Thursday, January 07, 2010

I've had this for a while, and to be honest, I've been a little scared the few times I've worn it. Definitely not drinking the red wine or eating the brownies. The sweater was a gift my Grandma Pearl gave to my mother when she first met my father, way back when. It's cashmere and mink, lined in lace, and feels like a million bucks on your back.

There's something special about a soft furry collar up around your neck and cashmere on your arms. Makes you feel like Grace Kelly. Even if you have jeans and boots on the bottom half.

And I'm completely powerless around buttons like these, which shouldn't surprise any of you.

But even though I own the cardigan, I'm pretty aware of the fact that it's one of a few items I'm really caretaking, to pass on down to my daughters someday with the story and photos. It's not exactly mine and I am very mindful of that every time I choose to wear it.

But I do love it. So much.

So my wheels started spinning when a new box of fur hats and collars came my way last week from my Grandma Edie's house, which she's moving out of. Nestled among the weird critters with eyes and legs still attached - that's so wrong. And, eew. (Why is it different if you chop the legs and heads and tails off??) But the girls are having SO much fun with those. Used To Be Live stuffed animals. Kind of gross, and pretty funny. The eyes are especially spooky and everyone jumped back when a tail fell off. Extra gross.

Anyways, nestled in the box were these.

And I have jeweled buttons. And yarn. And ideas on a v neck cardigan with a deep babycables ribbing for the waist that would begin where the collars end and babycable wrists with a little picot edge and then I'd have a furry sweater I'm not scared of.
Is it wrong to make a cardigan for the fur collars? So not PC? Or is it OK, since like the cardigan (or the coats, ahem) they were pre-owned and inherited? Hmm.

Either way, first I do have to finish up this puppy, which has been re-drawn and re-knit a few times over the past couple weeks. I think the changes were good and I only have a little more to go. Side two had me stumped, but I think I'm back in the driver's seat now. I still love the heavy aran yarn and the deep kaluha color. And in the spirit of being a perfectionist in 2010, I'm very proud of myself for ripping and redrawing and reknitting.

Lastly, there's something else I inherited from Grandma's house. My sister and her boyfriend showed up last week with the contents of their liquor cabinet. Some bottles have tax stamps still on them with dates like 1957 and 1963, and the labels are awesome.

However, a lot of it wasn't meant to be open for over 30/40/50 years (really, what is?) so in the interest of avoiding all kinds of trouble, we looked at the labels, sniffed, and then poured those down the drain.

Leftover was about a case of fun stuff, some of which isn't even made anymore, and I'll be pulling it out to share as I figure out what to do with it.

This I knew what to do with. It's Akvavit, a Danish liquor. It's a little like gin or vodka, but has a more herbal taste and smell to it. We had it in the house when I was growing up since my Aunt and Uncle would bring it over from Denmark when they visited. Apparently they brought Grandma some too. So, last night, I mixed this:

2 oz Akvavit
2 oz pear nectar (leftover from new years...)
2 lime slices squeezed in
one half can of tonic

And then I sat on the sofa and read The Lightning Thief, and didn't knit a stitch.
It was that good. (the book, not the drink. Although the drink was good too.)


MamaLizKnits said...

WoW... what family treasures you have. I say totally knit a garment around the collar. Who cares if it's not PC. It's totally green to recycle, right?

Sarah Jackson said...

I think it's totally fine since it's inherited. They would be beautiful on sweaters!

Anonymous said...

The fur trimmed cardigan is SOOOOOO gorgeous! It IS so very Grace Kelly!!!!

The cable knit you are designing is looking fabulous. Can't wait to see.~Jan

Kym said...

My grandmother used to wear those little fur "stoles" with the head and legs still attached. I was FASCINATED. She had one where the mouth was "installed" with some sort of clamp/clasp ---- so the mouth could "bite" the feet and hold it on around her shoulders. Creepy as all get out, but FASCINATING all the same. (Once my cousin and I got in Big Trouble for playing with it while visiting her house. That little clampy mouth was just too much to resist.)

Hilary said...

Wow. That is fabulous. Uh-may-zing. Bananas. Do you twirl around when you wear it? 'Cause I would.

Intellectually, I know it's cruel and all, but I love fur. I don't actually own any, but when I see fur coats, fur trim, anything with fur, I start drooling.

Actually, that was a lie -- I do own one little mink collar thing that I got at an antique shop awhile ago and have been wanting to do something crafty with. So I totally condone such activities. I really can't wait to see what you do with your grandma's furs.

Kathy said...

I think we have that book here somewhere -- I'll have to make some other drink! :-)

janna said...

That cardigan is gorgeous! And I too love the buttons. I recently had to replace the buttons on a store-bought cardigan, and the first ones I chose were kind of rhinestoney -- and cost $10 for 2 (I needed 8). Since I hadn't paid $40 for the actual cardigan, I couldn't justify it, but, man, was I ever tempted!

Carol said...

Totally love the new cardi but wondering if a thinner yarn would echo that delicate Grace Kelly think better?
Will call you later - G home again today.

Kathleen said...

That sweater is gorgeous! Of course you feel like Grace Kelly when you wear it!

As for designing with vintage fur collars in mind, I think that's awesome. Very green of you, you know: reduce, reuse, recycle.

We found "martinis in a can" at my grandmother's house after she passed away, and they'd clearly been sitting in the back of the liquor cabinet for decades.

Kristen said...

Recycling is pc, and I can't wait to see what you come up with, another heirloom sweater for sure.

Patty said...

So interesting and fun! And if they have a problem with the collar....em. It's gorgeous!

Laurie said...

Pretty cool. I remember buttons like that. In those days, cashmere was extremely rare and extremely expensive. There were no Chinese mills flooding BLoomie's with cashmere sweaters.

I think the dead and gone and inherited idea for fur stuff has merit. I mean, it is meaningless to hold a funeral for the piece, and throw it away.

Batty said...

My mother gave me a silk cardigan she bought, way back when, for $600. It's special, it's amazing, she couldn't pass it up even though it was incredibly expensive. It's in my closet now, and it's surrounded by ceder blocks. There are pieces of clothing that are just special. But if they don't fit your lifestyle... that's a different matter. I'm a big sucker for thrift stores. Good quality fabric is getting harder and harder to find.

Nice knitting, as always. And... booze. I could use some.