I’m not good at these things. I’m more the cook and the writer. When Christmas came, I had one sleeve completed. I wrapped it and tied the box with a bright ribbon. My husband was thrilled. He loved the sleeve, the color, and especially my commitment. The next year, I gave him two sleeves! The third year, I had the back finished, so he received two sleeves and a back. The back looked almost as wide as a blanket, but again, let me reiterate, I’m not good at these things. The fourth year, he received four parts of his sweater, and I had every intention of getting them connected for the fifth year.
The best laid plans do go astray!
When I tried to piece the sweater parts together—reading the directions in my now threadbare magazine-- they did not jive. In fact, what I had was a misshapen, out of whack, wooly thing that looked somewhat like a cocoon. We laughed a lot that year. And then the children came, and the sweater project was stuffed into the back of a closet. Many years later when I came across the project, I decided for fun to somehow complete the project. Because I am not good at these things, I contacted a woman who was an expert with yarn and needles. She‘d knitted sweaters, hats, scarves, mittens and novelty toys, blankets and even elegant dresses. I implored her to “take me on.”
I went to her home one evening by appointment with my sack of sundry sweater parts.
“Can you fix these so they’ll fit together,” I asked. I remember feeling chagrinned when she began to smile.
“We’ll see,” she said, and I was sincerely encouraged.
After checking my sleeves, which she pronounced to be okay, she checked the back part of the sweater.
“This seems to be okay too,” she said. I was truly glad and leaned over to watch.
The front of the sweater, she remarked was nicely done, but not exact. It seemed I’d increased more than I should and decreased where I shouldn’t have. “If I do a little work here and there, maybe I can fix things,” she said.
I was excited about seeing the sweater in a finished condition. Then she asked for a skein of my yarn. I pulled it from the basket and also handed her the necessary sized needles. She pulled out a length of yarn and, well, it sort of separated.
“Hummm, she said.” How long have you had had this yarn?”
My answer, gave her pause. “I’d better check the rest of this, “she said.
I watched as she pulled out length after length, checking it by pulling it taut. Some parts were strong. Some snapped, and some disintegrated..
“I hate to tell you this,” she said, “but the yarn is no good. It’s too old. It’s got no strength. It’s not going to hold. You’d be better off throwing it away and starting over with new yarn. I can help you.”
Five skeins of greenish-blue-heather yarn and the four sweater parts lie in a basket in my library. It’s pretty to look at. It’s no good. It should be tossed away. I can’t do it. Not yet. Talking about it makes us laugh. Perhaps in the merry month of May?