I got remarried again fairly soon, too soon for some who thought it meant that I never loved the father of my children. On the contrary. Death cannot kill love. Dreams may die, plans, hopes, lifestyles all may die, or at least change, when loved ones die. But not love. Death is much different from other separations, such as divorce in one very important way: those left behind are not left with memories of hostility, arguments, hatred, resentment. You are left with memories, not all perfect memories but a lot of good, happy memories. That can free you to move on, to continue living, if you let it.
I remember in the first day or 2 after Richard's death, having to decide what clothing to take to the funeral home in which to have him buried. My first thought was how much he loved the hand spun sweater/jacket that I had knitted for him in 1986. It was supposed to be a cardigan to wear when he needed to keep the chill out. But I had spun fairly thick yarn so the sweater got heavier and heavier as I knitted until it was quite clear that this was for outdoor use. He loved it and wore it most days in the springs and falls after it was finished. The year I finished it, I won 1st place at our small county fair. I don't believe it was the best workmanship entered but by sheer volume, it was chosen. :) It seemed fitting to 'lay him to rest' in it.
But the thought of burying him in his beloved sweater didn't last long. I realized that it held too many memories to put into the ground with him. In fact, seeing the sweater only brings back the fondest of memories. Memories like, all during the spinning and knitting process, I kept asking him if he wanted pockets. He always insisted that he didn't need them. Until the sweater was finished. Then he needed pockets. We laughed many times about that. And memories of how proud he was whenever he wore the sweater and people would compliment it. He would go on to tell them how it came to be. Usually they would react with amazement, which pleased him greatly. I would ask him if they asked of his wife, do "her children arise and call her blessed?" (That didn't come until years later.)
The sweater to which I refer was in a Leisure Arts Leaflet. Do they even make those anymore? For reference, it was Leaflet #265, named Shawl Collar Cardigan. Here's the color photo from the leaflet.
I have looked for the pattern to link to but to no avail. It has been almost 30 years. I will gladly scan it and send it via email to anyone wishing it. (Oops, I just heard back from Leisure Arts and it is not legal to reproduce in any format, even though it's no longer in print. If you like the sweater, let me know.)
The yarn I used was spun from a brown corriedale sheep. As you might have guessed if you read a previous post of mine, Knitting Love, I'm rather partial to brown wool. (But I'm not restricted to brown alone!) Here is the best picture I could get of the small ball of remaining yarn.
It is, I think, slightly thicker than worsted weight but, true to corriedale wool, is a very springy yarn. Love, Love, Love Corriedale.
I believe my oldest son, who is built the most like his dad, will want the sweater when he's older and becomes "more of a sweater guy." :) In the meantime, Dean, my very tall second husband, who says he isn't "much of a sweater guy" does don the sweater on chilly evenings indoors.
Here's Dean modeling for me. I love how the corriedale has variations in its fleece. It shows up as an almost variegated look.
Here's the "Shawl Collar" named in the title of the pattern.
And here's one of the "added later" pockets.
I'm very glad that I kept the sweater - it just may become an family heirloom one day. At least, for me it is a family treasure.
God bless you,