Sunday, July 10, 2016

The better part of valor

"Discretion is the better part of valor."  This proverb has been around since 1477!  It's a version of "look before you leap."  It can be an excuse for cowardice, but it also can be an important corrective to the kind of careless bravery that does as much harm as good.

For a lot of my life, I didn't think of myself as a brave person.  I am risk averse, and more likely to be looking than leaping.  But over the years, I've learned that I can face difficulty without falling apart.  I complain less about the worst days than the ordinary ones.  I might be, in my own quiet way, kind of brave. 

And as a knitter, I'm brave.  I'm not afraid to take on challenging projects (see Am Kamin).  I'm not afraid to tweak finished garments to make them better.  If the sleeves are too long, or the fit too big, or if it's too hot with sleeves, I'm game to remodel.

Which is why my sister thought to ask if I could do something about a sweater I knit a long time ago that she never wears very much.
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So, I started thinking, and I even started taking the sweater apart.  (One of the seams is partly undone in the picture above.)  But then I kept thinking. 
"When did I make this sweater?"
" Was there anything I COULD do that would make it more wearable?  When DID I make it?"
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I made it sometime after the Fall/Winter issue of Vogue Knitting, 1987, was published.  There it is, in all it's late 80's glory.  Baggy pants (Anne Klein) and socks, and everything.  Check out those Brooke Shields eyebrows that have almost come back in style.  I used a yarn that my local yarn store suggested as a substitute for the Classic Elite La Gran Mohair called for in the pattern.  This was before the knitlist, and way before Ravelry. 

Discretion.  It was, in its way, a great sweater for its time.  Which was almost 30 years ago.  So, I called my sister and offered to make a new sweater - that she'll wear, now.

We chose a pattern.  I bought some yarn.  It's finished, and I'll show it to you soon --
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