Wishywashy Washalong comes to a thrilling conclusion today. It’s ancestral sweater time! Mom’s sweaters are talking to me.
The handwashing goal this week: three cream-colored sweaters. Two were made by my beloved mom who departed this earth back in 1984 for the land of eternal sewing, knitting, and DIY asphalt driveway repair. She was not a daily knitter, but she was a quick study at everything except cooking. She often said she wished we could all just take a food pill and get on with the day. I totally get that (she said, biting into a LaraBar, as close to a food pill as possible without it being an actual pill).
There are lessons to be found in these motherly sweaters, in particular: daughter, you’ve got some learning to do.
One of her sweaters is at least fifty years old. I remember being very young and studying the yoke of this sweater.
Handwashing pride requires me to point out that the red didn’t bleed during my tender ablutions—the red yarn fuzzes into the white. The clear message from my mom: Ann, do not let the red yarn of life fuzz into the white.
Another lesson: Daughter, learn how to do this awesome crochet button band because it is so stinkin’ sturdy. Like a mat, this button band. A cardboard edging. A flange, I tell you. Why have you been slightly stretching those ridiculous button bands all these years?
Ann, while you’re at it, make your cuffs with twisted stitch ribbing. It’s just a distinctive way to go.
Daughter, when you hit a snag, fix it as best you can . . .
and nobody will probably even know.
Another lesson: When you knit a double cable, do it like this:
Not like this:
OUCH. This flurfed-up photo is my own deeply human knitting. This third cream-colored sweater is the infamous Eight Yarns/One Sweater that I finished last year. I’m not sure what to make of this portion of the sweater, except that another washing will probably turn it into straight-up felt.
The final lessons from my mother’s sweaters: Make sweaters using human-sized yarn, not gargantua yarn. And when you live in the South, daughter, don’t try to dry a sweater outside when the humidity is 98%. What were you thinking?