A tradition for the ages
A few years ago, Emily and I decided to start a sweater knitting tradition, the September Sweater. For those who don’t know her, Emily is my sister-in-law, an excellent knitter and famous knitwear model too!
For this year’s September Sweater instalment, we chose a TCK oldie, the Gramps sweater.
I love a good family tradition. For me, there are certain foods that are a MUST at big family dinners. For the kid’s birthdays, I hang a string of photos from the year in the living room; for us to remember and celebrate them. And my extended family has an odd tradition of bashing boiled and dyed eggs together at Easter (the winner has the egg that doesn’t break) and we all eat a lot of egg salad for a week!
As we grow we keep the traditions we love, and leave behind the ones that no longer make us happy. We are also free to start new traditions of our own. I think of my kids, in turn, taking what is meaningful to them and passing it down the line.
Emily and I love a good matching (or coordinated) sweater photoshoot. A few years ago we began with Flax sweaters for all of our kids (4 of them at the time). It took me WAY longer to knit 3 sweaters than it took her to knit 1, so it took almost a year longer than anticipated (note that Ellis’ sweater looks a wee bit tight on him). The photoshoots can get a little…overwhelming… but we loved it so much we decided we should do it again!
The next round I got a little smarter. I realized that knitting 3 sweaters exactly the same wasn’t quite as exciting as I wanted it to be, so we decided to make coordinated sweaters and stick with the rainbow theme. Arlo was born, so the sweater count went up to five! I loved knitting those Strange Brew sweaters so much! The kids look adorable and by complete chance, their boots even matched their sweaters.
Fast forward 2 years (because that’s how long it took me to knit three of these Gramps sweaters) and we finished our third round of September sweaters. Cozy shawl collars and warm wool kept everyone smiling at Incinerator Rock, in the Pacific Rim National Park. It’s so fun to see how the kids grow in these photos as they mark a moment in time. The kids’ different personalities come through too!
Gramps sweater details:
- Hunter’s sweater: Knit up in Stone Wool Cormo in ‘Karst 03’ size 8-10 years.
- Jones’ sweater: Knit up in The Plucky Knitter Scholar in ‘chamomile’ size 8-10 years (I know, it’s wild that Hunter and Jones wear the same size now!).
- Bodhi’s sweater: Knit up in Brooklyn Tweed Quarry in ‘sulphur’, the gauge was quite different from the pattern so I knit the 6-12 month size, but customized the lengths for Bodhi.
- Ellis’ sweater: Knit up in Stone Wool Cormo in ‘Tobacco 03’ size 4-6 years.
- Arlo’s sweater: Knit up in Swans Island All American Worsted in ‘pomegranate’ , size 1-2 years.
What to knit next?
Now the fun part: what to knit next? What should our next round of September sweaters be? I’m leaning towards cables, but maybe colourwork? Perhaps even a new design altogether? Here are a few of the contenders:
Almanac, Antler pullover, and Compass
Tell us, what are some of your favourite traditions? Do you knit a friend a pair of socks every year? Do some lucky recipients get a new hat when the weather turns?
October 10, 2019 @ 5:11 pm
Love the sweaters, though our two (or six if you count all the cousins) are a bit old for this now, being in their 30s!
However I knit a pair of yellow socks every year for a French e-pal cos she loves the colour yellow, and warm toes. And a pair of socks each for a family (now good friends) who ferry me to Church each Sunday. As they were working in China for a good few years, I knit them for Chinese New Year. That way they don’t clash with pre-Christmas knitting, though it can be a bit of a rush getting them all done in five weeks, along with everything else. This year, being the year of the Brown Earth Pig, they were all brownish with pigs somewhere on them. Now wondering what’s next in the Chinese calendar!
October 5, 2019 @ 11:14 pm
I’m sorry, but how are all the kids THIS good at posing?!
October 6, 2019 @ 8:41 pm
October 4, 2019 @ 8:01 am
I vote for Antler!
October 4, 2019 @ 5:10 am
What a great tradition and such lovely children and their sweaters.
October 3, 2019 @ 2:07 pm
Wow! Sooo much inspiration in this post! It makes me wish I’d knit more for my daughters (now 16 & 18) as they were growing up. It goes so fast! Although I’ve completed quite a few projects over the years, I’m realizing that I’ve GOT to get back to the WIP sweater for the eldest that I started a ago, and I’d love to knit something for the youngest, too, assuming she’s stopped growing. Thanks for this post!
October 3, 2019 @ 1:49 pm
I’d say do cables next, maybe antler pullovers for the boys and cardigans for the girls or vice versa.
October 3, 2019 @ 7:56 am
Wow, you do such beautiful work! Previously, I was intimidated by colorwork but seeing the Strange Brew pattern makes me want to give it a try. I’m also loving the Gramps sweater.
I used to do a lot of knitted and crocheted gifts for people but several injuries prevented me from doing it for a few years. I’m now easing back into it by making my mom, my friends, etc. items.
Mom’s getting two sweaters (a Flax, minus the garter panels at her request) and a Long Weekend Cardigan. One friend in Texas is getting a crocheted Windowpane scarf, several other friends are getting crocheted Hobbes dolls, while another friend in Virginia is getting a hat and gloves.
I’m also giving a gift to myself. I’m going to be knitting a ton of socks for me and a Flax Light sweater. :)
October 3, 2019 @ 7:11 am
I’m sorry I‘m not commenting on the simply gorgeous and astounding sweaters and the amazing children and their woolies that I’ve seen develop in front of my eyes through the years… y’all know what that does for your readers’ hearts! What had my eyes bugging out and my jaw dropping this morning is your mention of egg fighting on Easter! All this time I would have sworn it was a local custom in my native Appalachian community. I’m not very link savvy, but search for the Peters Hollow Egg Fight. It’s something close to 200 years old, I believe. (In my best Fiddler on the Roof voice, “Traditions!’). I learned something cool already today!
October 3, 2019 @ 6:08 am
I vote for Antler Pullovers for your next go-round! :D