Last time we met, I was in the throes of the Big Fabric Stash Weed-through of 2006. Alternately anguished over unending decision-making and exhilarated by the shelf space materializing before my eyes, I managed to stick with it for couple of days and then, as is my wretched habit, drifted away before the job was completed. Ann's binge purge post today whipped me into shape and this afternoon I dove into the dreaded Rubbermaid containers lurking in the closet. Not much creatin' going on here this week. Beside space, that is. So, what to post? Lolly to the rescue!
This week, Lolly wrote a great post about the memories we knit into our projects. Not memories of our projects, but memories of what was happening concurrent with their making. I don't know what causes some items to hold such distinct memories while others I'll see in old photos and have no recollection of at all, but when Lolly asked 'What are some of your knitting memories?', this little blue sweater immediately came to mind.
Of course, it's a Barbie sweater. Didn't we all learn to sew by making doll's clothes? Apparently, some of us learned to knit that way, too, and to my best recollection (which we've already established may be a little shaky,) it was my first finished project. Not bad, eh? Raglan sleeves, a turtle neck collar. Pretty ambitious for a nine year old, if I do say so myself (sleeve lengths aside.) I made it in April, 1963 and the memory of it is seared in my mind because I was knitting it the week of the Thresher accident.
We lived in Maine at the time and many men in our town worked at the Bath Ironworks. Mr. D. lived 4 or 5 houses away and his wife was in my mother's knitting group. They had three kids, not my age but part of the pack of neighborhood kids who could be assembled on a few minutes notice for an after-supper game of Red Light or Red Rover. Mr. D. was a quiet, friendly type of 50's dad, the kind who would always smile and wave if he was mowing the lawn when you sped by on your bike. He worked at the shipyard in the submarine division and thus was part of the team that would go on test runs upon the completion of a new sub. He wasn't scheduled for that run, but had traded assignments with a coworker who needed the week off. No 24/7 cable news then, just special reports on the radio and in the evening, Walter and Chet & David sternly reading updates from a black & white TV screen. It was a riveting national story for many days during the search and investigation. Very memorable. Very sad. Just as the rest of the year would be.
Barbie ended up with quite the wardrobe. She still has a few of her cherished *official* ensembles, hoped and wished for as we pored over the tiny booklet that came when she arrived. We loved those little catalogs! Mostly, though, her outfits were handmade. A mohair coat set knitted by an aunt, ballgowns sewn by my mother and many outfits that still show the tentative machine stitching of a fledgling seamstress.
I still have all of the original patterns. Sheesh. Which suggests why I should probably be up in that sewing room whittling down the accumulation instead of sitting here, reminiscing.