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A Little Compulsiveness Never Hurt Anybody

Dear Kay,
What on earth got into you yesterday? In the future, when you have eight hours of knitting that you’re about to rip out, just send it to me, OK? There’s a safe haven for lush, purplygray knitting around here–it’s not like I’ve got some spy satellite eighty miles above the Earth that’s going to notice that lost increase. I am happy to offload any knitting that offends–marred shawls, warbly dishrags, send ’em on.
Your stitch marker strategy seems spot on, I have to say. Supercompulsive, which is a side of you we don’t see all that often. Yeah, you’re breezing though miles of garter stitch . . . but it’s accurate garter stitch. Couldn’t let it go, could you? So busted! I bet you’re rewinding yarn balls that have gone a little out of whack. Lining up stitch markers by weight. Taking better photos of those Ravelry projects from mid 2008.
Now. StormTrackerDopplerTerrorWeather radar indicates an inch of “wintry mix” coming our way today. Possibly the least satisfying forecast possible. The fellas, trudging off the school, were totally disgusted. “Where’s that two inches?” Clif asked. “I was counting on that.”
In the interest of pretending that we have bad weather, and because my closet is tidy enough at the moment that my sweaters aren’t in a giant pile of undifferentiated horribleness, I’ve fished out a sweater made at least 30 years ago. It’s a straight-ahead raglan fisherman’s sweater, and I never used to wear it because it always felt too small.But these days, now that the fashions of the moment are more fitted, and I’ve discovered that “too small for me” usually means “the correct size that I ought to be wearing,” it feels really nice.
My mom made it, back during one of her enthusiasms for knitting that ebbed and flowed.
Aw, c’mon, you know how this gives me a smile, looking at all these cables and seed stitches and imagining my mom ditching the kitchen so she could steal a few more rows.



  1. My mom knits mittens- no sweaters for us- but it is fun to rediscover one of her creations when pulling out winter gear.
    The sweater is beautiful. I like it.

  2. The situation here: One kid got a snow day. One kid did not.
    Not a situation that makes for familial lovey-doveyness.
    I LOVE that you are both wearing a Mom Sweater AND coming to grips with your real versus perceived size issues. This is strong work.
    Why yes, now that you mention it, recently I DID reorganize all my stitch markers and stuff. I have FOUR PAIRS OF TINY SCISSORS.

  3. That’s a lover-ly sweater. very pretty.

  4. Fab sweater, Ann. (Where did your mother get the pattern? It looks strangely familiar– or perhaps I’ve just seen too many knitting mags, books, pamphlets. . .) To address another point, I don’t think Kay is being compulsive in her use of stitch markers, just sensible. It’s nice to be able to see at a glance where you are in a row or a project. Markers definitely make sleeve increases a breeze for me. Put markers wherever they’re helpful! Go wild with color-coding them! (A great idea when you’re knitting a top-down raglan sweater– you’ve got the left-sleeve markers, the right-sleeve markers, the center back, center front, end of round. . . well, you get the idea). Markers for all! Then you’ll only curse when you tiddly-wink one off the needle and into the carpet.

  5. Currently compulsively casting on Baby Bibs O’ Love for my two granddaughters for Valentine’s Day gifts, while watching the snow pile up outside of my NH doorstep and listening to the new Bruce album. Garter stitch at its best.

  6. Wow. The sweater is lovely and I think it is a perfect size on you! What a treasure!

  7. That is a gorgeous sweater!
    Knitting wasn’t my mom’s crafty passion, so while I used to have a sweater made by either my mom or grandmother I would say that I couldn’t wear it now. It is very 80s in its oversizedness (and strangely enough I am smaller than I was when it was made). I would be swimming!

  8. Really nice sweater! I like that central heart/leaf/whatever cable.
    We have lots of snow, but no relief from school. Which is fine with me!

  9. I’m knitting an Aran sweater (out of cotton no less) for the husband, it has those same horse-shoes in it and seed and cable, but a bit of blackberry in the middle. I think I like yours better, but as I’m on the sleeves already I’m NOT starting over!!!
    Sorry about the wintry mix, we have the same here.

  10. If you’d like two of the inches of snow that have already fallen in MA this morning, you are very welcome to them. In fact, take six; they’re small.

  11. Your sweater is beautiful and it fits nicely. How special to have a sweater knit by your mother.

  12. Beautiful sweater.

  13. I’ve noticed those “new” cats of yours are never far from a good photo op:)

  14. The sweater is attractive and classy and the right size. But much more importantly, it looks WARM. We Texans are not used the cold weather we’re having right now. We don’t have the gear for it. SO glad I’m a knitter!

