Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sweater Worthy

There’s a lot of talk these days about sweater worthiness. There’s even a new book coming out in December called Never Knit Your Man A Sweater* *Unless You’ve Got the Ring by Judith Durant.

My husband and I have been together for 12 years and I’ve never knit the poor man a thing. Appalling as that may sound, I hope this true story of treason will elicit some sympathy and understanding.

The year was around 1984 (again with the eighties) and I decided to knit my then boyfriend a sweater. A tedious blue gray tweed Aran cardigan. Here’s a picture of the pattern. I worked long and hard on this sweater – talk about considering a vest – the sleeves were very, very long!

It was a beautiful fall Massachusetts Sunday. The trees shone in all their autumnal glory, the sun was shining, and the temperature was cool. I had just finished putting the last wooden button on said cardigan and called my boyfriend into the room for the big reveal. This was the first time he would try it on and I was pleased as punch to see that my measurements were perfect. The sweater fit him to a tee. He buttoned it up and went to look in the mirror. He came back into the room, told me how beautiful it was, that he was thrilled to have it, and then went outside.

After a time, I went outside. I stood on the porch overlooking the driveway and saw his legs sticking out from underneath his car. I called out, “What are you doing under there?” He poked his head and torso out from the side, still wearing the just off the needles sweater and said, “Oh, I’m changing the oil in my car.”

Like Scarlett overlooking Tara in ruins, I raised my fist in the air and defiantly whispered, “As God is my witness, I will never knit a sweater for anyone again!”

That is, of course, until now. I stuck to my proverbial guns for over 20 years, narcissistically knitting sweaters only for myself. Does my dear husband fully understand the magnitude of this earth shattering reversal to knit him a sweater? Can he handle the pressure?

It can’t be just any sweater either. He came to the shop one day to pick out his yarn and pattern. He chose this Aran number from Men in Knits by Tara Jon Manning. He also chose a lovely gray extra fine merino sport weight yarn. Aran cardigan, Aran cardigan…my hands began to tremble and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. “Honey, I said, “I think you better let me choose the pattern and the yarn. Trust me, it will be better that way.”

So after a long search, I decided on Rowan’s St. Mawes sweater. Rather than making this little beauty in cotton, I chose to make it out of one of my all-time favorite yarns, Cascade 220, in this gorgeous shade of burgundy. It will look smashing on him and I’m thrilled to be knitting it. I haven’t shown him the picture because I’m afraid he won’t be able to get over the model’s kilt. I could reassure him that the kilt is not requisite to wearing the sweater, but it’s easier just to let him watch the progress.

Oh, and my husband has never changed the oil in the car.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shall I dig out the kilt Ma bought me back in the 80's for your darling husband? It's red and black if you recall, and with some black knee socks and no underwear he may look kinda sweet! Luv ya, Sister K.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I was your first. I'm NOT! The things you learn when you read your wife's blog! What else will I find out! BTW, I still like the gray!
Your sweater man.... #2!

6:40 PM  

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