The Purple Sweater

the purple sweaterSo it’s 2016, and I’m still writing even though it was supposed to be Katie in 2015. Oh well. Here’s a story.

In the summer of 2014, I was asked by a friend to make a sweater for her girlfriend. AWESOME! I was looking for an excuse to make one and it was the perfect timing. So we picked out the colours and the pattern. I ordered the yarn online and immediately started in on it when it showed up. I brought it with me to Corner Brook on vacation and knit until I physically could not knit any more. I LOVED making this sweater.

So when it was finished, I gave the price and was promised that the money would come to me in two weeks. Then it was a month. And then we stopped talking about it because it got awkward. And I think you know where I’m going with this. I was never paid for the sweater. And of course, this was all happening during the same time I was dealing with a very stressful move, a change in jobs, and the breaking down of a very important friendship.

Luckily, I had the foresight to keep the sweater until it was paid for, so at the very least, I didn’t lose the product. However, no matter what I did, who I told about it, the price tag, I could not sell this sweater. I even tried giving it away just to get it out of my life, to no avail. This sweater and all its baggage was haunting me. Everytime I looked at it I was just feel sad, and then angry, and then sad again, and it just wasn’t healthy.

So skip ahead to last Saturday. I was at the yarn shop with my knitting pals when the topic of “The Purple Sweater” came up again. And then someone piped up with the most obvious solution to this problem that it pained me that I didn’t think of it before.

“Why don’t you just rip it out?”

WHY hadn’t I thought of that before?! It was an absolute epiphany. I was going to rip apart this sweater that was haunting me and turn it into something new (and might actually be able to sell….). So I went home and immediately dragged out the sweater and my scissors and brought it to the kitchen table. The boyfriend knew I meant business.

 

From the collar, to the sleeves, all the way up the body, I ripped that thing apart. I estimate that I spent about 50 hours working on the Purple Sweater. And all those hours of work knitting, not to mention the time spent planning, was being disassembled within minutes. And it never felt so good. It was absolutely liberating to rip apart the symbol of the worst year of my life. It also says a lot about how easy it is to destroy something that took so long to build.

Within 15-20 minutes, the sweater was no more and the yarn was in the tub for a soak. I hung it to dry and within a few days it looked like it did the day I opened the box in 2014. It was fresh, new, waiting for something to be made for someone who absolutely deserves a  knit item. I’ve been asked if I would make something for myself from this yarn and the answer is no. This has haunted me so long that I need to let it go. But this way, it will be a second chance for this yarn as it rises from the ashes of the Purple Sweater and becomes something beautiful once more.

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