Thursday, January 21, 2010

My 2nd Most Interesting Knitting Project Ever

At our family reunion in Michigan this past August, I had the pleasure of getting
to know my cousin Art's wife, Linda. Partly because we are both knitters we hit it off right away. I was working on a pair of socks for Jim, and attempting a different heel treatment. She wanted to do much the same thing on a baby bonnet, and had an old pattern book that she showed me. I used to have the same book, but sometime over the years it disappeared.

As we were looking through that book I saw this pattern, and realized that this was the original pattern for matching sweaters that my sister and I had when we were just little girls. The sweaters were a deep red wool, that my Scottish aunt's mother had knit for us.

Ida Mae McDonald was an old woman when I knew her, living with my dad's younger brother and his family. She had suffered a stroke that paralyzed her right side, and Uncle Rudy had made a frame to hold her embroidery work that enabled her to cross stitch beautiful pictures. I particularly remember a very large picture she embroidered of a deer and faun, surrounded by greenery.

Prior to her stroke she had done all sorts of handwork, and since that all interested me very much even as a young child (this was before I was seven years old) I would always spend time with Mrs. McDonald when we visited Uncle Rudy and Aunt Edith. So when old Mrs. McDonald died, Aunt Edith gave me all her knitting pattern books.

I recently asked Linda to send me a copy of this pattern. It arrived in the mail this past Monday, and Linda wrote on it that the book is dated 1941! I hope to reproduce this sweater for our three younger granddaughters, the same three that are getting the waistcoats.

But two years ago for my sister's birthday I made a reproduction of this sweater for her birthday. Not having the pattern, just going by my memory of our sweaters, I knit this beautiful red wool cardigan for her. I knowingly added details: the pockets, the cables on the pockets, the cables on the plackets.

This was one of the biggest knitting challenges I have ever taken on. It was a very enjoyable process, and although I often had to redo an area until I was happy with it, the end result was, IMHO, terrific. I think my sister was pretty happy with it, too.

But why do I call it My Second Most Interesting Knitting Project? Because there is one sweater I've made that was an even more interesting process. I'll tell you about that next time.

1 comment:

  1. That red sweater is gorgeous...your sister was one lucky gal!