I think I'm finally getting the hang of this in so far as I've now knit five jumpers, will wear four of them (not today, it's far too hot), and am finally pleased with the overall fit of the last one. Jumper number two was so ridiculously large it went to my sister who has somehow made it work.
Jumper number five is a second Peerie Leaves (a Donna Smith design) and I went down 3 sizes from my original estimate of what I needed - a very loose, boxy, fit isn't right for me. A quite loose fit is perfect. I added a bit of length to the original pattern because I'm long-bodied, and I'm happy with that although I could also probably not have done and just stretched it a bit more in the dressing process. I absolutely love this pattern and will knit it again.
Jumper finished I cast on a hat last night - it's far too warm now to sit with half a jersey or more in my lap but not so warm yet that small projects are out of the question, and started thinking about knitting generally. When I picked up the needles again a few years back I wanted to tackle Fair Isle but was thinking mostly in terms of samplers that I could frame, and scarves. There was also a pair of fingerless mitts I really loved and that I hoped one day I might tackle.
I've made a few pairs of them now along with other mitts. I remember the first hat I knitted when that seemed like a big step forward and a tea cosy with what seemed like an impossible crown at the time, I ripped it back time after time before cracking it, but the next time I came to the pattern a while later whatever had caused the issues had gone - the instructions I swore over were perfectly obvious.
I graduated to socks, which still feel almost magical at the heel turning point, and again once seemed like they'd be impossibly complicated. I tackled lace which still gives me some issues but I'm miles ahead of where I started with several much-loved shawls to show for it. And then there are jumpers, lots of them, something I never thought I'd have the patience to knit, never mind the skill.
The thing is I'm not a patient or a particularly crafty person, especially with textiles. I can't sew with any particular competence, crochet baffles me, though I will learn the basics at some point - I didn't think any of this is something I'd ever be able to do. I certainly never imagined that I'd be able to more or less design my own things (borrowing heavily from other people's work, but far enough away from the original design to feel that yes, this is mine, what I've done with it is unique to me) or learn half the techniques that I have.
Half the secret of knitting is that a lot of it is nowhere near as complicated as it looks (though some of it really, truly, is) the other half is that if you potter away at it you'll eventually impress yourself with what you can do and end up with a jumper you actually want to wear and which looks genuinely good on you.