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:
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?