Following yesterday’s discovery of competitive speed knitting, I read on one of the knitting blogs that Wendy of Wendy Knits! has been publicly castigated for knitting slowly — and for knitting something too easy for her. Wendy is one of the most popular knitting bloggers, and is always being lambasted for something. In this case, I haven’t read the original post about her, but in the past I have followed some of them up, so I can vouch for the fact that it is not her imagination. She seems to be an ordinary woman who knits nice sweaters and hangs out with her cat. She doesn’t write about sex, religion, or pirates. I don’t know how she manages to inspire such vituperation.

Her response was that it takes 4 to 6 weeks to knit a sweater. She’s right. And that is 4 to 6 weeks of actual knitting time, not counting dithering over what colors to use, pulling it out and starting again, or quitting in the middle to make a bathmat. Oh, you can make a toddler’s sweater in worsted weight in a weekend if you have nothing else on your to-do list, but your average adult sweater, fitted in around work and classes and rehearsals, will take six weeks. So you could — if you just knitted sweaters and are not a speed knitter — make about nine sweaters a year. I usually make two. I knit lots of other things besides sweaters, and do a lot of other things besides knitting, but at least in theory, I could make nine sweaters a year. Ten, if some were simple.

Are you finding this a startling thought? After knitting for ten years, you could have made nearly a hundred sweaters. You could clothe your entire block, make all the patterns in your average knitting book several times, or be an astoundingly well-dressed person (if perhaps a little predictable in your outfits).

I’m not saying that we should do this, just that we could.