“Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 1989!”

I was going to share some new ideas with you today; directions I was thinking of taking with my knitting.  But I cannot find comfort in knitting today.  Yesterday was a very sad day for the UK, for Europe and for the world.  I am too sad and angry now to think about the present or the future.  So instead I will look to the past.  Below is a post I had prepared for a rainy day; that day is now.

I found this photo the other day in a shoe box.  It is a (rather awful) photo of me, circa 1989, knitting on the back porch of my in-law’s house on the Seymour River in North Vancouver.  Not only am I knitting in the photo, but I am wearing a hand-knitted sweater.


The sweater that I am wearing is a very traditional fisherman’s sweater, and is one that has sadly been lost through the passage of time.  (See here for a post about long-lost sweaters; it is so sad to lose track of hand-knitted items).   Though the sweater is lost, I still have the pattern book I used:


As you can see, the sweater was unisex and came in all sizes, including children’s. Looking back on this now, I can’t imagine why I didn’t knit it in off-white; it’s so much prettier and more classic than the tweedy pink I used.


In the photo I am knitting a red baby sweater, with an intricate cable down the front. Below is a photo of the completed sweater, courtesy of said shoe box.   For the life of me, I can’t remember who I knit it for.  Given the very small number of baby garments I have knit in my life, you would think that I could remember this one.

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In addition to the huge glasses and the funny hair, note how enormous the pullover is on me.  Clearly, this was a time for lots of positive ease.  You could have probably fit two of me in there.  (Which means it would likely still fit me today!  Alas!)

PS – If you’ve never heard of the Wayback Machine (or WABAC Machine), that’s just sad. You can read about it here.  Mr. Peabody says so.

15 thoughts on ““Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 1989!”

  1. I think you look fine – we all had huge glasses and funny haircuts in the 80’s and 90’s – at least you didn’t go all “big hair” 🙂 Both sweaters look great.

  2. Constantly living under the threat of Quebec separating from the rest of Canada, I can relate to the emotional vicissitudes of politics. Usually, and hopefully, sanity will prevail.
    You look so intense in your knitting….I’m sure you’re much more relaxed now.☺️

  3. So nice to reminisce, particularly in these troubled times. I was devastated by the referendum result and, like you, had to change the post I was planning to published on Friday. It is great to see these photos and good that you have kept a record of things. I was utterly photo-phobic when I was younger, so I don’t have a track of my past knitting. I can remember some key pieces, but I am sure there are plenty that have disappeared in my memory banks – perhaps I need to fire up the WABAC to go find those memories! 🙂

    • Hi Liz, I actually don’t have a record of anything pre-Ravelry (2007). I have found a few photos of past-knitted items, but that is all. However, I do have all of my knitting books and magazines. As to the referendum, it is heart-breaking. It’s hard to see any silver lining at the moment. I read your post, and I do hope that the healing will begin.

      • Hi Kelly, you are right – one’s pattern library is a good memory-jogger. I often find myself spending hours browsing through past mags etc (not least, I have every Rowan magazine published!) – even if I have just been meaning to dip in for something quick – my husband always laughs if I say this is what I am doing and expects me to be buried for ages! 🙂

  4. Looking at the picture I immediately guessed it was a pengouin sweater. I knit one in the mid 80s, which was very similar in style and pattern, using the purls for effect. Mine was dark blue at the bottom and then a green line and light blue at the top, boat neck. Unfortunately I don’t have the pattern book anymore and haven’t been able to track it down (despite much searching on line) and I have no idea what I did with the jumper. I think I got rid of it in my non knitting time (1990-2012). it is a pity because although styles have changes I am sure the patterns would provide inspiration.

    I have been watching Brexit unfold from not so far away (Ireland) and can understand your feelings. Friends in the UK are very upset and we are in shock here too..

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