Thursday, March 17, 2016

Nenna: a cardigan for somebody else

I don't do a lot of knitting for other people. I admire those who make hats for the women's shelter and baby blankets for the hospital, but it's never been my way, and after one too many comments from people I barely know along the lines of "You should knit me a scarf/hat/sweater/blanket" I developed a policy: unless I gave birth to you, or you gave birth to me, I will probably not knit something for you. It's nothing personal and it doesn't mean I don't like you, but I have a long list of things I already don't have time to do, and I knit for joy and it just isn't joyful to knit on command. I violate this policy occasionally to make things I feel like making for the people I really love, but it doesn't happen very often. So when my mama asked me to knit her a sweater, I checked the policy, felt around inside my grinchy heart to see if would bring joy, and said yes.

After what seems like an unusually long time--I started it right after christmas--her Nenna cardigan is finally finished. I found out that knitting something that somebody else picked out, even if that something is interesting, unusually constructed, made of soft and pleasing yarn and is otherwise engaging in almost every way, is a little bit hard for me to focus on. I guiltily knit the entire Antler pullover feeling all the while like I should have been spending that time on this, wondering if Mom was sitting around shivering and watching her mail, and worrying that it would be summer before I finished it, or that it would take me so long to get it done that she would stop caring or give it up for dead and buy a sweater at the store. Fortunately for some, it will snow again this weekend, so she might be able to wear it once or twice before the heat comes along. Looking on the bright side! I also worried incessantly that it would be too big/small/long/short/etc. but it fits her beautifully. Measure, measure, measure. And swatch. And measure some more. And block. It's your only hope.

 

 

 

I tried to capture the color, which proved impossible. This is Berroco Vintage DK in the beautifully bright "Elderberry", a pinkish-purple that's not strictly fuchsia, exactly, and not quite pink or purple either. It's an indescribable color, the color of elderberries, I guess. I've never seen an elderberry so I can only assume.

None of these are the right color. You'll just have to guess. Mom chose the yarn, and it looks great on her. She has that enviable rosy-cheeked coloring of Snow White, so she wears these jewel tones with the greatest aplomb. As for me, I'm a pasty little chicken and all my clothes are gray.
In fact, the startling discovery that there's hardly anything at all in my closet that isn't gray led me to start planning and scheming and buying All The Yarn.
Not gray. These colors will be the most wildly exuberant thing in my wardrobe. Some of it is already on the needles.
 
 
 

 

 

22 comments:

  1. Well done! I can see why she chose that pattern.

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  2. It's a gorgeous thing and I'll bet she'll be splendid in it. I like gray too. It's not the best color for me though, so I often go crazy and buy coral reds ... I like the shelter yarn a lot.

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  3. I share your feelings about making for someone other than yourself. When I finished the quilt for my niece, I was relieved to be able to start something for ME. I think that makes it truly a labor of love. Lovely sweater for the mumsie, and the new yarn is glorious. Been wanting to check out the Shelter, for me of course.

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  4. The sweater is gorgeous. I understand your policy. I enjoy making things for other people, but I try not to commit something as being for someone before it is finished. That way if I shelve it for any length of time, it doesn't matter. I make things for my sanity first and other peoples' pleasure second. So, yep, I'm selfish, too.

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  5. I also find it difficult to knit for other people. Not being very confident in my abilities is the main reason. It's ok for hats scarves and cowls but not for anything fitted if it's for me it doesn't matter. The colour for your mum looks great but I have to say that I adore that sage green for you.

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  6. It is gorgeous, such a vibrant colour and a stunning pattern. I bet your dear Mum was delighted with it.

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  7. What a gorgeous sweater! I'm sure your mother will be very happy with it. I understand your feelings. And everyone has the right to knit for whoever they want to. It's a very personal and time consuming hobby. :-) As for me, I could never wear everything I knit and crochet, so I love making things and donating them to different places. But that's just me. The new yarn you've chosen is beautiful too and I can't wait to see what you make with it.
    Blessings, Betsy

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  8. It's a lovely sweater and I'm sure your mother will be happy with it. I too fully understand your feelings about knitting for others. After a few futile attempts to knit for my first grandchild and a host of baby blanket for friend's grandchildren I've decided no more! Giving these treasures to people who don't knit and seeing how they are treated is difficult for me.

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  9. Oh I'm liking the mustard-y colour - in search of buttons in a similar colour to that (when I finally manage to get time to finish my cardigan - it's got too big to knit on the train and I miss it)

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  10. It's gorgeous, beautifully knitted and so not you. I like your bold policy although I would have to add 'or someone whose birth was facilitated (fathered) by someone I gave birth to' . If i honestly owned such a policy it would save all my resentment/procrastination guilt /worry that item will fall apart/is never completed (that scarf for friend's birthday ummm now 2 years ago).

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  11. Well worth the effort. It's looks beautiful and what a fabulous colour. I'm a bit like you, will only knit for close family members. It helps if it's not for me because I push myself to finish it quickly. When it is for me it can take years lol. B x

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  12. Oooh, you are a good daughter! And I go by these rules, too. Helloooo, that Shelter in your pile is GORGEOUS!

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  13. Lovely color and elegant pattern - I can just picture it on your Mom with her gorgeous silver hair! I also like the apricot yarn color. Yum!

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  14. I like your policy. Makes great sense to me. :) The cardigan is lovely. Beautiful labor of love.
    xx Beca

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  15. What a fabulous cardigan, I would love to have it, the color is so rich and feminine and just lovely!! A beautiful gift from a very talented daughter.

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  16. what a beautiful cardigan! am sure your mum loves it!
    gorgeous colours for your too, can't wait to see what you knit up
    thanx for sharing

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  17. It is a gorgeous sweater for you Mom, I am like you I have so much gray, but you can't go wrong with it. I have added some purples lately, I might need to add even more to balance things out.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  18. Handmade by Fiona DoneyMarch 19, 2016 at 5:23 PM

    Haha,love your blog,it always makes me smile! I'm a basket maker but I do some crochet too and saw your blog on Attic24,and have followed it ever since. Love your attitude,keep on blogging!

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  19. Hello, I love your crochet, it is beauty, I love this colors, I follow your blog, I have a blog about crochet with free patterns and free crochet diagrams, visit me , hugs from Brazil.
    Visite meu blog - Tita Carré - Crochet

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  20. Are you quite sure you would not look stunning in this colour? (your mom's sweater) because I'm thinking otherwise ... We wear what we wear for a reason, but sometimes the reason is not clear.

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  21. That's understandable. Both my wife and I are illustrators and have had to set boundaries similar to yours or we'd never get regular work done. The sweater you knitted is absolutely beautiful...and a perfect colour. :)

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