Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Forever Sweater

I cannot remember when this sweater was not a part of my life. It always was. I held onto it as fashions came and went and came again and I'm glad.

Where to start to tell this story? The booklet that the pattern was originally published in was copyright 1957. This sweater was knit by my father and I think it was the first time he tried intarsia. Knit in brown, red and white acrylic, most likely in the 42" large size, It must have been made for himself and then passed down to my eldest brother.

We did ski a little as a family, but it was more of the "idea" of skiing that interested me at 5 or six, when I had little wooden skies with leather bindings. But back to the sweater...I hate skiing.

Even though it was the 70's and this kind of Retro wasn't really in, I loved it. The only clothes that I could get away with wearing that were "cool" and not bought by my mother, were the things that I could steal from my brothers. As they are 8 and 10 years older, and as soon as they left for college, I would rummage through their clothes left behind to find something that I thought really suited me. (If you're reading this guys, don't get mad, it was a desperate situation.)

When I went to college this sweater went with me and I can see that my mother sewed my name in with a label (still have those too). It wasn't until I started knitting in my late 30's that I really looked at this St. Moritz sweater as a knitter. The pattern had been in the box with all the knitting needles at my parent's house. I actually have a copy of it now because their original was lost in the selling of their house and I was able to find another copy online!
I still wear it all the time and last year it occurred to me that I should really knit it myself. I've had the yarn and it's just been sitting there. Some pretty good reasons: Intarsia, scary instructions, fear of failure. I mean, Dad already knit it, will mine measure up??

Christmas Eve was his birthday. He would have been 90. I wore the sweater and went out for a day of knitting with friends, before the stores closed. I had my friend Emily take this picture of me and now I see that I'm really committing myself to something here. I've got so many unfinished projects and I just completed one. So, even though it was just mittens, I'm adding a whole new sweater to the mix.Of course I should have realized this but after scanning the charts I see that they are all hand drawn and pretty impossible to read. I'm coloring them in with contrasting colors. I'm actually going to knit the body in sky blue, and the rest will be the same, off-white and red. (The hat in this picture is the one from the cover of Vogue Fall 09-- pink) that I knit during Thanksgiving.

So where am I today? Committing myself to something I finally know I can do. Sure, it's going to take a lot of concentration and patience. I doubt I'll finish it this year, but you never know! I do know that I'll want to wear it. Who will this one get passed down to? Who can say...

Friday, December 04, 2009


Folks, I have so many blogs that I manage or write for, sometimes I get caught short when it comes to just writing about stuff!
Here I am, several weeks later, hanging my head in shame....oh, shame has no place here! Just tell it like it is...

That choir in my last post? I joined it. Yeah, two rehearsals and one performance later, I hear that music in my head all day. Now if that were to also mean that I had it DOWN, I'd be in good shape. Fortunately I can sight read because I can't say I've really learned it all yet. Next month a couple more performances and my Monday nights are now spoken for.

Knitting? YES.
There's the stuff for Krafti-Kit that you can oh so conveniently purchase online, like...the Oregon Tweed Socks.
Or, the crochet Faerie Ring Mobius Which comes with the MOST awesome ebony crochet hook that you will most likely NEVER lend out. (Look at the drape of the wool and bamboo on the the lovely Petra)
Then, there are some things I can't show you yet... but I did finish a hat from Vogue Fall 2009, during the holiday weekend. I love it. It's nothing like the pink confection on the magazine cover, but it has sparkles and right now, this girls needs some sparkles...(why can't you see the sparkles in this pic? Click on it to make it bigger.)
Then, there's the spinning. Last in line these days. This weekend is Spinnerati again and I hope to bring the old girl wheel. I do have a fiber confession though. My rational on this on is that I will use up more handspun. I'm entering the weaving world. Don't become afraid, dear readers. I have no intention of slipping down another slippery slope (right...).

What, you want me to stop? My fiber passion knows no bounds, and in a world where I see a distinct lack of passion, I have no intention of holding myself back. I figure that if I continue to teach, and make cool stuff and spread the fiber love around, it's all cool... Yeah. Like that.