Fashionable Knitting takes a Historical Turn

History Lesson One

We learned that ER placed her yarn in a basket that was lined with  silk-like fabric as we might use a yarn bowl, however the extended fabric protected her clothing from the yarn fibers.

The other review I wrote for the Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo was about a presentation called Eleanor Roosevelt:  History of Knitting given by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic local historian, Ann Colopy.  The talk was mostly a biographical sketch of Eleanor Roosevelt, both her private life as well as her public persona.  According to our speaker, Eleanor found great solace in knitting as therapy but also sought outreach programs in which to make her knitting meaningful and purposeful for someone.  I believe the guild invited her to hear of A First Lady’s knitting needs, desires, influences, and aspirations but also the lecture and lecturer invited us to become reflective and consider our own practice, how our surroundings and/or time in life impacts our knitting.

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The “Five Year Celebration” Project

I know.  You’re expecting some sort of fantastical  afgan, or yarn bombing of a city, or full blown suit knitted in fair isle with fingering weight yarn but you’re not going to see that with this post.

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One can never predict what is coming next in life and this little project that was to take just a bit of time has turned out to be what we are affectionately calling “the five year celebration”.  We say “five year” because from the time we (a dear friend and I) sat down to plan, make to wear this adorable fashion statement,  life offered its challenges which needed our attention that caused us to place this on hold.  Life challenges for both of us.  From serious, life threatening health issues including operations to losses, to life transitions both on a personal level and professional level  it has been five years since the onset of this project!  We say “celebration” because each of us faced the challenge(s) we were confronted with head on and found ways to accept, cope, manage,  and move forward enabling us to come full swing back to our original intention.  We did not let that life challenge define us or take hold of our lives, but rather took control to redirect to what we both wanted.

I loved knitting this little number!  Who wouldn’t especially with gorgeous hand-painted Tilli Tomas silk, laden with sequins, it was a knitting paradise for me.   Pattern from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2009 #24 designed by Faith Hale and marked very easy was well written, sizing figured out, the knitting of it really didn’t take much time at all.  The only minor change we made to the design element is we did not add button holes and buttons because an heirloom brooch will be completing this look for her.  Oh, and I also added a band of garter stitch to match all the other band trimmings on the left front as there was no other finishing and I can’t stand curling of knitted fabric where NOT intended.

Happy days ahead!  Think of me tomorrow as I present this beauty to my dear friend!

think brooch where the yarn label is

Think brooch where the yarn label is.

Addendum:  I sewed in my hand-knit label after the photos were taken so as to not have it distract from the gorgeous sweater in the photos.

Of course, she will be able to place the brooch anywhere along the ruffle.

Of course, she will be able to place the brooch anywhere along the ruffle.

The garment really needs to be ON to be completely appreciated.  Maybe, a photograph with her in it is looming in our future?

Cardipull

4 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 1 = final satisfaction.  This project came to me as I was needing to embark on an easy and lightweight (as in heft) project after the challenging elephant cardigan and the gorgeous, but bulky-to-knit designer tapestry dress.  The 4 in my equation stands for this yarn Manos del Uruguay, Rittenhouse Merino 5-ply, that is the number of times I changed how I was going to use this gorgeous yarn.  It was originally purchased for another project but a change of mind and insistence that I use it headed me into a cabled project but I fell short on yardage.  Then, there was a third attempt but I wasn’t confident that this particular yarn was right so I then settled on this Spring cardigan.  The beautiful part about choosing this pattern is that if I were diligent, it could be finished and worn THIS season!   As I’ve suggested, or at least for my knitting sanity, I find it emotionally comforting that after a challenging project to follow it up by one that just sings.  Easy, no seams, knitted mostly in the round, mostly straight stitch, worsted weight yarn, and minimal fabric.  Perfect.  Not like those Vogue patterns whereby you have to knit double your body width or double your body length of fabric for that fashion impact.

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