Knitting Abides

Know what this is?

It’s a sweater I knit in high school! That’s quite awhile ago, folks. And I wore it to class last week!

This was the second sweater I ever knit. I still remember the feel of the needles in my hands and the wonder of seeing the tips moving in and out of the yarn, the fabric building up behind them. I’m not sure whether or not you can tell from this picture, but the yarn is a tweedy wool, with little flecks of random color that pop up here and there. It was deeply satisfying to handle and to work with.

It was summertime, and back then, there was no internet. To be around other knitters, my mom and I went to a knitting group once a week. There were a couple of very accomplished knitters who taught me each new thing as the need arose. I think even then I knew that I was learning something that would sustain me.

My mom was working on a baby blanket for my niece who was due in the fall. That niece just had her own first baby last week. Sweater and blanket–both back in action. What could be nicer?

Maybe it was getting reacquainted with my high school sweater after all of these years. Maybe it’s the cool weather we’ve been having, the changing leaves and other signs of fall. I’m not quite sure, but when I saw @punkmik’s fabulous Caradon Hill Jumper on Instagram, I knew I needed to knit it.


I’ve been wanting to knit a cabled sweater like this for years, but a combination of not finding exactly the right pattern and being hesitant to start what seemed like such a challenging knit kept it in the “someday” column of my to-do list. So . . . the other day when I was deep in the middle of seventy-two piles of papers, with my dear Hitchhiker waiting patiently for the odd moment when I couldn’t take the not knitting any longer and had stop the madness by working a few rows, it struck me that it would be a great time to go to the Blacker Yarns website and order fifteen skeins of Shetland DK in Mid Grey so I could cast on for my own Caradon Hill Jumper.

Yes. I did that.



    • melinda

      Thank you, Katherine! I think the sweater will be wonderful if I can manage it. At least I’ve gotten much better about wearing my handknits instead of saving them for some mysterious right occasion. If I do ever finish it, I will wear it like crazy!

  1. I still have some old sweaters, but I wasn’t accomplished enough in high school to produce a sweater. I am so impressed!

    Papers to grade. Boo! That is the one thing I don’t miss from my teaching days. No wonder you need knitting. I used to get Starbucks too. 🙂

  2. Yipee! The Caradon Hill Jumper looks so gorgeous. And, I loved seeing your fabulous high school knit! What a beautiful sweater you made! I am also incredibly impressed at your talent and gift for handmade sweaters (my first high school sweater was not so lucky, and was eventually placed in the thrift shop donation pile). It must feel incredible to wear it. 🙂

    • melinda

      I’m not sure my first sweater even made it to the donation pile! haha! This second one was just one of those times when everything went right. It’s so funny. I can’t remember anything else from that time in my life in any clear detail, but I can still see the needles moving back and forth through that yarn and feel how much I enjoyed it. I’m kind of amazed that the sweater is still wearable. Just part of the amazingness of knitting, I guess. ❤️

  3. And . .. I love your high school sweater. Such a wonder to think about knitting pre-internet. I remember those days and the way my aunt taught me to cast on . . . but not how to bind off. sigh. I think of all of those half knitted scarves. lol. Your sweater is pretty rad!

    • melinda

      Haha! What a great story. She must have been wonderful at teaching casting on since you’re still enjoying it and spreading the casting on gospel after all these years. 😉

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