Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Birthday Tradition Continues

It’s November and my knitting project of several months -- almost a year actually -- is just about complete. For the 10th year I have completed a sweater for my husband’s birthday.

This sweater project began shortly after I took up knitting after nearly 20 years away from it. My early days as a knitter -- in the late 60s and early 70s -- were nothing to write home about. Nothing much fit and I was a little haphazard about my projects. I didn’t feel like I was giving up much when I put down my needles shortly after I got married in 1973.

But the yarns had gotten so spectacular in the meantime that when I returned in 1995, I was inspired to do better. What better project than to make a sweater for my husband, Hal. Afterall, I could legitimately knit for him -- I had his ring. Hell, I had his two kids!

I decided to make an Aran sweater out of traditional cream-colored wool. I loved cables and wanted to cover the sweater in them. No one could tell me to try something simple. I was determined to put in cables that had some significance for him -- like the banjo cable (because he plays the banjo) and sand stitch (because he loves the beach) and the sweetheart cable (because I love him). Unfortunately, all these cables happened on different rows, so my pattern repeat turned out to be once every 46 rows or something ridiculous like that. But I persevered and finished it in time to take it with me on vacation to Florida to show his mother. It was a surprise for Hal and I knew his mom would not be in Philadelphia in the winter to see it.

So imagine my dismay when on our return flight, our baggage got lost. My treasured gift was somewhere between Tampa and here. I was a basket case.

Eventually, it turned up and I put it away for November. When I finally gave it to him, my husband thought I had purchased a sweater. Only when he read the attached card explaining the cables, did he realize what I had done. A man who keeps his emotions to himself, he kissed me and immediately put the sweater on. I was flabbergasted.

So every year, I have made a sweater. Sometimes it takes months to decide onthe project. Sometimes more than one sweater a year. I’ve done cable, fair isle, vests, cardigans, pullovers. Some have been difficult and taxing, some easy, no-brainers.

The best thing is that Hal always wears my creations. I think there have been years that he wasn’t floored by his gifts, but he always wears them; better yet, he even tells his co-workers when he’s wearing a sweater I made.

This year’s creation is a pullover, V-neck, cable vest made from a tweed yarn. It’s finished now and awaiting Nov. 18 -- Hal’s birthday.

And I’m waiting for my kiss.

4 comments:

VirginnyLee said...

That's a beautifully sweet story. I hope he enjoys his birthday!

condith said...

What a great story. Someone needs to share a little more on Fridays :o), or way I not listening? Hope to see you then.
Hugs,
C.

Reena said...

lucia you are wonderful...
and happy birthday hal!

miss you
reena

Reena said...

lucia you are wonderful!
and happy birthday hal...

miss you
reena