In remembrance of knits past

Yesterday, I came across this photo of a sweater designed by Marc Jacobs for the Fall/Winter 1985 edition of Vogue Knitting:

389_2__mediumI stared at it in shock.  Why?  Because I knit this sweater, and like many of my early knits I have no idea what happened to it.  I didn’t even remember it until yesterday.

I bought every issue of Vogue Knitting the instant it hit the news stands.  I was living in Washinton DC at the time, working as a paralegal in a law firm while taking time off between college and graduate school.  I read this issue and instantly knew this sweater was for me.  I remember shopping for the Lopi yarn.  I knit the sweater in a deep charcoal grey, and the colour panels in yellow, orange and red.  It was absolutely fabulous.  I loved it!  It was so completely 1980s too.  I was young without much cash; I could never afford a designer label but I could walk around looking like a million dollars in that sweater.

The sad thing is, so many knits disappeared over the years.  Why?  I can think of a few reasons.  I was considerably thinner then, what would now be a size 0, I think.  Once I hit my late 20s I began to put on weight and then pregnancy sealed it, so I am now a fairly average size.  Perhaps as I filled out I gave some sweaters away?  Second, some things definitely got eaten by moths over the years and were regretfully and lovingly retired.  Third, I have always been a wanderer.  I was born in California, and have lived in Michigan, Florida, New Jersey, Long Island, Manhattan, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston and Tucson before leaving the US over 20 years ago and moving to Australia, Germany and the UK.  And in many of those places, I would shift houses frequently.  With all of that moving, things are bound to get lost or left behind.  Moving aross continents is expensive so you tend to whittle away all of your belongings each time you move.

Another factor is that back then I was definitely a process knitter; I knit for the sheer joy of it rather than for the finished product.  But now, how I wish I had all of my early knits carefully packed away.  (Regular readers of this blog may recall the posts I wrote two years ago about the beautiful clothing knitted by my mother and grandmother that my mom has carefully kept all of these years.  I promise, I am now reformed.)

So, here’s to all the knits I’ve lost!  You kept me sane in crazy times.  You made me happy. I learned from you and became a better knitter.  We had fun together while it lasted.