In Stillness Cardigan

A young woman taking a photo of herself with her back to a mirror in hopes of showing off the texturing of both the front and back pieces of the cardigan she is wearing.
In Stillness Cardigan, knit in Wool of the Andes Worsted

I’ve dabbled in test knitting, most of which was done while I was a new knitter and didn’t want to pay for patterns. During my time working for Webs, a place I would have stayed if the desire to become a librarian hadn’t been so strong, I spent a lot of time knitting up samples for the store in exchange for store credit. And in grad school, I had the pleasure of knitting for the Fibre Company in exchange for yarn, a sweater for a sweater if you will. I’m not a designer, though I hope to design my dog a sweater or two that I can share with other dog lovers, I lack the creative eye that so many designers have. Despite my feelings on deadlines, I would actually love a job where yarn companies sent me yarn to knit up into various garments (seriously though how does one get a job like that?).

When Alicia Plummer posted on her Instagram, I couldn’t help but reach out and politely ask if I could knit up her pattern. For me, it’s hard not to love Alicia’s patterns. They’re simple and often play with texture and color in a subtle way. My only complaint is that I don’t have hips and her waist shaping looks wonky on me — though through no fault of her designing. This is more or less a roundabout way of say I had a fangirl moment when she said yes and had to remain calm when the email with her pattern arrived in my inbox.

A young woman takes a selfie of herself in her bedroom mirror wearing a hand knit grey cardigan.
Wooden buttons selected by Mars, the poet in my life.

I know it was a worsted weight cardigan and I’ve been working in fingering weight, but when you factor in the busyness of the holiday season, it knit up fast. Each stitch sliding across my needles as I listen to my Uncle discuss how he was doing post chemo or my mom discuss the wonders of her new job. Ironically, this pattern helped me sit in stillness during a chaotic time of the year. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I was a little sad to sew on the last button.

The sweater is not for me, it was never going to be for me. As the cardigan began to take shape, I knew it was destined to rest upon my Cioci shoulders. To give her strength when the world tests her, but also to thank her for her love and kindness through the years. Perhaps, and I say this a little guiltily, also because I was charged with seeming and knitting the button bands of one of her incomplete sweaters (she’s a crocheter and doesn’t often knit) and I can’t bring myself to finish it (while seeming does suck, I’m actually worried the sweater won’t fit her).

I can’t decide whether to mail the finished sweater or enjoy the long drive that separates us to give it to her in person. Either way, I think I’m going to modify the pattern by adding buttons to the front (sewn on, probably in the same texture as the top part) and finish seeming her sweater before putting them both into her hands.


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