02 August 2008

My first jumper

Here's the story of my earliest garment knitting, as started by Kate...

I can't remember when I learnt to knit - it was when I was pretty young. I knit dolls clothes, and bits and pieces, but nothing really memorable (not that comes to mind now anyway!).

In 1982 I met R ... we were both 17. And I was enamoured enough to make him this :

(Patons pattern, Totem). Yes reader, I married him. And he still wears this vest (he calls it his 'Bunny Hug', cos it's like I'm hugging him when he wears it ;) Aaaaaaaw... Look how well it's worn over 26 years!

In 1983 I left home, and was working part-time as a lab tech at CSIRO Plant Industry, and studying biology at the ANU. One of the senior lab techs was a lovely older Danish woman, Maria. She was an avid knitter, and took me under her wing. In our tea and lunch breaks she taught me how to knit on circular needles, shared patterns with me, and guided me through making my first jumper.

So, with her help, I made this for myself, using Alafoss Lopi yarn :

Yeah, yeah, I'm the one on the LEFT. Very funny ... ;)

I honestly can't remember what happened to it! I think it may have been a little tight around the chest / under the arms, and I may have given it to my younger sister? It was pretty itchy, too. But extremely warm!

From this jumper I went on to knit quite a few Lopi jumpers, for boyfriend R, my dad (don't you love his house-painting outfit in this pic?!), and younger brothers...


  1. Well, I never. It was about 1983 that I was working part-time at Plant Industry. What is so scary is that I can't remember exactly when I started or finished, or the names of anyone I worked with (computing section). I tried my hand at Botany rather than Biology, but was more at home in Computer Science and Stats.

  2. how lovely! Both of them! And R still wears it!

    Love the lopi. I would love to try something out of that some day.

  3. Oh Wow,what a cool vest!!!! I did a very similiar one but with more cables in the same colour from Bendigo Mills,havent worn it this year...
    Love that Lopi!!!

  4. You would have thought you just finished that jumper. What a cute couple you two were.

  5. The vest is a work of art - and love. No wonder it's held up so well. Your Lopi sweater is sooo pretty! But yeah, lopi is itchy and hot. That's outerwear for sure!

  6. I think that's the sweetest knitting story ever!

  7. That sweater is beautiful Denise! In 1983 I was 2 and was not yet knitting... :) My mom had some way cool sweaters knit for me though.

    They're beautiful sweaters.

  8. It seems that most people's technical errors in their first jumpers are about fit - something that patterns aren't really able to solve as we're none of us the mythical average that pattern sizes aim at. I love this vest, though, and it's gorgeous that R still has/wears it! The circular stranded is really gorgeous, too. Pity it was so itchy!

    Throughout this post and the previous post's pictures I've noticed how your smile is still quite the most amazingly beautiful smile I've seen in a long while. Most people grin but you absolutely smile. And this is in spite of constant pain. Whatever your decision re surgery is, I'm hoping that your smile will remain intact. (Occasional wobbliness is entirely understandable, though ; )) Hugs and best wishes for your decision making.

  9. Gorgeous gorgeous vest (great colour) and love the fair isle!!
    I made jumpers for 2 boyfriends - and the curse worked on me - I have never knittedhusby a jumper (just in case ) - but now he owns some slippers....

  10. That Bunny Hug sure HAS worn well in 26 years! What a sweet name you're hubby gave the garment. Maybe you can post a BUNNY HUG vest pattern to share with your fellow knitters.

    Read your post on how to count stitches - oh, my - no wonder I don't knit or sew well. Too technical for me. Call me lazy - but I give all of you knitters tons of praise for your love of the work!

  11. great first jumper stories - that vest looks just fabulous - as if you knit it yesterday! Good old Patons Totem!


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