sophie june

July 18, 2016

This morning I gave this sweater to a very dear childhood friend as a present for her new granddaughter.  When I was young, my parents and her parents were part of a large group of second generation Scandinavians who grew up with my dad on the same streets of Chicago.  After WWII, they moved to the same neighborhoods in Southern California where my father met my mother and where she was adopted into this big, loud, crazy, Scandinavian bunch.  Kids were born, houses were purchased, pools were built and parties were hosted.  It seemed like every weekend someone threw a pool party and most often it had the same Tiki or Luau theme: Don Ho or Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass blasted on the Hi-Fi; Martinis and Mai Tais, Caesar Salads and Teriyaki Steaks were on the menu with hot dogs and cokes for the kiddies.

I loved all my parents friends and always thought of them as aunties and uncles.  My favorite by far was my Auntie June.  Auntie June was a big personality packed inside a tiny body; she was trim and petite with a massive blonde beehive piled on top of her pretty head.  She was a people collector; people gravitated towards Junie and if I conjure her up in my head, she is never alone, but surrounded by laughing people.  She would have us in stitches wearing her bark-cloth bikini while dancing her "scarf dance" to the striptease song.  The kids used to beg her to dance either that or her dirty boogie as she called it; gosh I cannot help but smile while writing this.  There are some people that pass through our lives that are truly unique--real originals--and Auntie June was one.  Man, I loved her.  But here's the big thing, Auntie June taught me how to sew.  Yep.  That was huge in my life.  My mom didn't sew and I was dying to learn how to use a sewing machine.  I remember a whispered exchange and next thing I knew I was invited to Auntie June's house for a few after-school sessions where she first taught me how to make Barbie clothes, then make my own clothes.  She taught me how to cut fabric using a pattern, sew a straight seam, later to make a collar and a waistband and how to fit lining into a skirt.  She also must have been the one who talked my parents into buying me my own machine when I was 12.  Bless her heart.

I hope that Sophie June, the baby who will wear this sweater and who is Junie's great-granddaughter, will be as lucky as me and grow up surrounded by plenty of adults who will laugh a lot, have wild pool parties, play loud music, and dance crazy dances.   I also hope she will  have someone to mentor her passion, whatever it is.  I know I thanked June many times before she died and know that she knew how much I valued her attention, but I'm still happy to have this blog to thank her again.

The sweater details:  I used the kid-and-mama-friendly Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK.  The pattern is a variation of the free Fuss Free Baby Cardigan pattern.  You know how much I love owls; they totally crack me up with their serious, Beethoven-like faces so I had to squeeze a few owls into this sweater.  You know I also love Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK, it's springy and easy to knit and easy care.  My Ravelry Project Page has all the details. 

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Thank you for popping by! xo Kristen


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  1. This is so cutie and I love owls...No chance of getting the owl pattern for the pockets Please

    1. Thank you Thelma. I just modified my Ravelry page to say:

      For the cable owl pocket I picked up 24 sts. where I wanted the lower pocket to start and then used Penny Straker's Baby Owl and Bonnet pattern and added little tufts at the ears.

      I wish I had taken better notes and sorry I cannot help you more! There are free patterns that incorporate the cabled owl and I think you could probably make a cute owl pocket without too much figuring.

  2. Sounds like an amazing woman! Cute sweater!

  3. The sweater is absolutely beautiful! And I love Auntie June too!

  4. Lovely memories...adorable sweater :)

  5. You write so beautifully. I wish I had known your Aunt Junie.

  6. I loved meeting Aunt Junie.


  7. Great article and such fond memories. She was responsible for us buying your singer sewing machine. I loved being with June and all her sisters. So happy Sophia June will have a sweater u made...

  8. What a lovely story! I'm sure the sweater will be cherished. :)


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