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my beloved gray sweater

What will follow is a looooong discussion about a knitting project I'm pondering. If that doesn't fry your chalupa, let me distract you with a picture of Barney, who is exhibiting more Mooch-like tendencies each and every day:


Why, yes, that is the fishtank in Maddy's room. Barney has discovered that there is a fish in it that swims about in the most mocking way and that it needs to be stopped. I put the maraca on top as an early warning system. You can see how well that's working. And, no, Barney has no fear of water. One of his favorite activities is to fling pieces of cat food into his water dish, then submerge the entire upper half of his body in order to fetch it.


As you can see, tho, he's starting to fit right in.

Also before the project, a finished Artscarf:


Extreme close up:


Right. On to my gray sweater, which I love beyond all reason because its sleeves are the perfect length for my freakishly long arms and its body is the perfect shape for my squat but busty torso. The drape is excellent. It is 100 percent wool but light enough to wear indoors over a shirt. It isn't scratchy in the least. The color is a nice, heathery gray that isn't too severe but is just bland enough. The price, too, was perfect -- only $40ish when I bought it a few years ago at Kohls.

My beloved is dying a death of a thousand papercuts. I am sad.


These little snags are all over my dream sweater and there are more of them than I could ever hope to mend. It's not terminal yet. But it is heading toward sweater hospice.


I am torn. Should I just give in and enjoy our last days together? Should I keep my eyes out for a replacement? Or should I just try to knit one, since this one is still alive enough to use as a pattern?

You can see which way I lean.

Problem #1 is the yarn. This baby is knit at 11 (!) stitches to the inch. No matter how strong my will is, I don't think I could knit stockinette stitch in a dark gray yarn at 11 (!) stitches to the inch without taking a hostage.

Besides, I don't know that I can find yarn that thin commercially available. I did find this, however.


Swatching will commence. I welcome your advice.


Its a great sweater. But I think the stockinette would make me go blind. I guess you haven't been able to find a similar one anywhere?

In any case ... good luck. The love of a favorite sweater is a beautiful and priceless thing. :)

Oh, Adrienne. I feel for you. I really do. Remember me and My Black Twinset? It was the Misha of sweater love for me. I've learned to have good, loving relationships with other sweaters over the years, but My Black Twinset still holds a very special place in my heart. Oh, and how many rebound sweaters it took me to get over My Black Twinset!

I don't think I'll ever feel quite the same way about a sweater again. In part, that's because that sweater love was so serendipitous, so unexpected, so fated.

Actually, My Black Twinset still lives in the back of my closet. I wear the cardigan around the house sometimes. Unfortunately, it's really not fit for public display anymore. There's an 'in the closet' joke in there somewhere, but I haven't had enough coffee yet to work it out.

Anyway. Keep your eye out for a replacement, but don't expect to find it. It's some weird clause of Murphy's Law that the right thing is never in stores when you are looking.

Could you think of the stockinette as a labor of love? Could this be a back burner, long-term project for you that you pull out when you are tired and don't feel like looking at a pattern and want something mindless to do?

Could you throw a little knitting spice into the pattern. Ribbing? Baby cables? My Black Twinset has, I believe, in a 3 x 1 rib with a few cables.

Do enjoy your time together, for however long you have left. And don't give up on it entirely. It may not be the perfect thing for ever occasion anymore, but you can still enjoy rainy afternoons at home.

Have you tried to find another on eBay? Or maybe some crazy knitter on Etsy who you could pay to make a replacement?

I would keep wearing it until it fell apart, but I'm a slob like that AND I now buy at least two of everything that fits well and flatters.

Thanks for the support. The loss of a sweater may be one of the things that unites all women.

Yeah - there don't seem to be any more of my beloved sweater still out there. I'm keeping my eyes open but my hope isn't high. Still. It could happen.

I probably should have mentioned that, yes, this will be a loooooong term project. I always need TV knitting and this seems like it would be perfect. I'm also starting to ponder using a laceweight yarn, which means that it may be two years or so before I even finish a back. Eh. Labor of love.

I thought about buying two as I was buying the one. I didn't because I was living in the South at the tiem and thought "how many wool sweaters could I need?" Who knew?

As long as you understand that the replacement will be nothing like the original sweater, tho' it may be marvelous in its own right, you should be fine. True love can not be replaces, but you may love again as deeply.

It will take along time, but if you can inhabit the zen of creation - the cashmere ought to help with that - then each stitch will be as a step on the road to enlightenment. Or something.

I say just do it.

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