Olivia needs new sweaters. I know, it is in the 90's in St. Louis right now but Olivia's mom knows that sometimes it takes Grammy a while to get things made so she was very smart and asked me early! Two have been ordered, bright orange and white. I have the yarn, I have two patterns that are acceptable and I am a little burned out with beading at the moment so the knitting mode has begun. I can't do power knitting for long because it affects my neck, my shoulder and eventually my whole upper body if I don't lay it down fairly often. I am sure it has something to do with my posture, the chair, etc. but I know it is mostly due to restriction of movement in my neck from a surgery about 8 years ago. So, well, I adapt. The orange cardigan is coming along nicely, so far. I am even remembering to include the button holes that I usually forget because I am moving along so quickly!
Most of the knitting on this particular sweater pattern is repetitive, you knit or purl along until a marker comes up and then do a different stitch at the marker. So, it doesn't take a lot of thought, other than clicking the row counter when you get to the end of a row. It is easy to watch tv, or listen to cds or even talk to someone while you are knitting in this fashion. The orange sweater is knit from the neck to the underarm, in one piece, and then the arms are put on a holder and the body of the sweater is continued to the bottom in one continuous piece. Then the each sleeve is finished in the round. There are no seams to finish. It is an easy, quick pattern that looks very nice and is comfortable. It is plain and very functional, a good play sweater that can be worn until it just can't be put on anymore because it has been outgrown.
When I get to the white sweater it will be totally a different story. The white sweater is made in several separate pieces and has a complicated pattern. Each piece will have to be seamed together when it is finished. The whole sweater is patterned in a sort of lace effect, very pretty and girlie looking. It will require a lot of attention and I don't doubt that I will make some mistakes along the way. It will take a lot longer to accomplish a finished sweater using this pattern but it will be a beautiful sweater and one that could become an heirloom but will probably be worn for less strenuous activities - we always save the pretty things for more special occasions - and therefore won't get as much wear.
As I was knitting and thinking about this it occurred to me that the orange sweater would be more likely to become an old favorite. It will be worn more often and Olivia will become used to it keeping her warm as she plays. If she wears it often enough and long enough it will even start to conform to her body and begin to keep her even warmer and be more comfortable. She will start to look for it when she is cold or needs to feel cuddly and it will seem like an old friend who gives comfort in its own way.
On the other hand, the beautiful white sweater will likely not be worn as much, possibly just to church on Sunday. It will function in basically the same way, to keep Olivia warm, but will probably not ever become as precious to Olivia as the plain orange sweater in which she can play and be herself. With the white sweater, Olivia will probably hear from her mom and grammy "Don't get your sweater dirty!" because the white yarn will easily become dingy with wear whereas the orange sweater is meant to be played and lived in. To compare the beauty of the two would cause the white sweater to win every time but the comfort and security factor will likely put the orange sweater on top.
To me the orange sweater is like having a loving God watching over me. The white sweater, while being the more beautiful on the outside, is to me like the world. The world is a beautiful thing on the outside, there is glamour, money, shiny toys, happy seeming lives, but it lacks the security, warmth and comfort of God. We can fool people into thinking we are happy and content without God's grace but our existence often fades quickly and becomes dingy, like the white sweater. I want the orange sweater! The one that is warm, comfy and that I can wear everyday, no matter what I am doing, and not be afraid when I roll around on the ground or stand on my head. It will protect me and keep me warm and that is where I want to be.
Well, back to the sweaters. I expect the orange to be done in less than two weeks. Hopefully the white will be done by fall! I will post pictures at some point.