Life is Like a Knitting Pattern



I’ve been knitting what presented itself as a fairly easy oversized sweater. It is basically two big squares with minimal shoulder and neck shaping and a bit of fair isle design at the bottom. Sleeves are just a simple steady increase. Sew it all together with a stand up collar. Big yarn. Big needles. Voila!


Knitting patterns are, in my humble opinion, meant to make knitting as simple a process as possible for the knitter. A designer should make every effort to write his/her pattern in as clear and concise a way possible, thinking of and including every imaginable detail for the knitter to be successful in the project. The designer should create a pattern in such a way that certainly allows for the knitters own sense of color, the individual’s size they need, and (in the best patterns) ways to adjust of the shape and length of it. Myself, and many others, often approach a knitting pattern as merely a jumping off point. To then go in whatever direction we wish to take it. But we still look for the pattern to be understandable.


I have learned to read through an entire pattern BEFORE knitting it. This gives you an overview of how it is constructed, when certain elements are tackled, and what you will need to be able to do when. In reading through this pattern I came across a couple of places that just didn’t make sense. I hate this about some patterns, even patterns published in books by big name designers are often written with so many things assumed (at best) and with several errors and omissions. It’s as if the designer thinks we are able to see inside her head and go “oh yeah! I get it! Makes perfect sense!” Not.


Even after asking my mom about these particular spots (as she had made it a couple of years ago), I still wasn’t exactly sure what it meant. I had a vague idea, but wasn’t really clear on it. I decided there was nothing else to do but to plunge in and go for it! Perhaps the rough patches would reveal themselves to me as I got to them. And so it did. Thankfully, as I kept knitting, the next stitch made itself known.


It became apparent to me, only a few rows into knitting the first big square (the back) that life is a lot like this. In reality, we don’t have a set-by-step pattern for life. We have to just plunge in and go for it! We need to live through the rough patches with a confidence that the next step will reveal itself to us. We have to keep stitching, knowing that there is an overall design that will yield a desired result, even if it IS only in the Designer’s mind.

We may have a vague idea about the trajectory of our life. We may even follow a pattern of living written down in a book or the Book of Books. But it is still not a map or blueprint with all the details filled in. We bring to it our own sense of color, the size we need, the shape and length of it. We may even alter its original course to suit our own needs.

This is Life. A beautiful life to live…one stitch at a time.

***Note: Sweater pattern is out of a Vogue Knitting book titled Quick Knits. It is called Snowflake Pullover.

*****On Another Note: Many of these photos are from my Instagram. If you’d like to follow me there, you can find me as jenpedwards!


0 thoughts on “Life is Like a Knitting Pattern

  1. freebirdsings says:

    The sweater looks quite nice and it looks good on you also. Were you taking a selfie, lol? I have trouble knitting to patterns. I try. I make swatches and then dive into knitting. What I knit doesn’t match the swatch. I already know ahead of time to drop down 2 needle sizes as experience has taught me I knit loosely. I finally quit on one sweater as the body and each of the sleeves came out different sizes. If knitting is like life, it’s no wonder I feel like I just can’t follow instructions as given! I need to work it out for myself each time no matter the instructions and work it sometimes seems to be! Other times I just enjoy the yarn and the flow of knitting. Yes, I can see how you could see life as knitting.

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