My Bountiful Bohus cardigan is officially finished.
Sometimes as a knit blogger I have this sense that a project isn’t really done until the wrap up is complete and the final story is told. I’ve been blogging for most of my knitting life in the last decade and the act of writing about my knitting has become something of a habit, and one that for the most part I still enjoy, but I do occasionally wonder what it would be like to, you know, just knit stuff and wear it/give it away without an audience.
Part of what brought me to this experience was the desire to be part of the global sharing that is blogging. I read other blogs, first in Canberra and then more broadly, and felt so inspired, so creatively awakened, that I had to join in. There’s a synchronicity then to the fact that as I move on from knit blogging, I’m doing so by writing about a method that takes me back to the roots of my knitting life/experience. One of the first knitting blogs I ever felt drawn to, SamuraiKnitter, inspired me to try the wonder of steeking and seven years on, we’re still in touch and look at me, I’m steeking again!
I truly loved knitting this cardigan. That it took me four months is not a reflection on the pattern but more a reflection of the fun of winter knitting. There’s always something to be knitting, something to be planning. My head was turned all winter by the lure of quick knits like gloves and hats and other small items. So Bountiful Bohus lingered right up until the moment I joined the sleeves to the body and whipped through that fair isle yoke.
It’s not perfect. What knitted garment ever is? I for one never really strive for perfection in garments (other than lace shawls – you can’t really be half hearted about perfection there) – I strive for wearability, comfort, warmth – all the things that make a cardigan something you’ll wear and love and enjoy for a long time. So the steek inside is a bit wobbly – but it’s holding and that’s great. The waist shaping is a bit odd – the bits just above my hips have this way of sticking out a bit, the band doesn’t sit entirely flat but it’s fine. It’s warm. It’s so warm. Even the slightly longer than I planned sleeves have in the last few days come to be something I enjoyed.
I met some friends for knitting and beer at lunch time and Olivia took a few photos for me. The glass in my hand is empty, but it was just a prop. The Ballyragget Red I’d drunk was long since gone. My cardigan may not be perfect but my lunchtime knitting friends saw none of that. We admired the detail, the fact of the knitting that had been cut, the colours and the warmth.
The winds in Canberra in recent days have been fierce. They feel like they’re coming off the snow up on the Brindabella Mountains; they cut through you at the bus stop and in the wind tunnels of the city. I walked through those wind tunnels today at lunchtime feeling a lot warmer than I might have. My cardigan was doing its job. Even Olivia said, when I arrived at the Wig & Pen that she thought I must be wearing a warm cardigan since I came without a coat.
I feel so pleased I’ve made a cardigan I’ve admired for several years online. Sometimes, the wait is worth it.
It’s pretty. I love it.
It feels to me like the right place to end my knit blogging life. At least in this incarnation. I’ve come full circle, enriched by creativity, connections, inspiration and sharing. That won’t stop. It will just be directed elsewhere and I’ll of course still share projects on Ravelry where I am sure I’ll see many of you.
In time there may be another blog, another creative outlet. I’m not sure.
I’m thankful for the experience of my blog. Blogging came to me early in my knitting life and there are rivers of understanding and experience that run beneath the surface of what you see here, things I know as having been real and powerful for me in the last seven years. You can’t fabricate that. It’s very special and the experience will stay with me forever. I crossed the line between creative and personal blogging many times – lines that were self-determined in some ways. When I lost babies, when I experienced joys, when I felt part of a world that was meaningful and inspring, I had creative connections and people who read and cared and that meant a lot.
If you have read, commented, shared, experienced this with me in anyway, big or small, I’m grateful. If there’s a new outlet after this, I’ll come back and say so and if I find you there, then I’m sure it’ll be wonderful.
I’ll leave you with a photo of Alice, the little marvel who has a massive part of my creative and emotional life for the last four and a half years – over half of my blogging life.
I have known for a while that with the advent of her schooling life next year, blogging about her had a limited shelf life. I don’t write about her life, her family, her experiences other than the fun things we do together but I do put her name and her photos up. I think that she deserves privacy and to not be recognised on the streets of Canberra any more – when that’s happened it’s been lovely and respectful but it might not always be the case and so that aspect of my blogging life was always going to have to end. It’s been wonderful sharing her with you. Her place in my life and heart is unspeakably important and cherished. Celebrating the richness she’s brought to my life (with Sean) and to my knitting life has been fantastic. A most unexpected joy.
Blogging was the same. An unexpected joy. Thanks for being part of it with me.