Yesterday I wore a beautiful hand-knitted cardigan to the Tuesday group. I wore it because it is very warm and very comfortable.
But here is the confession: I did not make it.
However, I did rescue it from the charity shop, where it was languishing, crushed up in the rails, filthy and smelly, and very much unloved.
I don't want to think about why it ended up in the charity shop, as I am quite sure that the person who made it with so much skill and love would not have parted with it lightly, and if it had been made as a gift then I am equally sure the recipient would have wanted to keep it forever. So that leaves the likely explanation that the owner no longer walks this earth.
I am surprisingly alright with the idea of wearing a dead woman's jumper (ha, things you never think you will hear yourself say!). Should there be a big stigma about the possessions of the dead? What a waste it would be if everything you owned was destroyed when you passed away?
As I mentioned, the jumper was filthy, and I asked advice on ravelry about how to wash it. I had heard of no-rinse hand washing formulas, but it was reassuring to have them recommended to me by those in the know.
The jumper took two washes, during which the not unpleasant smell of wet sheep pervaded the house, and indeed continued to do so until the jumper dried, the best part of a week later.
Coincidentally, my friend was wearing a jumper in a similar style, and she mentioned that the knit stitches used have a meaning and a symbolism... if you know how to read them. Alas I do not, but that is just another mystery which the wonderful art of knitting will have to reveal to me in the fulness of time.