Blogging from A - Z about clothes.
A story about a sweater or pullover or jersey or - as we call it in Australia - a jumper...
How much do I love my soon-to-be husband? Enough to knit him a thick Aran jumper? Yes!
I have never knitted anything so big or complicated before but that’s okay. I have determination. I have time. I have confidence. I have love.
So I buy lots of balls of pale grey thick Aran wool, a cable needle, a pair of knitting needles and a pattern.
“I’m going to knit you this jumper,” I say, thrusting the pattern under Andy’s nose. He smiles. He is impressed. I hope he feels loved.
Days go by. Weeks go by. Andy and I get married. We board an aeroplane bound for Sydney. Andy’s jumper is not on his back. It’s in my suitcase: a little bit of knitting, hanging from a needle, and lots of balls of wool.
Months go by. Andy has stopped asking about his jumper. He's stopped imagining himself wearing it. But I have a secret plan. I’m going to finish it for his birthday.
So I knit and I knit (whenever Andy isn’t around) and the jumper grows and grows.
At last it is finished. Every last cable has been twisted into the design. Every last seam has been stitched up. The jumper is thick and soft and absolutely perfect. I smile with delight, thinking of the moment when I give it to Andy.
Andy’s birthday arrives. I give him a large parcel. He tears off the brightly coloured wrappings and his jaw hits the floor. His eyes open wide and he looks and looks and looks. "Wow! Wow!"
“Go on, try it on!” I grin.
So he wriggles inside my masterpiece, pulling it down over his body. His smiling face appears out of the head hole. He runs his hands down the sleeves, his fingers bumping over the cables. He twists and turns trying to see how it looks.
"Go look at yourself in the mirror," I urge.
The jumper fits perfectly. It looks just like the photo in the pattern.
“You must love me a lot,” Andy says, giving me a hug. I think of all the hours of work and I agree.
Days go by. I can’t separate Andy from his jumper. More days go by. It’s starting to look a little grubby around the edges. “I’ll wash it for you,” I offer. “You’ll be able to wear it again tomorrow.”
So Andy peels off the jumper and reluctantly hands it over to me. I read the care instructions on the labels that came with the wool. I read them twice. Then I wash the jumper oh so carefully. I treat it like a newborn baby. When it is clean, I carefully place the precious damp garment on the table and begin to tweak it into shape.
Then I step back. My mouth drops open. My hands fly to my face. I look at the jumper with wide opened eyes. And then I scream.
Later, Andy thrusts his head into the newly washed and dried jumper and pulls it down over his body. His face appears but his hands don’t. The jumper stretches unevenly down to his knees.
“I followed all the wash instructions very carefully,” I assure him.
Andy grins. “We could both fit in here," he says, lifting his arms out to the side. A great snort of laughter escapes from his mouth.
“It’s not funny! All that hard work. I am never going to knit such a big jumper ever again.”
And I don’t. I knit baby bonnets, and toddler dresses. I knit vests and scarves. I knit little girl cardigans and big girl jackets. I knit everything except a man-sized jumper.
One day Andy says, “You knit for everyone but me." Then he adds, “When are you going to knit me something? I’m feeling unloved.”
It’s been nearly 31 years since that knitting disaster. Should I try again? If I knitted my husband a warm Aran jumper, a complicated pattern with cables, he would feel very loved.
How much do I love?
He already knows how much he's loved. I could just give him a great big hug and say, “Andy, I really love you.”
What do you think?