Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Augusta Cardigan

I recently finished my Augusta Cardigan from the book New England Knit (which is fabulous, by the way).  I've wanted to make this cozy cardigan since I first got the book a couple of years ago.  I used yarn which I believe to be Galler Peruvian Tweed, a 100% alpaca yarn which was purchased from the Weaving Works in Seattle way back in 2007 - though my yarn is, I think, a little lighter than worsted.  I held the yarn doubled and the finished sweater is heavy - literally.  The buttons came from Yarn Folk here in Ellensburg, purchased once the knitting was finished.  I hadn't expected to use contrasting buttons, but I think these are rather pretty.

This yarn has been waiting.  This yarn has been waiting a long time to be used.  You see, I bought this yarn back in 2007.  June of 2007, my mom flew to Seattle from Wisconsin when I completed my master's degree.  We went to the Weaving Works and picked out this yarn together.  I was going to knit her a sweater for Christmas.  Something with cables.  Something pretty.

My mom, at Pike Place Market, June 2007.

But on July 19, 2007 my mom was killed by a drunk driver.  I got the phone call from the hospital around 10:00 pm.  I didn't quite know what to think - I mean, you can never quite believe something so horrible when it strikes out of the blue.  As I was trying to process the words I had just heard, I remember thinking, I'll never knit her that sweater now.  It's stupid, yes, but this yarn has a lot of history wound up in it.

So the yarn sat.  I thought a lot about what to do with it.  But I didn't do anything with it.  This year, a lot of things have come to a conclusion. The litigation over the accident finally wrapped up.  We finally cleaned out her house and put it on the market.  And I decided that the alpaca would become a sweater for me.  A warm, cozy sweater that I could wrap up in.

I started it in November.  This year the holidays were harder for me.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it had to do with going back home for the first time in years, or if it's just part of a cycle, but I spent a lot of time feeling more sad than usual.  And I felt this drive to finish the sweater before Christmas.  I blocked it in the days leading up to Christmas and it came to Wisconsin with me.  And I felt better, having it finished.  Just a little, but a sense of relief at having finished this one thing, so long left unfinished.

One of my favorite photos of us.