2021 is here and so far, it still feels a lot like 2020.
I recently saw a headline about how people with anxiety rewatch old TV shows they have seen before because there is comfort in knowing what to expect. I am one of those people. I’ve had anxiety since I was young and my husband often teases me about how I will rewatch episodes of Law and Order as background noise—there is comfort in the known for me. I like order and repetition, it is soothing.
What could make knitting even more soothing for me? Knitting sweater patterns I know and love.
The Kids Are Alright
I like knitting patterns that I know well so there aren’t any surprises or opportunities to frustrate myself, especially when my anxiety is high (hello, pandemic). Sometimes I just want an easy project, and patterns feel even easier when they’re patterns for children or patterns that have a wide range of sizes so I can make them for everyone in my life.
I know after the holidays people like to knit for themselves after making gifts for others, but since I do not knit Christmas gifts—I hate deadlines and pressure knitting—I spent a lot of my post-Christmas down time making things for others, especially some of the little kids in my life. I thought I’d share some of the patterns I go to over and over again when I just want a soothing and satisfying knit.
Love Note by Tin Can Knits
I have to be honest and say I was surprised when this sweater didn’t win the MDK March Mayhem bracket, it is definitely a favorite pattern of mine. I’ve knit not one, two, three or four but SIX Love Note sweaters now. Two I kept for myself, a regular mohair version for winter and a short sleeve cotton version for summer, and I gave three of them to my sisters and mom.
Over the break, my friend’s daughter asked if I would knit her a sweater that was pink, purple and rainbow. A totally reasonable and adorable request from a four-year-old, and I was happy to oblige. I dug into my stash and decided that a Love Note in her size would be quick. I was correct, it took me two days and I smiled the entire time.
Every time the yarn gave me a new stripe of color, I got excited about what it was about to become. I mailed it off immediately and she promptly wore it to school the very next day. It’s a quick knit that looks great on every body type. How could you not add it to your comfort knitting list?
Baby and Child Sophisticate by Linden Down
I’ve made over a dozen of these cardigans for the children in my life. This is my go-to and such a favorite pattern with a great range of sizes. What makes me love this pattern so much is how easy it is to customize. My latest version is for my girlfriend who had a daughter at the very beginning of the lockdown. I had plans to visit multiple times this year and they have all been dashed. Since I can’t be there, I knit her daughter a cardigan and hat in the same yarn I used to make a hat for her years ago. Trust me, this pattern is a definite keeper.
Southwood by Galt House of Yarn
I mentioned Southwood in the fall when I knit my cousin and her son matching sweaters, and I am mentioning it again because it has been on my needles. I love when patterns have a range of sizes so I can make them for a child as they grow. I made another baby girl a very pink version of this sweater and embroidered the front. It can be knit in worsted or aran weight yarn and I whipped this up in an afternoon, beaming the entire time.
Sometimes I love a knitting challenge, but sometimes when I’m feeling a bit unsure I like to turn to my tried and true.