When I lived in Maryland, going to Value Village was one of my favorite pastimes. Of course, I preferred to go on SALE days, I mean even thrift store shoppers like me love the extra bargain. I never worried about stuff getting bought out from under my nose because I have pretty weird taste compared to what most folks were buying. I’m usually looking for the forlorn, lost, handmade sweater or pair of socks that someone, for some reason, has abandoned. They’re always there.
Juneau has two thrift stores. Out in “The Valley,” St. Vincent de Paul’s has a knitter on staff who identifies cool knits and makes sure they don’t sell for too cheap. They’re still a bargain. That’s where I found my favorite sweater from last year. The other day I was at our local Salvation Army on a tip that they had some cool quilted military issue snow-pant liners for a dollar. (I did score those, but that’s another story). Anyway, this particular thrift store doesn’t usually have much in the way of sweaters, but I took a quick look anyway, and found one.
This sweater is vintage–I’m guessing from the early 1960s. It’s handmade, but sold commercially. The little label says “100% wool. Made in Italy.” No brand name. It’s constructed in pieces, with raglan shaping and 3/4 length sleeves. The yarn is a bulky, soft two-ply in natural kind of oatmeal color. I’m tempted to dye it, but I don’t have another white cardigan, so maybe I won’t. The cool thing about the lace pattern is that it’s all done in reverse stockinette. The eyelets look much prettier that way. If I were to copy this sweater, I would certainly knit it in one piece from the neck down. I don’t think I will recreate it, but I may play with the stitch pattern in a hat or cowl.