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.