a yellow sweater

I made a yellow sweater about this time of year 48 years ago. It was just the size for second grader Amelia to wear to her new school. It was a cardigan with cables along the button band. Amelia was starting public school for the first time. She had been at a small private school for kindergarten and first grade. This was a big deal. She was a big kid.. or so it seemed to me with three younger ones still at home.

The sweater was taken out on the playground at recess. We never saw it again. I always hoped someone would bring it to the school hoping to find its owner, but other than a brief search , I gave up hope. I hope someone enjoyed it.

I knit sweaters for all my kids as they grew. As my kids outgrew them, they were passed along to a neighbor whose kids were just a little younger. I was an aide at their school and saw those sweaters on them at recess. I think they got passed along from those neighbors to another because every once in a while I would see them again.

I went on to make sweaters for my grandchildren. When I was teaching in Florida, I knit warm wooly sweaters no one in Florida would need, but some of my students stood in as willing models so I would be sure they would fit the grandchildren in Minnesota and Washington.

My grandmother knit sweaters for my sister and I. Sometimes, she would take one we had outgrown and lengthen the sleeves or the length. I recall not being very happy when she used a different color yarn and the sleeves were obviously added on.

Every summer we would visit Granny for the measuring moment. The tape measure would appear and a piece of paper, often the back side of a used envelope. Granny saved and used everything. She would record the numbers and then draw around our hands to take a measure for the mittens or sweater  we would get at Christmas. Drawing around your hand tickles. She would place a mark on the tallest finger and the end of the thumb.

I now knit sweaters for the youngest grand kids, two little girls. Their mom might pass them along to someone, or like Katie, keep a  few for her next generation.

These two little girls, Lucy and Phoebe, are getting the same treatment… the tape measure and drawing around the hand. Phoebe requested a red hat, red sweater, red mittens and red socks. She got two of those a week or so ago.

Lucy’s yellow hat is ready. The front and back of the sweater is done. Only the sleeves…and then mittens and socks… I hope Lucy doesn’t lose her yellow sweater on the playground as she starts second grade this year.

Now the hat and sweater have been delivered. I can see she has room to grow… which is good. I won’t be lengthening sleeves the way Granny did. It will pass along to Phoebe and then who knows who will wear it next.
The socks and mittens? I told the girls I will get to them before it snows. Please hope for a late snowfall this year. I have socks for the older kids to finish as well.

writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers

This entry was posted in amelia, fran, lucy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to a yellow sweater

  1. Linda Baie says:

    I believe I tell you each week how much I look forward to and enjoy your stories. This one spanning, then connecting over so many years is wonderful. How great for your grandgirls to receive the warmth of your knitting, both in yarn and in your love for them. I really think you should try to send some of these stories to some of the magazines for publication!

  2. bonnie K says:

    I am drooling for a sweater. Can I join your family?

  3. elsie says:

    You are so talented, a knitter and a spinner of stories! My grandma used to make me sweaters, a mohair was my favorite. Your family is so lucky to have you knitting and sewing their lives together. What a happy 2nd grader!

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