Tuesday, April 18, 2006

One has to start somewhere. I'll start with a history of my knitting experience.

I knit my first sweater knowing nothing of gauge. I learned to knit by knitting a pair of mittens. Then, with the hubris of youth, I decided to knit a sweater. I went to a yarn store and purchased a pattern (probably, though I remember nothing about that) and yarn. I think the yarn may have been Lopi, though I really don't know. And then I knit the parts of a sweater, or almost all of the parts of a sweater before I ran out of yarn.

That this sweater, or a version of this sweater, still exists today, owes much to my mother's frugality. I left for college and left the sweater pieces behind. I knit scarves. My mother took the sweater pieces to a knitter friend, who unravelled it, added a second color to make the yarn go further, and knit a sweater. Mom sent it to me. It was a beautiful sweater, but.... While the knitting friend did add a second color, she did so by working a stranded pattern, which meant the sweater became twice as heavy, but not bigger. It fit like a 50's pin-up sweater, except that it was made of Lopi. I looked decidely Rubenesque. The sweater lives in my mother's cedar chest today, never worn, as far as I know.

Still without a clue about gauge, I knit a second sweater, a vest. I no longer have that sweater either. A room mate absorbed it into her wardrobe. The picture at the beginning of this post shows the pattern for that vest. My pattern came from Vogue Knitting, sometime in the 70's. That picture came from a 1994 issue of Family Circle Knitting. Mine was longer, I think. I was lucky with that sweater; I had enough yarn and my gauge must have been close, because it fit.

More scarves, and then my first knit for someone else. The dreaded boyfriend sweater, except that I knew nothing of the boyfriend sweater curse. That sweater is in the upper right corner. The relationship wasn't cursed for we've been married for thirty-one years and many more sweaters. Careful study of that picture might give the impression that the sweater was cursed. Note the elbow patches covering holes in the elbows. Note the line of crochet around the neck done to stabilize the neckline. Note the difference in color of the yarn on the inside and outside at the neckline. Note the knitted patch that was applied at the lower right. Note the deconstructionist unravelling at hem and on sleeves. The sweater wasn't cursed, it was loved to pieces.

I need to learn how to intersperse pictures with text before my next post when I take up this history again.

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