Annie's new old sweater

January 02, 2016















Last year my granddaughter had professional pictures taken to commemorate and record those beautiful early teen years that seem so fleeting.  After the shoot, my daughter told me that Annie wore one of my old white sweaters in many of the shots. She described it for me but I couldn't think which one it was.  When the proofs came I was floored: first by the absolute beauty of my granddaughter and next by the years-old white sweater that was still in sweater rotation!  Since this is a knitting blog, I'll talk about the sweater:  I knit this Garter Yoke Cardi by Melissa LaBarre in 2009.  I wore it non-stop for two years and had it in the washer and dryer at least once a week--it's white after all.  After a few years my daughter took it home and wore it non-stop for another two years.  Next, Annie commandeered it. It turns out it's her favorite sweater, one that she wears non-stop to this day.  Honestly, many of my sweaters will last decades, but this one was worn and machine-washed so often, I'm just pleased as punch it has held up so well!

I'm sharing this because I'm always on the soap box about purchasing the best yarn you can afford. This is why: finer yarn lasts longer, wears better, and knits nicer, making it a far better value in the end.  My Garter Yoke Cardi is proof!   So next time you are about to be seduced by a bargain brand, think about the hours you'll spend; no one wants to waste precious time making something that might look ratty soon and have to be tossed.  And think about something that is foremost to this knitter: the beauty itself of the knitting experience. I'd rather hold something soft, knit with something tame, and feel the zen of the knitting experience.  So, note to cheap yarn manufacturers: Don't ruin my day by passing off kite string as yarn.

This month Rowan will introduce two new cotton yarns that I love and know you'll love too. As excited as I get about new yarn introductions, I don't want to forget the beautiful yarns from the past, particularly their Handknit Cotton.  The sweater above was knit in Handknit Cotton and it's been years since I've knit with it, but after seeing these pictures I've decided I'm going to use it again this spring.  It's beautiful stuff, a cotton that's very easy on the hands (which is only possible with a fine cotton yarn) and will make a very long-lasting garment, one that may well make it into your grandchild's--or even great-grandchild's collection.

Annie has been in my blog since she was little
and I knew some of you would get a kick out of seeing her again, 
now age 15.

Click here to leave a comment. 

Links!

Garter Yoke Cardi pattern by Melissa LaBarre

Rowan Handknit Cotton
can be purchased at your local Rowan stockist or at these fine online shops:
Black Sheep Wools
Jimmy Beans
Jannette's

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21 Comments

  1. What beautiful photos of Annie, you must be very proud Kristen! and what a lovely story to share about the sweater :)
    any tips on keeping a white sweater white? Flo wanted me to knit her a white one but we opted for bright pink in the end!
    Claire xx

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    Replies
    1. I am shocked that after all this time the sweater didn't "yellow" like so many whites do after a lot of washing. I didn't do anything special and I'm certain my daughter didn't either. I know we both use Oxy-Clean--maybe that has something to do with it?

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    2. And forgot to say, hi Claire, and thank you!

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  2. so nice to see the girl and the sweater...what was the original yarn? do you remember?

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    Replies
    1. The original yarn was Handknit Cotton. I guess I didn't make that clear in my post so I will edit it. Thank you!

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  3. Beautiful girl. She has such a nice look on her face. Beautiful yarn. (Gotta love Rowan)

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  4. Hi Kristen,
    What a beautiful grand-daughter. The sweater she is wearing is beautiful too. I love Rowan. My favourite yarns. I hope to carry the whole line in my shop someday.
    Happy New Year!

    Leslie

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    Replies
    1. Hi Leslie, thank you! I'm so lucky that my local yarn store, Uncommon Threads in Los Altos is a Rowan store. That's what got me to love the brand. Happy New Year to you too!

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  5. Beautiful photos of Annie and great story about the sweater.

    Carole

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  6. Beautiful x 2 but more importantly your granddaughter! Annie's are special. We have a 39 year old Annie! Hoping 2016 is filled with all good things for you and your family. We will have another wedding, our youngest daughter, and another grandchild from our oldest son, the AF family this year. So time moves on in the most wonderful of ways. Wishing you the same! Chris

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  7. You have every right to be proud--she is a beautiful girl and it must be a wonderful feeling to see her loving your sweater! I think you are absolutely correct about buying the best materials for knitting (or quilting which I love)...all your labor is wasted if you purchase low quality fibers.

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  8. Absolutely adorable pics of your granddaughter! And the sweater . . . What can I say? It's so rewarding to see a garment get so much love and wear!

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  9. lovely photos and a lovely jumper!

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  10. Wow! I remember you wearing this sweater! It was beautiful on you and it's beautiful on Annie as well! I agree with you 100% about using good quality yarn when knitting. This sweater, worn by three generations, proves it! Now I have to try out the handknit cotton next. I will say that the sweaters I have knitted using Rowan's cotton 4ply, calmer, felted tweed, pure wool dk, and kid silk haze have lasted for years and years and still look fantastic!

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  11. What a great post! It's so fun to see how Annie has grown, and also to hear about how loved this sweater has been!

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  12. That sweater looks brand new! Annie looks so grown up and fits her so well!

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