  15. Sweet.

  16. How cool to rediscover a sweater that has become right sized and fashionable in your eyes just through the passage of time. Each stitch made with motherly love – it’s looks superfine on you. (Are the cats stalking you? you know how cats are about lying about on knitterly things)

  17. StormTrackerdopplerTerrorWeather is just a ploy used by meteorologists to get more air time. but I do have to say we did get 9 of the 10 inches they screamed were coming…

  18. Your sweater is beautiful, Ann. I struggle with that what’s-too-tight-what’s-just-right question, too. This looks lovely on you. Three cheers for your mom!

  19. i love that sweater.
    its beautimous!

  20. i love that sweater.
    its beautimous!

  21. I’ve discovered that “too small for me” usually means “the correct size that I ought to be wearing…” lol.
    the sweater is gorgeous. and the weather up here is frightful.

  22. I spy that furry guy. I bet he’s purring.

  23. As the mother of boys, I don’t think anything I’ve knit for them will last thirty years. I’m sure you’ve made your mom proud today.

  24. I’m rooting for a “snow” day for you and your sons. We’re not likely to get one here in Santa Barbara, but I’m giving myself one anyway. Surfing the web, baking bread, and hopefully some knitting later in the afternoon. I love your sweater! It fits just right.

  25. I’m rooting for a “snow” day for you and your sons. We’re not likely to get one here in Santa Barbara, but I’m giving myself one anyway. Surfing the web, baking bread, and hopefully some knitting later in the afternoon. I love your sweater! It fits just right.

  26. I’m rooting for a “snow” day for you and your sons. We’re not likely to get one here in Santa Barbara, but I’m giving myself one anyway. Surfing the web, baking bread, and hopefully some knitting later in the afternoon. I love your sweater! It fits just right.

  27. We have a snowday here if you want to send your kids up this way. For the day, you know. (Albany, NY).
    The sweater your mom made is beautiful, and perfect, and perfect on you! Vewy nice.

  28. Your mom made that for you? Aaaaawww … bless her heart. Really.
    Snow day here too, and it took till 3 pm for the snowplow to clear our road. So I have a bored kid home, an impassible driveway, and I’ve lost one of the pair of knitting needles that I’m using. We tossed all the upholstery, disturbed all the dust mice; I even emptied EVERTHING out of my knitting bag, tore my hair, stomped on my hat … no needle. Help.

  29. Fit has definitely changed. I have a similar sweater maybe 25 years old that for a long time I considered laughably tight and small and never wore. But NOW, it’s perfect, and I’m glad I didn’t have the heart to get rid of a handknit.

  30. Your weatherpeeps give you “wintry mixes” and ours forecast “weather events.” Can’t these people speak plain English? What happened to sleet and snow? What happened to thunderstorm? I stopped watching them.

  31. You look good in it. A lovely piece of knitting,and equally lovely final thought.

  32. nice sweater it looks a lot like the Bella mittens featured on Ravelry

  33. Beautiful sweater!
    Mom knit it with love, as evidenced by the many ‘hearts’ she knit down the front of it…

  34. Love the hearts down the center, thanks for sharing such a beautiful piece of mother-generated goods. My mom has been a fierce knitter/quilter/fiber-arts-of-all-genres master for as long as I can remember, and I still have (and occasionally wear) a sweater set she made when I was a teen (okay, thirty years ago!). The thing is, she also knit a SKIRT that went with it for the whole ensemble look, and I have no idea what happened to it, neither does she. Man, would I love to have all three pieces, a camera, and my own blog to show you all how well her work held up…
    Kay, I think January provokes some kind of clean-slatey-ness in us all. May I ask, do you have your stitch markers organized in their own (or respective) containers? Just checking! I heart compulsives!

  35. I love that you have that sweater, and that you can imagine your mom ditching things to work on it. I hope my daughters continue to knit. Just lovely!

  36. Love the clandestine cat photo.

  37. Ann- it could be worse. DC public school kids were just “horrified” they had to attend school on a 2-hour delay when the kids in the ‘burbs and at private schools got to stay home. Oh the indignity. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  38. Love that Aran sweater! And the heart motif is awesome!

  39. it fits you perfectly!

  40. Dear Ann,
    You look about 18 yrs old. Is that when your mother knit the sweater? Lovely and it fits perfectly.
    I love this blog. It makes me feel as if we have been friends for years. Does that scare you sometimes?
    Much love, Bonnie


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