I never wear this beautiful sweater. But is it a candidate for remaking?
This sweater was given to me about ten years ago by my late, very dear next-door-neighbour. She had knitted it for her eldest son in the seventies and when he had outgrown it, she stored it carefully away. She gave it to me as she knew I loved to knit and wear woollens. It will be her birthday this week, she would be around 90, so it is very timely to be considering her beautiful work.
I have worn it camping a few times but it is really too big for me. It is also too small for my partner. It is also not a colour that I would ever wear as a large block. So here is the conundrum:
- I can store it and preserve my friend’s knitting but this takes up space and wastes the useful potential of her work.
- I can give it away to someone who fits the sweater but I think if I actually felt I could do this, I would have done so already.
- I could chart the cable patterns in the sweater and then unravel and reknit the sweater into a garment that fits me, incorporating the original motifs. This would be undoing my friend’s work but would honour the materials and her design choices. I would be knitting with the same yarn she did. But her sweater would not exist anymore.
What do you think? How does remaking engage with memory and sentiment? Does remaking add to the life story of a garment or destroy part of it?