Thanks, mom, for pulling out these sweaters on my visit last weekend - I'm thrilled to have gotten to finally bring one of these beauties home to call my own, and thrilled to have this piece of my knitting history.
When I was a young teen, my grandmother took up knitting these fabulous fair isle sweaters - but only for the grownups in the family. It wasn't worth all that knitting for kids who would grow out of them - a feeling I now share about knitting for kids. She made red/black/cream ones for the men.
I was insane with envy - I so wanted one of these sweaters! Instead, grandma showed me how to knit (thanks grandma!). I don't really remember learning, or what kind of yarn we used, or any details whatsoever. I do remember the first project I decided to make - a long, black, acrylic cardigan. I guess I've always been the "just do it" type - no hat or scarves for me. I started that sweater, made tons o' mistakes on the back - I recall holes. I'm sure I started one of the fronts, but I was, after all a teen, and it was black, and I had no idea what I was doing, and grandma lived hours away, so it got stuffed in a plastic bag. Where it live for many years, untouched but apparently important enough for me to cart around until I was 34, through many lives and many apartments. I finally pitched it in the big move of 2000. Right before my twin sis was pregnant and on bed rest and taking up knitting to pass the time.
Being a twin, it was imperative that I knit too, across the country but in some competitive sychronicity. For me - it took. For her - not so much. I made a horrible yellow cotton tank that I never ever wore, but I was hooked. Haven't put the needles down since.
And look where I am now - this sample cardigan I knit up for Melissa Leapman is in a pattern book! It's the green cardigan that comes up right after the godawful 80s sack sweater in yellow and red - please forgive me if that's your favorite one in the book. And know it looks much different on that long-waisted model with her belly hanging out than regular people like me!)