Thursday, December 05, 2013

A Magic Jacket

Twist & Shout cardigan jacket modelled open
Non-knitters might think this was just a cosy jacket. Perfect for the final layer of a jumper cocoon to snuggle in to and keep chill winds at bay. It is that it is true, but of course, so much more.
Twist & Shout cardigan jacket modelled closed
This is a magic jacket not just for the reasons the designer Robynn calls it so, its ability to fit and flatter many women, even naughty knitters who go down a size and still make it too big cos their gauge was off and there was no way they were doing the maths to sort it out! Hmm they're probably the kind of slap dash Sal that would fail after hours of work creating the garment to get proper photos taken before blogging about it!! Lawks they are lucky they have a magic jacket to protect them from the knitting police!!!

This is a magic jacket for me for the memories it contains. Started just a few days in to September a treat to mark the start of the new phase of work designed to allow more hours of craft to come in to my life. I bought the yarn from our lovely, local, East Oxford yarn shop The Fibreworks Oxford which is just a three minute walk from my new office. I felt so good to be supporting a local business that is enriching our community. I knit the beginnings in part in a deck chair, under the trees in my garden in the soft September weather letting sun sink in that I'm drawing on the stores of today. I knit fast and long those first few weeks and these soft grey fibres provided untold comfort when we suddenly lost the furry heart of our home when the softest and greyest of them all Panda passed on to her next assignment.  I wanted it finished within a month and so soon I was cabling while talking, not a skill I possess but the errant twist that appeared is a memonto of my Mum and I endlessly chattering on. I knit with the intention of finishing the cardigan to wear at my retreat thinking the great country house we were in might be a little chill. So wrong I was and when I snuggle now in to its warm embrace I feel the warmth of that house where I had to ditch the duvet at night! Not having finished it in time I remember bringing it downstairs to seam and my new friend Kelly drawing me in to the library to work on it there with others. I remember that space, the feel of the seats beneath me, how glad I was to have that knitting connection with my new friends. I remember with delight showing she of the lilting tones, Fiona, that the wool was Donegal Tweed, while simultaneously ogling her deep red Solstice and adding that to the must knit list. It has memories of all of the lovely ladies of our circle in it from its time there with me. It came home with me with still more finishing required and it came with me to my new craft circle at my local community centre and provided something to discuss with new crafty acquaintances. Finally finished with buttons from my hoard sitting quietly at home alone in my living room it is a portable version of this dear home space for me.

We talked about totems, tokens and talismans at the retreat and I remembered that this is something that handmade clothing always is for me. The pride of wearing something sculpted by my hands reminds me of the skills I possess and gathers in often many months of my life to be carried more consciously with me. Magic of the softest and snuggliest kind.
Twist & Shout Jacket designed by Robynn Weldon
Ravelled here where one day I may manage to add better photos :)

6 comments:

Fiona said...

I may be sniffling a bit. And that's the best introduction I've ever had. I'm so glad it fits, and after Solstice, I am so sold on the cosy, homey cardigan style that I may never knit anything else. Also, you look beautiful here.

Gerri said...

It's beautiful and looks oh, so cozy...

Chrisknits said...

It is gorgeous! Wear it with pride and love.

DrK said...

i really like knitting that has personal meaning like this, even if i dont like the final thing i love the memories. this is gorgeous though, perfect for the weather we see you are having!

Rose Red said...

Sometimes I wonder how non-knitters manage without the memories and meanings that putting on a hand-knit cosy cardigan gives. There is nothing like it!

Bumpkin Bears said...

It's a wonderful jumper.i knitted my first ever cardigan this year and it really feels special after all the hard work! Nice to have visited. catherine x

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