I was in the store looking for ideas for my next knitting project and I browsed through the knitting books near the yarn. Very few of the books had patterns for sweaters for adults. Most of the projects for adults were on large needles. To anyone unfamiliar with knitting, this means the project was designed to be done quickly.
I am not seeing the fisherman knit sweaters or the sweaters with complicated and colorful patterns. These sweaters take time to knit, and if not done properly the investment in yarn and time is wasted. Instead I see afghans as the only major project. It is hard to knit an afghan that does not give a usable result. I am waiting for the “thank you” for my grandson’s sweater, and am worried that it hasn’t come because it does not fit or perhaps only because he doesn’t like it.
Baby sweaters are harder to do wrong. If made too big, they will fit the baby sometime and the investment in yarn and time is not as large as a sweater for an adult. Many of the projects are hats or scarves, which can be done inexpensively.
It has been decades since knitting was a worthwhile art from a genuinely practical point of view. The yarn for socks is more expensive than buying socks. Clothing is relatively cheap and sweat shirts are more popular than sweaters. I knit (and blog) for pleasure, not practicality. But judging by the products in the stores, fewer people are doing that than before.