The Metaphor Cardigan

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I find myself weaving in a thousand ends on a multi-coloured cardigan today. This particular cardigan has been sat at the back of the cupboard, half finished, for 4 years. I am currently between projects, as such, but instead of starting a new one I decided to get this one out. I can’t explain why, I haven’t had the slightest intention of finishing this cardigan, and when people ask me what project I regret starting, I tell them this one.

Recently we have come to realise that we have less money than we thought. “Who doesn’t?” I hear you ask. Due to a mistake (read cock-up) at the council, our income has been reduced by £30 a week. A hefty amount when you don’t have much coming in it the first place! So we started to sort out our finances, had a look at what we could sell to make a little bit extra, and what we could cut back on.

What could we cut back on? Well, that’s a really good question, considering we don’t really spend an awful lot of money. I’ve gotten a little more brutal in the kitchen, but there is really only one other thing I spend money on. Crafting. Crochet magazines, knitting magazines, wool, fabric, the list could go on and on. So that’s it then, that’s what I have to cut back on. Easier said than done though really.

So, for some unknown reason, I reached to the back of the cupboard this morning and pulled out this fabled cardigan. I have sat for 2 hours this morning weaving in all the ends so that I could sew it together and start on the sleeves. This got me thinking about why I started the cardigan in the first place.

When I first started knitting, I wanted to make a garment, but didn’t have the money to buy all the wool I needed. When I found a pattern for a cardigan that promised to use up all my oddments of wool, and therefore not cost anything, I was raring to go. I got as far a the back and two front panels before I gave up, and it has sat there ever since.

Only now I have no money for wool or new patterns, and I still want to make things, so I will sit here until I have weaved in every thread. I will sew it up, and then I will knit both arms, and I will be wearing this cardigan within a week, and that’s a promise. I won’t buy any more wool until I have used most of what I have and finished everything I have already started.

And that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? A bit of willpower and determination and seeing the problem through. I had no idea when I started this cardigan that it would come to mean so much. It has become my metaphor cardigan.

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5 thoughts on “The Metaphor Cardigan

  1. When the money dries up its time to get savvy :). Off to your local thrift shop to buy some lovely jumpers, unpick them and use that wool for crafting. Patterns are often found online and if you belong to crafting forums people are very generous with patterns and will usually send you a PDF if you ask nicely :). That cardigan is lovely but I understand why it languishes in the cupboard. Before we moved to Tasmania I had a jumper (well the front and the back and the sleeves of a jumper 😉 ) that I had been knitting for my ex-husband (whom I had been divorced from for 10 years!) so I know what you mean. Every time you wear that jumper you will feel empowered by possibilities. Councils ruin people’s lives all over the place. Steve had the council pull his rent when he was 21. He had his whole life planned out including taking a year off work to learn to play classical guitar (and then become a teacher) BUT his non poll tax paying brother (unbeknownst to Steve) didn’t pay his tax and the council stopped paying Steve’s rent…no rent…no flat…no dreams…BUT it did mean that he ended up having to move back to Liverpool where bored out of his mind one night he decided to head off to a chat room and that’s where we met…you just never know where something is going to take you and you certainly might not think that this belt tightening situation is going to be anything other than a pain in the derrière but it has already made you stronger and more determined. You just beat the council ma’am 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂 I think Steve’s brother did him a favour! We’ll be ok, we won’t starve, we’ll just have to do without a few luxuries. It’ll be harder with Christmas coming up, but it’s not as if we’re not used to cutting back and finding cheaper alternatives 😀

      • Same here…we don’t call ourselves “penniless student hippies” for nothing ;). Our idea of luxuries is the odd bottle of booze but we are just about to emerge from a mountain of studies and the light at the end of the tunnel is calling my name. It is saying “Make beer Fran…make kimchi and cake and soak some boozy fruit for Christmas Fran”…and it is also saying things like “get out in the sunshine before it disappears you stupid woman!”…sometimes I have issues with my mind 😉

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