Revisiting My Mom

Mothers Day inspired me to get back to a project that's been on my back burner: My mom's favorite pattern.


The Original Pattern

Part of a Fleisher's kit called "Yours Truly"

This is a photo of an original kit I found on E-bay. I don't think my mom ever had a kit. I think she was probably given the leftover pattern after some friend of hers finished a kit. Pure speculation, of course, but this is definitely the sweater she made at least ten times. 

One of my mom's extant versions

This one was worked from the bottom up, with handmade ring buttons. Nearly been loved to death, but still beautiful, in its way.

Although there were at least ten of these (probably more), no two were alike. She hacked the top-down original to work bottom-up, changed yarns, changed sizes, substituted different cables, you name it. Somewhere in storage there is even a kids' version in navy blue garter stitch (which would have been a completely different gauge!), with antique jet buttons. I like to think she made that one just for somewhere to use the buttons. I would have. With five kids, it probably fit somebody, at some point.

My first prototype

Lots of you have seen this on me and asked for the pattern, because I kind of never take it off.

Here's the first one I made after getting hold of the original pattern. I included mom's genius hack of carrying the raglan cables down the sides and into the ribbing. Totally makes the garment, IMHO. This one also has the original folded placket, but I chumped out on knitting the buttonholes and machine-sewed them instead. It needs some adjustments for modern wear, I think: The original doesn't have enough stitches across the back neck. I explored that problem back HERE. I also think there could be a little more ease in the sleeves. The original was designed to be worn alone, so the sleeves are pretty tight when I layer it over other clothes.

And of course, there is the sizing: The original pattern has two sizes: Small and Smaller. Not much use for those of us outside that range. And bizarrely, I just realized I have never extrapolated sizing for a top-down raglan before! The things I think I can do just because I never have before...Not to worry; I know a genius who can help. I'm looking at you Karen F.!

Various Stages of Completion

The blue one fixed the neckline and sleeves, but it's too big and I ran out of yarn. The red one is my attempt at spacing the buttonholes while retaining the prior fixes.

Third time's the charm? I started the red version because I really wanted to prove that I could manage the buttonholes (chumped out again on the blue one, telling myself I'd try afterthought buttonholes, which remain to be seen). I also am so frustrated about having run out of yarn on that one that I just started over. I'll have to address Blue-y at some point, but not today. I have a sinking feeling that the red one is going to be bigger than I want, but maybe not. Can't rightly tell yet. At least the buttonholes are on track. I think.

I had decided I was going to rename this pattern after my mom; Jane Wolff Scott. I still want to, but now that I've made (almost) three of them, I think I'm starting to understand why she couldn't stop knitting them. It's potato-chip knitting, pure and simple. So I think a better name might be "Jane's Addiction".

Thanks for leaving me this gorgeous puzzle to solve, Mom. Working on it is a little bit like being with you again. Happy Mothers Day.