Monday, January 29, 2007

History

The marathon snowday knitting two weeks ago burnt me out a little bit. I found myself working on long-abandoned UFOs -- the simplicity of projects from back in the days when I was capable of little else turned out to be quite soothing. Other days, I didn't knit at all, which was itself oddly refreshing.

In the meantime, I've been cooking, cleaning, partying, house hunting, and visiting my mom, the latter of which allowed me to snap a couple shots of this:

This afghan is what made me a knitter. I should rephrase: It was the first of many things that made me a knitter. My mother knit this as she and my father drove from New Hampshire to Alaska in a VW Bus in the summer of 1969. It helped keep them warm for the 6 years they spent in Fairbanks while my Dad completed grad school, and it traveled from there to Virginia, Massachusetts, and finally, in 1978, to Oregon.

Starting when I was 4 or 5, I would spread it out on the floor, lie down on my stomach, and ask my mom the names of the different stitch patterns, until I had them all memorized. It didn't take long before I wanted to know the secrets of knitting myself. (It didn't really take, those first few lessons. I learned to knit and to purl, and this remained the extent of my knitting knowledge until just over a year ago.)

Here's the exciting part: the afghan was originally supposed to have a crocheted border and tassels, which my mother omitted in a striking instance of fashion foresight. This means that she ended up with a whole boatload of leftover yarn, which has now found it's way into my hands.



Between this, some other 70's goodness from my mom, and a yet-to-be-bloggily-unveiled Christmas present, I have what might be called a stash for the first time in my life. (This is going to help mightily with my No New Yarn Until April pact.) In other words, I have yarn for which to find a project, and not vice versa. In yet other words, I have enough for a sweater and then some.

But what sweater? Something worthy of this yarn's history and status in my life. Something cabley, obviously, and probably a cardigan or I'll almost never wear it. I thought of Central Park, but as much as I love it, it doesn't seem special enough, somehow. I thought of the Urban Aran, but it really needs a chunkier yarn than this. I thought of trying to design something on my own, maybe borrowing some elements from the afghan itself, but I'm a little intimidated by that notion -- I think at the very least I should have completed one sweater before I try to pull one out of thin air, right? Maybe I can cobble together elements of different patterns? Any ideas are more than welcome.


3 comments:

Ashley said...

What about a cardiganized Rogue? Or maybe that's not enough cables? In which case, Demi? (she said, flailing about at the thought of casting on for the front of Demi...)

Courtney said...

Wow, your mom is a fabulous knitter. I will keep my eye out for patterns.

Twitchy Knitter said...

The afghan is beautiful, and so is the story that goes with it. I have one on my bed that my grandmother crocheted, and she's the reason I'm knitting now.