I finally clued in that sweater making is actually supposed to take a month. I definitely still have an issue with this and with a short attention span. I'm also nervous at the idea of making sense of knitting patterns. However, I love Gather, a knitting and yarn store in Napier, and every time I went to Napier I had to stop in and see what was new. And one of the interesting projects on offer was a super simple sweater pattern to be done on huge needles with thick wool. The wool is actually pretty cool - it's recycled wool and alpaca bits, so not as itchy as plain alpaca, and in pink how could I resist? Nikki, the owner, promised that it would take less than a month. It's a pattern that she has made and that she gives out together with yarn purchases. In fact, real knitters apparently can do it in a day...
Finally I caved in and made it my travel project. Nikki gave me a quick lesson on things like what is stocking stitch? and made sure that I understood the directions. The result: I carried this pile of wool and needles across most of New Zealand, half of Australia and to Seattle (it was halfway done on the 14-hr Mel-Sea flight!) before I finally finished it on my flight to Zurich! Yesss! Winter sweater, just in time. (Well, anyway, still in time, since I was freezing the entire month I was in Seattle.)
I did a lot of emergency youtubing along the way. How to add stitches? How to remove them in the middle? I didn't do a very good job of the neckline. The basic pattern is to knit a rectangle, add stitches to the middle, cast off and then back on to make a head-hole, and then to cast the sleeve stitches off. The entire thing is folded in half and makes a sweater. I found the instructions straightforward and most of the time knew what to do in theory if not in practice.
The result is a big sweater! It's warm and currently shedding everywhere, which I hope will improve when it has been washed. Although it isn't my dream sweater (can't see having 5 of these in my wardrobe) it has definitely given me a bit of confidence that another sweater is worth trying to knit. Like, next winter.