This post was inspired by a recent post of Angeluna's. Sorry, am having trouble figuring out how to do links with Firefox.
I commented as follows: “Holy cow, woman! What a lovely excursion through time, and learning, you've given us. We started knitting about the same age. I just wanted to do Barbie stuff until I was fourteen or fifteen. And I had the same dismal luck with yarn shops that you did, until then. My first FO was a sleeveless Aran dress in oiled wool that scratched like fury. I had nobody to tell me how inappropriate that was for something that was to be worn next to the skin. Or how awful it would smell when wet!”
So, there was that beautifully-knit and utterly unwearable dress, long since vanished in a move, or perhaps foisted off on some other unsuspecting soul during a periodic closet cleanout. Several Barbie sweaters that were too long, because I knit so loosely and the local stores did not carry needles fine enough for me to knit on gauge. A black and cobalt and royal purple argyle vest for First Hubby. I don’t know if he still has that one. But he does still have the Aran sweater in a soft tweedy oatmeal color that I made for him. He keeps it wrapped in tissue paper in a drawer and wears it ceremoniously once or twice each winter.
How do I know this? Because he showed it to me eight years ago, when I visited him after 26 years of estrangement. I will have to see if he can send me a picture to share with you. I knitted another Aran sweater for the girls’ father, which got worn to death and may still be lurking in his closet. Not interested in calling him to ask if he still has it; sorry, you’ll just have to use your imaginations. I gave him the yarn in a box for our first Christmas, when we were living on the GI bill and he was getting his MBA. I think I finished it either the next fall or the winter after that, when we had moved to Texas.
My favorite sweater that I made for myself was bright red [of course], knitted up from Harrisville Shetland that I washed and wound into cakes to take out the sizing so beloved of handweavers. It had I-cord snakes slithering up from the bottom, in two shades of yellow, and tiny yellow square buttons. I gave it away when I got temporarily skinny, twelve years ago, and now I wish that I still had it. I only hope that somebody with an equally quirky sense of humor bought it at the thrift store and wears it on a day when she needs a little cheering up.
I knitted a sweater for my first post-second-divorce boyfriend [I couldn’t think of a more elegant way to express that], *after* I broke up with him, because we remained friends. It was knitted up from super-bulky yarn that I spun from Welsh pencil roving that I either bought from Jacqueline Fee or from somebody she told me about.
I made these tabards for the girls for Christmas, the first year that their father was in chiropractic school.
Each one has a unique pattern, so there would be no squabbling over whose was whose. Here is a detail. This is the largest one, so it belonged either to Firstborn or Secondborn:
We didn’t have LittleBit yet, so there are only four of them, and one has gone missing over the years. [One of the tabards, I mean; not one of the girls. Oye.]
Here is another; I don’t know if it was Middlest’s or Fourthborn’s, as they were the same size despite being two years apart in age.
The yarn is Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride, and I chose Aran patterning because I’d just bought the Alice Starmore book and because the yarn was slightly overtwisted, and the slanting stitches of stockinette did not please me. Here is a detail of the preceding tabard:
These are a soft cranberry in color, in spite of what you see on the monitor, and each girl had a white turtleneck to go under it. This is the third surviving tabard:
And a detail:
That was also the season when “baby cord” was so popular. I made them each a skirt in fine-wale corduroy in what the designers called jade green. We were poor as Job’s turkey, so no photos of them dressed in their Christmas finery. I remember how pleased I was that we had enough money that I could buy them new turtlenecks at Wal-Mart.
- Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!