Okay, I'll stop now. Harlequin Romance writer I am not, although my grandmother often begged me to bang out - so to speak - sexually syrupy melodramas. She was certain I would make a fortune penning bodice rippers (true story).
No, today I want to write to you about the first sweater with which I ever fell in love: a wool Fair Isle cardigan hand-knitted in Norway. My mother gave it to me in 1974; her second husband was a first-generation Norwegian who owned lots of beautiful things from the mother country, including this sweet stranded sweater.
The cardigan fascinated me. I had never seen colorwork before, never marveled at the mosaic patterns that could be formed simply by switching colors. I learned to knit when I was four, but I'd never knitted anything like this. Not even close.
I loved everything about the sweater, all the way down to the pewter dogwood buttons and the Norwegian red, white, and blue tag which said "Handstrikket i Norge." I knew from my stepfather that Norge meant Norwegian, but I had no idea what handstrikket meant. I'm not sure I even realized then that people actually hand knit sweaters. The only sweaters I'd ever owned were purchased from Sears and made by a factory in China.
Right then and there, I vowed to learn to knit with multiple colors. Not with that variagated black and rainbow-colored yarn that was so popular in the 60s and 70s, but separate balls of yarn in lots of shades and hues. It took me a couple of decades to get around to this task, but learn I did. Fair Isle knitting is now my absolute favorite pastime. I've knitted up many colorwork hats, mittens, and even a sweater - but sadly nothing as glorious as my original handstrikket Fair Isle cardigan.
This little stroll down memory lane got me thinking. What if I replicated this sweater and at the same time made it large enough to fit me now? Use the same stitch patterns, perhaps with different colors since I always feel like a tree trunk when I wear brown? Wouldn't it truly fulfill a childhood dream to make something as glorious as this? I think the answer is: YES! So, as I always say, watch this space for Julie's Adventures in Handstrikket.
Speaking of my hand-knitting projects, want to see the latest from my Dream in Color baby blanket? It's coming along and gets more beautiful by the day. God, what gorgeous yarn!