Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I had the double bad luck of having a very thrifty mother plus two older siblings. This means that I have been forced to wear hand-me-downs my entire life. I didn't care much as a kid, but it really rubbed when I became a fashion conscious teenager (who went to a fashion conscious high school). Learning to knit and sew became my personal answer to obtaining fashionable clothing, my ticket to freedom from the hand-me-downs!

The "long, lean, Aran pullover" at upper left made me swoon with desire (am I showing my age?). I saved up my allowance and bought some real (cheap scratchy) cream colored wool. I cast on the requisite number of stitches for the ribbing on yellow-green metallic straight Susan Boyle needles. (Of course I didn't know the first thing about gauge, but I lucked out on this one). When I got to the patterned stitches I needed markers, so I improvised some out of fine wire twisted into a loop. How those stitch markers tortured my hands with their sharp ends! But still I plugged on in the name of fashion! The sweater took me several months to complete, but I was so delighted when it was finished. When I proudly wore it to school, it was insufferably hot and scratchy- but wear it I did!

Here are two of my other attempts at cabled sweaters. At left is the Reynold's sheet pattern photo for the 500-pound cotton Aran referred to in the previous post. (I guess it didn't help that I made it extra long and attached a big collar). At right is Jo Sharp's "Millbrook", from Knitting Bohemia. I scaled this down and knit it in VERY SOFT wool for my daughter when she was about six. I loved knitting it! Unfortunately dear daughter had the audacity to outgrow it while it was still on the needles! When it was finally finished and I stuffed her into it, she didn't like it at all because the cables were "lumpy". Kids!!!!

Not all of my cable sweaters have been disasters. There were several others that worked out fine. But I can't help muse about past failures while I am working on two Aran sweaters, the Manly College Sweater, and the Byzantine Millbrook, my name for the blend of patterns that I am working up with the Galway yarn (previous post).


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