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As you know, I’ve been scouring the local thrift stores in search of ruined wool, and I haven’t been having much luck in that department. On the other hand, I’ve been finding an amazing cache of hand knits too beautiful to destroy even for the sake of felted art. The jacket above is one example. The amazing thing about these sweaters is that they are all in my size. Some petite knitter with long arms has been donating great things to the thrift stores of Juneau. Last week I found a sweater that was minutes from completion, just a little button band to tidy up. Today I found a well-loved, impeccably knit fair isle and this jacket knit in heavy wool in one of my favorite shades of red. I may never need to knit a sweater again, which would be fine with me, because, as you know, I could be happy making hats and shawls forever.

Who is this knitter? I’m afraid she may be deceased. Her progeny must not have the superior taste she possessed: why else would they part with her beautiful things? Maybe she bore only giants and these smaller knit gems didn’t fit anyone in the family. Or, maybe she’s still living, and she loves to anonymously give away her creations. I suppose there is the possibility that my fairy knit-mother is not just one knitter, that the sweaters I’ve found are a random assortment of creations. I may get more clues if the hand knits keep turning up.

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  • http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog Underground Crafter

    I often wonder about these hand made finds in thrift stores.  I used to always have the same thought as you – that a talented needleartist died and their family didn’t appreciate the work.  However, after my friend made a beautiful queen sized quilt (as her first quilting project!), she grew to hate it because she didn’t like the color choices she had made before understanding how the quilt would be pieced together, and she ended up donating it to a thrift store.  Now I think sometimes the needleartist just can’t bear the sight of a long term project anymore, but wants it to find a good home.

  • Ellen B.

    WOW!  Excellent finds! You are lucky!

  • Anonymous

    It’s wonderful that you’re giving these handmade items a second life!

  • http://www.thehookandi.com plainsight

    Hi Marie, thanks for your comment! I’m not surprised that people get sick of stuff that they make… I do, sometimes, but I typically give things away to people I know. It’s the anonymous donation that seems mysterious to me. :-)

  • http://www.thehookandi.com plainsight

    I’m excited to see what everyone makes from the felted wool. I had fun putting together a few samples last night.

  • Daphne

    the person made that sweater did a good job.  What a find.  When I see stuff like that at a thrift store, I often wonder what the story is on the garment.

  • http://www.thehookandi.com plainsight

    Me too. It sometimes seems like knitwear takes on a life of its own… I’m looking at the back of the garment now at some variations in the stitches. I can imagine that maybe she was distracted, or dealing with young children–or struggling with the color work. My friend Becca suggested that this has the feel of a Cowichan sweater, which it does, but I don’t think the colors or the patterning is traditional. It has more of a southwest feel.

  • http://hungryknitter.com Lauren

    That is such a great sweater!! I’m sure whoever made it would be happy it’s found such an appreciative home. :)

  • http://www.thehookandi.com plainsight

    I saw it’s cousin today at the thrift store–a men’s version just as nice, but not something my husband would wear, so I let it pass by. Thanks for your comment!