Should you be in need of some mindless knitting — and by mindless I mean the good kind that allows you to stop thinking too hard and just knit knit knit knit and then knit some more, and not even purl, and not even look at the pattern for looooong stretches of time — you could probably make an Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater in the round (which someday I swear I will actually do, maybe even for myself [I started one but didn't finish it] ), because she knew just how to make knitting as pleasureable as possible. Or you could do a garter-stitch sideways sweater. Remember the Lichen Sweater? This is the same sweater, done in different yarn and I one size smaller needle (can't find the 2.5mm).
I'm calling this one the Winter City Sweater (follow the link to Ravelry for yarn/needle/pattern details). That is because the colors remind me of winter in the city (genius!!!). That's as creative as my brain is able to be lately. When I made the Lichen version, I remember thinking, "Holy lichen, am I bored with this." HAH. This time around, my days are so hectic and charged that when I finally fall onto the sofa to work a few rows before I start snoozing, I am thinking, "Oh, this is wonderful. This is glorious. This is relaxing. This is just enough. This . . . Zzzzzzzzz." Awesome. It's very Goldilocksian: the perfect amount of required thinking (i.e.: hardly any) with the perfect amount of repetitive, mind-numbingly boring knitting (i.e.: a ton, as garter stitch grows slowly, so you need lots and lots). And mind-numbing is, after all, quite the perfect point: Nothing seems to massage the hectic brain into happy, long, smooth, agreeable waves like garter stitch, somehow. Especially if you've placed your markers and you can go for row after row without stopping to do anything fancy. Don't you love how what feels seriously boring at some times can feel seriously soothing at others? I think that's one of the best things about knitting: It's always more than a sweater, somehow. It's an antidote. You can pick a project to be almost anything you need it to be.
In case it's not obvious — I guess I should've explained this earlier — a sideways sweater is not knit from the bottom up or the top down. It's knit starting with the left-front edge, where you cast on the entire length from bottom to neck. Then you work what is called "short rows" back and forth along that edge: Knit up the first marker, then turn around and go back on the return row. Knit up the the second marker, turn and go back. Knit up to the third marker, turn and go back. Now go up to the second marker again, turn and go back. Up to the first marker, go back. Then knit all the way up to the top (neck edge) and come back. You've just created a little wedge: For every 12 rows at the bottom edge, you have 2 rows at the top edge. This creates that adorable A-line shape. When you get to the side, you place all of the stitches up to the underarm on a holder, then cast on a bunch more for the sleeve (which is knit straight, until the "second" marker, and doesn't repeat quite as often). See? Cool idea, huh?