Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Sweater

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
-Mark Twain

My brother arrived at Mater's house last evening, newly shorn, a gleam in his eye, a question on his lips.
"Guess what I'm wearing under my jacket?" Hardly had he stepped inside the door before he posed the riddle for which Mater could not possibly provide an answer.
My brother heaved up his hefty jacket and Mater saw that he was wearing a sweater of wool. She recognised the garment as being one his grandmother had bought for him when he was a boy of ten.
Its colour had not faded; not a single thread was pulled out of place. My brother, whose height topped six feet a long time ago, wore the sweater with ease as he had done infrequently for the past twenty one years. It had grown, somehow, along with him, stretching when it needed to and retaining its most essential qualities.
Setting aside the astonishing fact of longevity, it is notable that my brother kept possession of the sweater for more than two decades: he never felt the need to dispose of the item based on age or length of use or its slipping out of fashion.
In an era where everything seems transient and disposable, it is increasingly difficult to put practicality before vanity; and so I commend my sibling for clinging to a perfectly fine woolen sweater when a fickle society would suggest he do otherwise.


Pappy said...

I thought you were going to tell us he was wearing a sweater made from the hair he had cut off. It was a great story anyway with a nice moral. Pappy

Barb said...

Okay, here's my question ... how the heck did the sweater grow with him over 20 years???? Maybe woven with a little fairy dust???? Barb

Anonymous said...

Not only practical, but I'm sure wearing it gives him lots of nice memories and feelings.


Dave said...

I bet the sweater grew because it was made from yarn from that special, Grandmother's only supply. Usually they are in colors that are not found in nature, and perhaps nowhere else on Earth. My grandma's specialty was crocheted blankets and they were unaccountably warm as well. Fashion be darned, they were made with love via arthritic fingers. We all received them as kids and kept them for many many years. Sadly, mine were lost in a divorce, but my brothers' live on.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Texican, now THAT is something I didn't think of, but very original. Bonus points for that ;)

Barb, I think it was a very good quality wool, which stretched out and adjusted to his shape. That's all I can think of. He probably wore it just often enough to keep it intact but to let it stretch just a little each time.

Steve, I bet it does too. He'll have it for as long as it doesn't fall apart!

Dave, it must be some magic wool, to be sure.
It would be a tough task to find something like that today, so longlasting and such high quality.
"Fashion be darned" - love that! Great sentiments.

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