Who Do We Knit For—Me, Myself, and I or You and Yours?

comments (0) May 2nd, 2008     

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Tina_Hilton Tina Hilton, contributor
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Yes, the sweater that I made for my one-year-old nephew, P.J., will only
fit him for a short while.  But I love that I have also created a
precious hand-me-down to be passed along for generations to come.

Yes, the sweater that I made for my one-year-old nephew, P.J., will only fit him for a short while.  But I love that I have also created a precious hand-me-down to be passed along for generations to come.

Photo: Tina Hilton

When I was a child, I looked forward to receiving a pair of hand-knit “tippies” (slippers) from my Nana every Christmas. As I got older, I rolled my eyes and dutifully thanked her for the pom-pom adorned footwear while I secretly wished they were the pink fuzzy slippers all my friends were wearing. As I grew up, I could count on my slippers under the tree, and as the years passed and Nana got older, they became precious once again. Nana has been gone 15 years now, and I long for that squishy, tissue-wrapped package filled with warmth and love.

Nana created things for everyone but herself. She wore store-bought slippers. I’d like to be like Nana, but my knitting insecurities have often gotten in the way. Is it good enough? Are the colors right? Will it fit? Will they tell me they love it and tuck it in a drawer never to be seen again? Knitting for myself eliminates these problems and allows me to experiment without the fear of negative scrutiny. But you know what? I love to give. Lately, almost everything I have made has gone to family and friends, and I feel very good about it.

Recently, I tackled a fun cable sweater for my one-year-old nephew. I poured through my books and the Internet for an appropriate pattern and found the perfect pattern on the Coats & Clark Web site. It had a beautiful cable design on the front and the back of the sweater, but to save time, I knit the back in the simple rib pattern that is used for the sleeves.

The yarn that I used—Plymouth Encore worsted 75-percent acrylic/25-percent wool—was the best choice because it can be thrown into the washer and dryer, and that’s important for a garment worn by a rough and tumble toddler! It has the softness and durability of acrylic with just enough wool to give it a rich substance.

Shawls have gone to Mom-in-law, Grandmother Hilton, and two aunts. Scarves went to my sister and friends. Come to think of it, I have not made one thing for myself in more than a year! Maybe I’m like Nana after all.

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