Miniature Sweaters – A Knitted Diversion

Among artists — at least those I know — it’s rare to find one who has a crafting hobby.  Some dabble in a different medium as a hobby of sorts — the photographer who paints a little, or the sculptor who takes travel photographs.  But most younger artists are too busy working to pay the bills to have time for a hobby, while for many older artists art was the hobby they finally have time to pursue full-time.  One friend is primarily a painter who also does ceramics and makes jewelry, plus she knits and sews; she’s the exception.

Long before I became an artist, I was a knitter.  Both are expressions of the same drive to create.  Growing up I no more knew anyone who knit than anyone who made art, but knitting felt much more accessible than painting or drawing.  I’d heard of ordinary people who learned to knit (from a grandmother or an aunt, perhaps) while I didn’t think anyone but born artists could learn to make art.  I taught myself to knit, and since the free patterns on the yarn wrappers were boring, I began designing my own patterns from the start.

I still knit both for relaxation and as another creative outlet.  I can take my knitting all sorts of places where doing collage would be impossible and even a sketch book would be hard to manage — in a car (too bumpy), or to the doctor’s office (visually uninspiring).  Ninety percent of the time I still make up the pattern as I go.  Some projects end up stuffed in the bottom of a knitting bag as a lesson in what doesn’t work, but most turn out pretty well (if not on the first try).

My latest obsession is miniature sweaters.  The basic pattern is very simple; the only tricky part is managing the double-pointed needles.  I made several variations to use up my leftover yarns, although that did nothing to improve my storage problems.  Now instead of many small balls of yarn in various colors, I have several dozen tiny sweaters taking up the same space.  Perhaps I’ll use them for Christmas ornaments or try to sell them.


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