a prayer, as silly as that sounds, that they reached out to me like that completely out of the blue. It had been two years since I had worked with them at that point.
As soon as the kit arrived, I excitedly got to work.
And even though this was the most beautiful kit and pattern ever, I got slapped hard with the hard, humble reality that this project was way more of a challenge than I had originally anticipated. I have this good/bad quality where I can look at other peoples crochet/knit pieces and convince myself that between YouTube and Google, I could figure it out and make that same exact thing, no matter what level of experience the pattern calls for. The kit said it was an intermediate level of knitting and even though I feel like the only thing I can knit that I'm rather proud of is the most basic knit beanie on the planet ha ha I was like, "Oh yeah I totally got this. I can handle knitting an intermediate level sweater. No big deal."
(This sweater took me so long to make that my instagram style changed in the process ha ha my husband ended up building me the most beautiful work table so I could have a consistent wood background for my photos! Best thing ever!)
I think I had to start over on the front of the sweater at least three times. It took me so long to get used to getting an even tension with such thin yarn. It's not even that shockingly thin. I'm just used to the chunky thick yarn that makes projects go by way fast. Ha ha this whole sweater was basically a lesson in humility and patience.
But oh my gosh was it worth it!!
And looking back, it honestly wasn't even that hard. I think I just kept rushing myself and making silly mistakes that cost me a lot of time. I feel so proud though because it taught me so many fun new skills like how to control the way my stitches lean for a decrease, how to increase stitches (never had done that before), and even how to pick up cast off stitches. Oh and I got to practice invisible seaming again which is like the coolest thing ever! Feels like magic to watch the two panels seam perfectly into what looks like one cohesive piece.
Plus their pattern was incredibly detailed and was basically a miniature book. In the back pages, they had listed out all the knitting techniques you might have questions about with written instructions and photo illustrations. Loved that. So handy for quick, easy reference.
Oh and let's talk about this amazing Tina Tape yarn for a second okay? This yarn is so freaking cool because it was made out of the tree fibers of a eucalyptus plant! They literally squish eucalyptus trees into a pulp and then spin it into yarn so it's one hundred percent vegan and one hundred percent awesome. It blows my mind! It was a tiny bit of a challenge to get used to at first because I had never worked with anything like it before, but gosh I love it so much now.
I feel like I should mention that for some reason, I ended up needing to purchase two extra skeins of yarn because I ran out. Wool and the Gang designs their kits so that you have absolutely everything you need, skeins of yarn, knitting needles, darning needle, pattern. I do think I had a hard time measuring how long to make the torso and ended up making my sweater a little longer than what the pattern called for so that could explain needing some extra yarn, but who knows? It was all still totally worth it to have this lovely sweater in the end. Plus now the sweater covers my bum so I can wear with it leggings so that's a definite win in my book.
Even though making this thing felt like it about dang near killed me because my knitting skills are so so limited, I love this sweater so much I'm already dreaming about making another. Ha ha this totally isn't the same thing at all, but I keep joking (with myself) that making this sweater is like childbirth and taking care of a newborn baby, it's so hard in the moment and you maybe cry more than you should, but then when it's all said and done and you look back later, you're like, "Oh yeah. I could totally do that again. So worth it," ha ha ha
This is the comfiest most beautiful sweater ever and I just want to live in it forever and never take it off! If you happened to catch my instagram stories yesterday, you saw me literally doing a happy dance because that's how much I love this sweater. It's the right amount of baggy to be super comfortable while still looking beautiful and flattering. I'm in absolute shock that I was capable of knitting something so pretty. Like I feel as if this is something you'd see in a store and want to buy, and I somehow was able to make it with my own two hands. Can't even explain the level of proud I'm feeling right now.
I knitted a size Medium in case anyone was wondering.
So yep long story short, this sweater may have made me cry a few times and may have been a beast of a project for this self proclaimed newbie knitter and it most definitely kicked my butt, but just like my hero Rocky Balboa, I went the distance, and I did it you guys!! I knitted the most beautiful sweater ever!
I'm so unbelievably proud of myself and absolutely convinced now more than ever that all my knitter and crochet friends need to go out and make themselves a sweater this year and we can all wear them the same day and be cozy and feel so good about ourselves and be so proud of our talents and skills.
Take care darlings!
P.S. And a huge shoutout and thank you to Wool and the Gang! Just in case I wasn't clear enough in my blog post, they offered me this Soul Sweater kit for free in exchange for sharing photos of my making process on instagram and for creating a blog post of my finished piece. All opinions (and obsessions) are one hundred percent my own.