As I was doing an impromptu sweater inventory in my closet last night, it occurred to me that while the number of handknit items in my collection has surpassed 10, I actually wear only a few on a regular basis. My favorites are Give the People What They Want cardigan, the Einstein jacket, the warm and girly Marilyn pullover and the Side-to-Side Ribbon Pullover.
It could be that the seasons dictate which sweaters I would wear, but even so there are certain ones that I gravitate towards more often than others. It could also be argued that these are the best fitting but that's not really true either. And then there are people who knit for knitting's sake and not use the garments or give them away altogether, but that's not my MO.
So why then? Well, after a moment's thought...I think it simply boils down to the best combination of function and comfort. Comfort is fit, softness and the degree to which the yarn does not irritate my skin. Fit is VERY important because if it doesn't fit, it isn't comfortable. Function is convenience, versatility and ease of care. If I'm going to worry that the sweater will get wet, must be dry-cleaned if it gets a speck of dirt on it or can only be worn in specific situations, it will probably spend most of its time in the closet rather than on my person. Versatility is a huge plus - I will wear something a lot if I can wear it on the weekends, at work or on a casual evening out. Given all of this, it won't surprise you to know that I wear the 2 cardigans the most often. Both of them are simple knits and I'm happy to say they've held up well so far.
Although I unofficially select each project based on the sweater's function, comfort, technique/stitch, style and yarn it seems I get the biggest bang for my knitting buck with the projects based on the first 2 criteria. This may change which projects I knit up in the next few months. The tweedy cardigan I'm working on now is a good choice - I'll most likely use it right away.
(By the way, the number 10 isn't random. Fran from the Knitter's Review forums once said you could consider yourself an intermediate knitter if you've knit at least 10 sweaters.)
Thanks for letting me ramble on. Which sweaters - or scarves, handbags, blankets, socks - have you knit that you use the most often and why?
Until the next day in the life...