I am ever amazed at the parallels in our lives. There you are, the trunk of your Mom Bomb loaded with Herb’s memory-charged shirt collection. Here I am, cuddling a cardigan I knit for Hubby’s Aunt Ruth a year ago. After her memorial service on Saturday, I asked her sons if I might have it. They generously sent me straight to her closet, where I found it in one of the neat stacks of sweaters and cardis. She was an outdoorsy, sweater-and-jeans woman throughout her 86 adventurous years. She liked to tell that when she married in the 1940s, she insisted that John agree in advance that she could wear bluejeans. He did, and she did.
So here’s Winter Flower, a cardi from Rowan 28. Aunt Ruth picked it out herself at Colorful Stitches, a gorgeous yarn store down the road from her in Lenox, Massachusetts. Ruth did not knit, and so had no idea that carpeting a Felted Tweed background with flowers and tiny leaves in whispery DK Soft would be a bit, er, challenging for me. I reduced the intarsia quotient drastically by cutting back the flowers to borders around the bottom, up the front lapels, and around the cuffs, but I still moaned piteously from time to time at how slowly it was going. She told me she loved it and got compliments from needleworking friends. It means a lot to me to have it.
Now the technical challenge: Winter Flower is destined for my sister-in-law Kathy, who loves handknits and does not share my wool allergy, but whose arms are 4 inches shorter than the sleeves. Can I possibly chop them in the middle and graft the cuffs back on, thereby salvaging the flowers, or should I just face up to reality, chop the cuffs, pick up the stitches and knit plain cuffs on? I will need plenty of handholding. Brace yourself: We may have to have an actual telephone conversation.