Tuesday, February 2, 2016


A sewing machine blog should only be about sewing, right? I'm going to break my own rule and write about knitting for this one blog post. Although I've been sewing longer than knitting, I did learn to knit when I was ten, getting help from a friends' aunt. A long time ago I knit a sweater for a boyfriend that was by far my biggest project to date that has somewhat stood the test of time:
Green cable-knit sweater 1971
Pattern from McCalls Needlework & Crafts Winter 1971-72
 It was hidden away in a drawer until I saw the exact same sweater on a teenage girl when I was at the checkout counter at JoAnn's Fabrics in DeKalb, Illinois. I remarked that her sweater looked very familiar and she said it was her dad's and her mom let her wear it: she was just loving it! I went home and brought mine out of a bottom drawer and showed it to my own teenage daughter who said she would love to wear it so it went into her drawer. It traveled over the years with her through many jobs and moves and at one point I even re-sewed the seams. Finally it was just too delicate to be worn anymore as it was wool that probably wasn't the best of quality but all I could afford at the time. Fast forward a few decades and I get the itch to knit for my daughter again and we both agree a new sweater from that old pattern would be great. We pick out the yarn online together and find a color that closely matched the original but with less yellow in the green.
Old Sweater on left, new on right
  I've been knitting on that sweater since June 2013, taking the front completely apart since it was turning out too small. Sewing machines and their demand on my spare time pushed this project to the back burner but cold weather and a new-to-us series on PBS, A Place to Call Home, finally got me to sit down and knit. Even when the knitting was done I needed to block each piece:
Sleeve pinned to ironing board for wet cloth steaming

and then the final sewing together of the entire sweater, weaving in the loose ends. But it is done:
2016 edition (sorry about the color: it's really green!)

I sent my daughter a text telling her I had a package for her: when could we meet up? Today she came over to my work and we had lunch together but only after she got a look at the sweater and modeled it for me:
Kelly in her new 1971/2016 sweater
It was everything she wanted it to be and this time it was knit with a better yarn with Cascade 220 Superwash in color 1919 (Turtle). It really was a joy to work with this yarn and nice to have a project that was going to give a loved one so much joy. So this blog post might not be about sewing machines but it is about stitching and a love of the process as well as the product. And, yeah, a love for the girl who will wear it!

1 comment:

Thin Man Sewing said...

Perfect color for your daughter. I think it is wonderful you reproduced the same sweater.