This is a picture of Emily and I about sixteen years ago. I'm wearing the very first sweater that I ever knit for myself. The sweater was at least three years old, maybe four, by this point. I loved that sweater. I was ridiculously proud of it. It was so warm and cozy. It was also really big. I could fit it over top of other sweaters it was so big. These two factors made it ideal for trips up north to the cottage but not for much else. It was just too big: the body, the sleeves, all of it.
I moved it out of regular rotation and into the file of clothes dedicated to yard work. I only wore it for gardening a couple of times. I just felt too guilty. I loved that sweater and it wouldn't take long to get ruined out in the yard. I also couldn't stand the thought of giving it away. That's how it came to spend the next ten years locked in a plastic tote in the closet under the stairs. Whenever the seasons would change and the warm coats would replace the summer hats, the plastic tote would come out. Waiting for me every time was my brown sweater. My eyes would get big with surprise (every time). I would audibly exclaim how much I loved that sweater whether there was someone there to hear me or not (every time). I would pull it out and hold it up to myself, look down and remember the undeniable awkwardness of the thing (every time). Then I would fold it back up and tuck it away. After years of being unable to wear it and equally unable to throw it away I wondered why I didn't just turn it into something more useful. Turn it into a better version of itself.
This was the year. I spent countless hours haunting Ravelry until finding the perfect solution. A simple cape with a big chunky cabled edge. I unravelled all of those carefully constructed stitches and got to work. And now I love it. I wear it all the time (weather permitting) and even though it's almost unrecognizable from its former self, it still feels like I'm wearing the very first sweater I ever made for myself. It feels good.