That moment when an impossible, intimidating pattern suddenly looks doable

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Back in 2011, when I first started venturing into sweater knitting, I fell in love with a cover-girl sweater. It was the Briar Rose tunic, featured on the cover of  Interweave Knits Winter 2011:

Oh, you lovely thing, you.

I was enchanted by the delicate criss-crossing cables framing the simple v-neck. I was also hugely intimidated. Cables were still unfamiliar territory. And I loved this pattern so much that was afraid to try it and fail. To try it and ruin it.

Three years later, I’m finally ready. I look at this pattern and I don’t see something lovely and unattainable. I see something super cute and not that difficult. That cabled section will be finicky, but most of this sweater is easy peasey: acres of reverse stockinette with a few bands of ribbing detail. No sweat.

I’ve even mustered the courage to modify the pattern to suit my body shape. Hip-length sweaters are not my friends. So I’ve shortened the distance between cast-on and waist shaping to something more suitable. And I’ve decided to go up a size to allow for the use of a worsted weight yarn instead of an Aran weight yarn.

These changes may sound simple-Simon to all you veteran sweater knitters out there, but it’s a very big deal for me. I can’t help feeling a little proud.  This represents enormous growth for me as a knitter. It seems fitting that it should all come together for me with this pattern.

22 thoughts on “That moment when an impossible, intimidating pattern suddenly looks doable

    • caityrosey

      It might take just the right pattern to lure you in. I’m trying to remember what my first sweater was (not counting the horrible llama thing I knitted for my ex). I didn’t know how to seam at the time and I didn’t think that was a problem.

  1. It’s such a lovely feeling when that happens, isn’t it? Enjoy making and wearing this beauty. I used to assume that all those fancy techniques would NEVER be something that I could do, and I was right…. until I actually tried. 🙂

    • caityrosey

      And the thing is, I’ve been knitting lots of cables and lace since then. So I don’t know what the hang-up was. Residual dread that took three years to drain away?

    • caityrosey

      It’s so funny. It doesn’t seem at all unattainable to me now. But it sure did three years ago. I think have some shawl patterns in my library like you’re talking about. Maybe that would be a good knit-along theme: knit a shawl you used to think was too hard.

  2. What a gorgeous sweater! I was going to say I didn’t think I’d ever seen it before…but it’s definitely already in my favorites on Rav. You can definitely handle it – cables aren’t any more difficult than all that lace you do!

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