family life, women

Sweater sayonara

“If you were ever dumped after knitting a guy a sweater, consider the possibility that the problem was with the sweater, not you. ” Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Canadian author/knitter

The clock is ticking on the closet season. Red corduroy shirt. Swoosh. Down the chute for a final laundering before it’s put away. It won’t be seen again until the dogwood leaves that are yet to come flame out their brief lives red as a fall sunset.

This little two-toned number — vintage lambswool from Great Britain — will stay in the closet until high summer. It’s thin enough to ward off spring chill, but light enough to be comfortable on all but the hottest of days.

So it goes with the sweaters. Anything that’s remotely Christmasey or dark has a wearing or two left at most. Not to say the love isn’t still flowing. My sweaters, some of which are more vintage than I am, keep me warm and cozy. I take warm and cozy quite seriously.

As part of an annual spring ritual, they are carefully laundered and dried on racks at the basement level of our home. On the kitchen level, they are inspected for mending need and rid of all those pesky little pilled-up bits of yarn. I have a special tool for the latter — a tiny, razorly comb called a De-Fuzzit — but usually resort to fingernails.

Back to the bedroom floor they go. (What would my husband think about converting the laundry chute to a laundry elevator?) There, they are rolled into loose tube shapes (no creasing allowed!) before being stored in the cedar chest. It’s the same chest that housed my mother’s baby clothes, yet it still works perfectly well at keeping out the kind of moths that destroyed my favorite coat a couple of summers ago.

Thanks to my youngest daughter’s eagle eye, Crazy Cat Lady Sweater (yes, some even have names) will be among the well-preserved flock. Named by my children when they were very young, Crazy Cat is a vintage specimen found in a thrift store. After a coating of cat hair and the occasional bird feather was cleaned away, it wore well for years before I passed it to my mom. She, thinking I wouldn’t want it back when she grew tired of it, put it in a Goodwill bag.

“Why is Crazy Cat Lady Sweater in the trunk?” dismayed daughter asked one recent evening. In the dark and swirling snow, I marched out to the car to reclaim it, afraid I might forget if I didn’t act quickly.

It’s safe. And, today, I am warm. So is my heart — as warm as the dog’s fur when he’s been basking in the sun. I don’t need the sweaters just now. But, it’s good to know that cozy is right here and ready for anything the oh-so-far–in-the-future fall has in store.

10 thoughts on “Sweater sayonara”

    1. So true. I have some hand-knitted socks that I like to wear at night in the winters, but, sadly, don’t have any such sweaters at the moment. One of these days, I hope to acquire a hand-knitted, natural-color one. I keep my collection to a dozen though. Old house, tiny closets… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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