It felt, for a while there, like the holidays had this tremendously slow build-up surrounding them, and, as always, that they passed by faster than I could take note of. The knitting was complete, everything tidily packed into boxes for gifting, and…well, you know, pictures weren’t taken. I’m always awful at doing the whole follow-up of cataloguing my knits, but I guess that it’s just one of the side effects of the holidays, and I blame it on being lost in a haze of boozy nogs and a perpetual food coma for the duration of my stay at home. Luckily, I did stay with my parents, and had the benefit of having a wonderful model on hand: my mom.
I told my family last year that within three years each of them would have a sweater of their own. The goal was that each year I could alternate and make one of them a big gift, while the other two received smaller things like hats, socks, or gloves. It alleviated some holiday pressure, knowing that I would only really have to focus on one big, special project and not have to stress about gifting to the other two. Last year I made dad a vest, and this year decided that it was mom’s turn. I wanted the excitement that could only come with making a woman’s sweater (because my father and brother have rather boring taste in the knitwear department), along with the speed that comes along with her rather petite sizing (also, my brother is a ginormous person, and I did not have the time for that this year).
The moment that I opened up the fall 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting and saw the pattern, I knew that it had to be mom’s Christmas sweater. My mom is a really stylish, fashionable woman. Since she was 18, she has worked in a job with a dress code that required nothing more than jeans or sweatpants, and as such she revels in any opportunity to get dressed up and cover herself in jewelry and pretty things. She is a woman of excellent taste in fashion and interior design, and I owe much of my aesthetics and design capabilities to her (in addition to lots and lots of other wonderful things, but we’re talking about clothing here, OK?).
The sweater had the perfect mix of classic and modern, with the allover bell pattern (a larger, more graphic element) and wide seed stitch bands. The cropped length meant that, on her frame, it would be a normal length (a good thing), and the three-quarter sleeves meant that she wouldn’t melt under the thickness of a bulkier sweater. Knit up in Cascade Eco Wool, and on size 10 needles, it was a really fast knit, knit seamlessly, and it practically finished itself.
I’m sure that mom would disapprove of her face and body being plastered on the internet, but as a woman who used diet and exercise to lose almost fifty pounds in the last year and has garnered tremendous pride from her family, and as a woman who couldn’t stop posing for the camera, I think that she can accept this, just once. She was so happy when she saw the sweater, and showed it off to everyone who came to our house for Christmas. I know that it will be worn with love, and that it is only the first of many sweaters that I will knit for her in her lifetime. I’d say that Operation Sweater 2009 went off without a hitch.
Up next: a parade of Christmas shawlettes!