knit | spin

Endurance Retrofit

June 29, 2017

I could not have known when I was finishing my Endurance yoke sweater that I wouldn’t get the chance to wear it much.

Endurance was made as part of the Shackleton Knit Along organised by Fiber Trek last year. We were encouraged to pick a project that represented a mighty challenge to us, a feat of endurance that we would undertake as we followed the 1914 expedition by Shackleton to Antarctica.

You can read about the making of the sweater in a previous post but suffice to say it was an act of endurance undertaken whilst working on my doctorate and finished whilst I recovered from pneumonia. During the ongoing illness triggered by the pneumonia, many things changed for me, energy levels, cognitive functioning and my shape. All of my middle bits got bigger and the shaped yet comfortable yoke sweater got squeezier and squeezier.

After a year, I decided that Endurance couldn’t wait any longer in the drawer. It was time for a change. I cut the body off the yoke, unravelled it then knitted back down from the yoke without waist shaping. The sleeves were also shortened by cutting and reknitting the cuff.

Now Endurance fits Our Dear Boy, all ten years of him with room to grow some also. He loves it because it is so soft and warm. It was taken away on Cub Camp and helped to keep him warm in the tent as the night dropped below zero (degrees Celsius). It came back with rip in the sleeve which thrilled me, because it means he is choosing wool to have adventures in! It was easily mended and the marks of wear can be a thing of beauty. He kindly agreed to pose for these pics but insisted our dog be shown also.


Only registered users can comment.

  1. This is such a splendid jumper, I am really sorry you didn’t get to wear it much. But what a happiness to have it being worn and loved and adventured in!

  2. Rebecca, this is just too precious!! The sweater is lovely on you but the fact that you reconfigured it for Dear Boy makes it even that more special. And the picture of Darling Doggie makes it that much more lovely.
    Hope you are steadily improving.

  3. What a good way to reuse a sweater like this. And I’ve just read the original post – I wish I’d known about the Shackleton kal, I’ve been collecting photos of knitwear on the expedition for a while now, with a view of replicating one of the seaman’s sweaters Shackleton himself is photographed in. (Shackleton’s expedition contrasts so well to Scott’s, in that the former brought all his men home. Of course, most of them then died in the Great War).
    And isn’t longdraw woollen spinning wonderful! It’s one of my most popular classes, and my default style for speedy warm yarn. And the answer nearly always is – more twist!

  4. It’s an incredibly brave thing to change a sweater like that. There are so many underlying psychological things that have to happen first, starting with the acceptance of change and being ok about it. So this is a real healthy thing to do. Not to mention that it looks great and is fulfilling a purpose. I am still a fairly novice knitter but am working my way towards a successful fairisle type garment. Your Endurance sweater has been very inspirational and looked elegant on you but now looks rugged and ‘Boys own annual’ on your son. I love it!

  5. Your jumper has been restyled into a favourite, its lovely. I bet the dog loves it too, he’ll be curled up on it when he shouldn’t!

  6. What a wonderful post. You looked lovely in your Endurance sweater and it must’ve been disappointing that it no longer fit. I admire your skill at refashioning it for your son and you must get a great deal of pleasure from seeing him wear it. He obviously feels comfortable in it and it can only get better with its “badges of honour”. Lovely to hear from you again and I hope your health continues to improve.

  7. Clothes are so much better with time and history in them.

    It’s such a stunning creation and to think it could then go on to be perfect for someone else too is just lovely.

    I hope you are all better now! Your poor body. There’s only so much bodies can do and I love your description of the loss of cognitive function after the illness. I have had the same experience but did not have the words to express it as clearly as that. xx

  8. Stunned I am and so impressed! I know cutting cuffs off was done all the time but the whole bloody body? That was at least a half Shakenton !!
    Himself and the ‘Magger’ looks great. Good job.

  9. Dear Rebecca,
    I applaud your fearlessness! It is a brave move to take the scissors to a work of art. It now has a new life and I am sure it will be much loved. And you can still snuggle it on him 🙂

  10. This story warms my heart! It is so dispiriting when something you have put energy and care into making is no longer right – for whatever reason. How excellent that you have managed to remake the pullover for your son and that he loves it so much. Just warms the cockles 🙂

  11. You are an inspiration! I love that you did this and that your boy loves it too. Well done you on every front x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *