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?

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  1. I knitted my husband a jersey (thats what we call it in South Africa)once with cables. It is a very nice jumper, but it is very warm, so it does not get worn vary often and normally only if I prompt it. It took me a long time to knit, now I too only stick to smaller projects, I just don't have much time for anything more.

    1. Natalie,

      I added the word jersey to the top of my post! Yes, some places are much too warm for woolly jumpers. Maybe you will travel somewhere colder for a holiday (like over here!) and your husband will be glad of your hand knitted jersey. I don't really think I will attempt another man-sized jumper. Like you, I just don't have enough spare time. i would have to stop blogging if I want to knit more. I'll just write nice posts about my husband instead of knitting for him!

  2. I love this (no surprise). And wherever do you find your PERFECT animal photos?!?

    1. Nancy,

      I found this photo via a creative commons search. I wonder if you have this link:

      Most of the photos need attribution but usually the extra time to do this is worth it.

      Thank you for reading yet another story!

    2. Thank you - I bookmarked that page! And thanking me for reading your stories is like thanking me for eating chocolate :) !

    3. Nancy,

      Thanking you for eating chocolate? Thank you again. This time for the smile!

  3. Hi Sue, I believe your husband still loves the first jumper you knitted for him ... ;-)

    The animal photo is so cute, I imagine it staring at me while pretending to be invisible since I can't really see his eyes at all. Ah! My imagination!

    Happy weekend!

    1. Maria Kristina,

      My husband still loves that first jumper? Oh I never thought about that before! Yes, you are right. He has never forgotten it. We do laugh over this incident but I bet he remembers the love too.

      You have a wonderful imagination! I remember sitting in a doctor's waiting room opposite a girl who had her hair in front of her face like this sheep (perhaps she was shy). She could see me but maybe she thought I couldn't see her.

      I love looking for unusual animal photos to go with my posts. If no one enjoys the story they can at least enjoy the image!

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog again. I am on my way over to visit you!

  4. Thanks Sue. I have really enjoyed all of your posts so far. I was without a keyboard for a bit and very resistant to typing on the Kindle.

    And, I just want to learn to knit anything. Period. My oldest daughter says she'll teach me and by golly, I have to stop procrastinating!

    1. Michelle,

      I hate typing on anything other than my laptop. Comments take such a long time to write without a proper keyboard. It's lovely hearing from you today!

      Knitting isn't difficult. You'll soon get the hang of it. Start with something small and soon you'll be able to knit something big like a jumper. Maybe even a man sized jumper!

      Thank you for stopping by!

  5. I wish my wife would make me something... gotta see the jumper.

    Thank you for being part of the "AtoZ Challenge", please stop on over to my site[s] and say "Hello"!

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2014]

    Old is the New Cool...

    1. Jeremy,

      Thanks for reading my jumper story. I don't have a photo of the oversized jumper as I threw it out a long time ago!

      Thank you for visiting my blog. I'll be over to return the visit soon!

  6. That a very sweet story! :-) I made a tunic for the Husband a couple years ago and this year (maybe), I'll sew a crazy quilt vest for him.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  7. Su-sieee! Mac,

    A tunic and a vest? Your husband is a very fortunate man! I loved reading your stories on your blog. I see your husband features in them, just like my husband does in mine! I am pleased to meet you. Thank you for visiting my blog!

    1. Yours is a very welcoming blog. :-)

    2. Thank you! I love meeting new bloggers and chatting. It was very kind of you to return and leave another comment!


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