EYE OF THE CLEANING STORM

Well, the easy part is over. The house is now scrubbed to within an inch of its life.With so many familiar things stowed itlooks oddly sterile, almost hotel-like.

Amusingly enough the Real Estate Gal asked me if – being a knitter – I might put together a basket of yarn in suitable colors, and pose it invitingly next to the sofa. She said it was the visual equivalent of boiling a vanilla bean or baking bread before an open house. So it was off on a trek to the storage cubby to retrieve some yarn in order to tart up the family room. Today I expect a herd of real estate people to amble through, in preparation for this weekend’s official viewing. Now for the hard part – hurry up and wait for what we hope will be multiple offers.

In knitting, I’m still mid-sleeves on the Suede T- knitting time being at a premium through all of this. So instead of posting a boring snap of too many stitches of olivenylon squished on a too-small needle, here’s an oldie. I knit this for my older daughter back in ’92 or so, and I wish I were a better photographer. It’s in a DK weight cotton from Lane Borgosesia whose label drifted off into infinite space before the advent of the Yarn Review Collection. It features hearts and OXO cables, both from Walker’s treasuries; embellished with clusters of embroidered bullion knots.The knots weredonein scraps of a matte-finish sport weight cotton.

I was quite amused when two years later Knitters published a similar OXO/heart cardigan on the cover of its Aran issue. Mine however is unique – if for no other reason than for my inexperiencedbumbling around witth the button band when I was noodling it up.

  • Note the odd number of heart-shaped buttons. There are seven because my spacing was off, and I was too lazy to go back and redo the button band for six.
  • Note the fact that the button band is on the non-traditional side for a girl’s garment. When I was at this point I looked down at what I was wearing and did the same thing, never stopping to think that I was wearing a man’s chambray work shirt at the time.
  • Note the less-than-effectively centeredhorizontal buttonholes. I didn’t know back then that during wear buttons "migrate" to the outside edge of the buttonhole slit. If I were to do this today, I’d not center my buttonholes in the band. Instead I’d skew them a bit to the inside edge, so that when buttoned, the buttons appear better aligned down the midpoint ofthe band.

Still for all these defects, this is a much-loved piece. Daughters #1 and #2 both wore it and enjoyed it. It lasted well, enduring grass stains, dripped ice cream, and a rather messy day of strawberry picking all followed by rather aggressive laundering. Now it’s at the cusp of being outgrown and is one of the things I intend on packing away rather than handing down to another wearer.

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