Remember 2003? 2003 was great. That was the year we did our second sweater exchange. The first one had gone so well. I made you a big cardi in dusty purple Rowan All Seasons Cotton; you made me a laced-placket pullover in turquoise Rowan Linen Drape. (I still have mine. Do you still have yours, hmmm?)
So we decided to do it again. You made me a cropped lacy cardi in a fine cotton chenille (we were then, and are now, Rowan superfans), and I knit you all the pieces to a Peter-Pan collared cardi in Rowan Felted Tweed (see?) called Olive. It was from Rowan Magazine 26, of blessed memory.
I remember so well finishing the last piece–the collar–then sewing up the body, setting in the sleeves with loving care. And then, in late December (I remember the month because we were in Nebraska and Kansas for Christmas that year), I got to the button band portion of the program, and the dreaded command to continue in moss stitch “until button border, when.slightly.stretched, fits up left front opening edge to neck.”
What with Christmas and all, I guess I was not in the mood to do any slightstretching of any button bands. Such was my apathy for button bands and their slight stretching that I wandered into a Walmart in Wichita and picked up a couple of balls of something called Peaches & Creme dishcloth cotton. There was a dishrag pattern on the ballband….
Over the ensuing 11 and a half years, you and I kept busy: we knit a bunch of things, children got their learner’s permits, I acquired a dog named Olive…and all the while that button band was gnawing at my conscience.
It really was, Ann, my hand to Elizabeth Zimmermann.
A few weeks ago, while doing a major Marie Kondo clear out of my collected stuff (google her if you’re curious: her book is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up), I came across Olive (cardigan not canine), still naked of button bands and with 2 unattached collars (why 2? don’t remember!) and I said, THIS STOPS NOW.
(Olives at rest.)
I spent a few hours finding the pattern book, figuring out where I was, crocheting an edging on the winning collar, and slightly stretching a button band and buttonhole band. (If the slightly-stretching doesn’t get you, the even spacing of the buttonholes will bring you to your knees.) I applied steam. I located buttons. I sewed on buttons with Button Craft Thread. I wish I had a montage of me doing all these things–it was heroic.
Then I went to Nashville and I handed it to you. HERE. HERE’S THAT SWEATER YOU WANTED.
(You were surprised. Or maybe it’s the Dreamstate filter I put on this photo.)
Think about it, Ann. If I’d finished it in 2003, it would have gotten all pilled up, it would have gone out of style and you would have given it away–who knows?
(Grey tweed. Blue steel.)
But now, in 2015, Olive is brand-new, and it’s even back in style. It fits you just the way you wanted and exactly the way it fit the model (who I believe is wearing your shoes).
So: how about another sweater exchange?
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