Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

Mason-Dixon Mailbag, Southern Bureau

Dear Kay,
A quick note to show you a little something that my sister-in-law, the protean Mary Neal of Living with Caucasians fame, whipped up over the winter months. Now that she has returned from her sojourn in Tbilisi, Georgia, to the land of the “free,” she had a chance to finish this doozy:
jamessweater.jpg
You won’t find this in any Rowan magazine, no Phildar, no nowhere–Mary Neal is the sort who just sort of jumps in and goes where the yarn leads her. This deluxe pullover is for her son/my nephew James, intended as a going-to-college sweater. At this point it may be a kind of going-to-Cancun-for-spring-break sweater, but I’m not one to pick about stuff like deadlines. She writes: “I hate to sew up sweaters so much that when I decided he needed a cabled pullover, I had to knit it in the round. As long as you’re knitting in the round, mind, you might as well add some color interest, so . . . this is the result. A hodgepodge.”
I love the colors, the spontaneous explosion of Fair Isle, and the fact that this photo proves she has officially removed my brother’s head, once and for all.
Most of all, I admire Mary Neal’s free hand in designing this. I would like to think I could just cut loose the way she does, but then, I think that’s how wristlets happened. Better not to go there.
Love,
Ann

Tags:

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Wow! And wow again! (Should be going to sleep now, but just had to check in on the off chance my darling husband would stop snoring while I surfed…not happening…)
    I love LOVE those cables. Am peering at the monitor attempting to count stitches and determine gauge of what appears to be lovely, striated (hand-dyed?) yarn. I have had a bad experience with yoked, Lopi-like fair isles, though, so that is where the peering stops. (Knit one back in law school for an ex-boyfriend out of guilt over dumping him…he took particular glee in informing me the sweater would fit no human being on the planet — WHAT was I thinking?) All the more reason to appreciate the harmony Ms. Mary Neal has achieved. Brava!

  2. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I just love those cables..

  3. Don’t be denigrating those wristlets! Now that I have some fancy pants Manos they are my next project – after afgan squares of course.
    I am in awe of Mary Neal. I would be even if she had spent years knitting it from a pattern but the fact that she just made it up… WOW! I love that “if you’re doing it in the round you might as well add some interest”
    hhhhmmmm… maybe I could add some interest to my wristlets… Oh I forgot – that’s what the multi-coloured Manos is for. Call me a cheat!

  4. (First of all, the sweater is to fit the 18-year-old, not the 46-year old, so even tho’ it’s a little … ummm … tight, trouble not.)
    I knitted this using 2 strands of Emu Superwash DK. I bought it on elann.com for nothing. Or next to nothing. Superwash because he’s a college student and IT WILL end up in the washing machine.
    BTW, he’s going to Vancouver for spring break, so there’s hope that he will be able to wear it.

  5. Mary Neal–I’m in a joyous state, having finally found in you a soulmate who, like me, has a mother who sprinkles her knitting with an old pop bottle. (I tremble to ask, did she ever watch The Mike Douglas Show while ironing of an afternoon?) Your mom has stood tall, though. Mine abandoned the 7-Up bottle sometime in the 70s, when she realized that the Steam Iron was here to stay. This revelation also caused her to stop rolling up sprinkled sheets and putting them in the refrigerator overnight before ironing them. Yes. It was that bad with My Mom As Striving Young Wife. She was young, she was strong, and with her mother-in-law living next door, she was not about to slip up at her housekeeping. Ergo, she ironed the sheets. She put so much wax on the kitchen floor that twice a year she had to scrape the wax OFF the kitchen floor.
    When in doubt, iron the thing, was Lill’s motto. She ironed my dad’s bib overalls. He wore a clean, crisp pair every day when he left at 1 a.m. (!) to deliver milk on a wholesale route, where nobody saw him and certainly nobody noticed the knife-edge creases in his overalls or the sweet scent of Downy Fabric Softener wafting from their milkman. He still has some of those overalls that say ‘Roberts Dairy’ in green embroidery. I bet the other milkmen made fun of him in his prissy overalls, but hey, that’s love. For her, it was the ironing them, and for him, it was the wearing them.
    Oh, by the way NICE SWEATER. I think, though, that only 18-19 year olds can wear a top-down yoke sweater. They make us older folks look more round-shouldered than we already are. That’s just me. I like some artificial shoulder enhancement. I wouldn’t call it a hodgepodge–it’s really well balanced and he’ll even wear it maybe!!
    Ann, It’s been a long time coming, but I knew you eventually would post a magnolia picture. Bring it on. I shall endeavor to find a bedraggled street gingko to photograph, if any of ours survived. xox Kay

  6. I’m speechless and amazed! I love blogs and bloggers who inspire, and Mason-Dixon knitting as well as today’s featured sweater certainly fall into that category.
    I can’t wait to make my squares for the Afghanalong (this weekend). :)
    Thanks,y’all.

  7. Mary Neal–that sweater is gorgeous! I bow before you…
    My mother-in-law still has the pop bottle on her ironing board. I had to ask my mom what it was for–my husband was clueless and we didn’t want to ask! No way was I gonna let that woman know I didn’t know how to iron…
    Y’all, I promise some afghan square are coming–I just moved last month and finally found the box with my yarn stash! I thought I was going to have to “resort” to buying new yarn. Darn.

  8. Gosh!
    I am in totally AWE & knitted without a pattern
    not in my wildest dreams!!!!!!!!!
    I am definitely not worthy. Fabulous!!

  9. Cables AND fair isle! Nice combination.
    I want it for myself!

  10. That is the most friggin'(pardon my Georgian) incredible sweater I’ve seen in a long time. I think I could just stare at it for a really long time! What amazing talent!

  11. Evelyn–That’s a first: an EX-boyfriend sweater. You must have really given him the fare-thee-well to feel bad enough to knit for him.
    Sarah–Oh, great. Now we’re going to be boycotted by the Guild of Wristlet Knitters. Sorree!
    Kay–Way to make me cry over a COMMENT. Have you no mercy?
    x0x0x

  12. Ann — don’t worry, the guild of wristlet knitters is a VERY mild organisation. We’re definately not given to boycotting one of our fav knittings blogs but we might just occasionally freak them out by sending over gratuitous wristlet photos!!