Tappan Zee Because Mom Loves Me

* This is my first knitting post and also the post where I get to talk about my awesome mom. Sorry if I make you jealous that you don’t have her but as many of my friends can attest, she’s a great mom-of-a-friend too!

A few months ago, I did something really challenging. It brought me great stress and anxiety. A week later my mom was out of town at a little fabric and yarn shop (As she is a quilter, she was there for fabric – but knows how much I love yarn…) She decided to get me something while she was there. Knowing my mom, she probably went over every yarn in the shop to find the perfect one for me. And she did.

The next time she saw me, she brought me a bag containing the 6 most lovely skeins of Manos Del Uruguay Merino Silk Blend Yarn that I ever did see. They were soft and squishy and colours that I could easily put on any of the three kids or myself. She knows that I love this line of yarn because of the story (click here to learn more about the Manos Del Uruguay Project) and because they make lovely yarns. I have felt this particular yarn before but have never bought it because of the price and because I have such an awesome stash I usually can’t justify another yarn store purchase.

She also gave me a lovely note that told me that it was a gift not because it was a special occasion but rather just because she loves me and is proud of the person I am. She knew how much I needed to hear that right then and it made the gift a very special one.

It had the same copper as my daughter’s hair and would look lovely on her. On the other hand, it was a blend of colours that my boys often wear. I hit Ravelry that night to figure out what I could make with my present. I knew I wanted to start knitting with it right away. I was pretty excited to find out that she had bought enough for me to make myself a short sleeved sweater. It felt a little bit selfish to use it for myself and to devote a few months’ worth of my limited knitting time to a sweater for me when neither of my sons have hats that match their snowsuits and there were a few baby showers coming. But I chose to make myself my very own Tappan Zee (a pattern by Amy King) out of this amazing yarn anyways. And I don’t regret it at all!

I got gauge with sz 7 needles knitting flat, knit the size 42, and made a slight modification to the underarms to allow for the girls. I used up 5.5 sk or 275g of the yarn. I also made button holes all the way down – requiring 8 buttons. I did not do the chart repeat at the bottom but instead did the single lace row at 13 inches when the chart would have started (this paragraph really is just for my records!) I will likely make this sweater again as a pullover or mock cardigan with ¾ sleeves.

I was hoping to get this done in time for a family picture session this autumn but a teething toddler messed with too many evenings worth of knitting and too many nights worth of sleep. I finally finished the knitting last night and the buttons this morning. I love how it looks and it’s like hugging a cloud (well….a dry one.) Having said that, what I end up loving most about this sweater is that the whole time I worked with this beautiful yarn, I was reminded that my mom loves me, is proud of me, and understands what I was feeling.

You see, if she had saved this yarn until Christmas or my Birthday, it would have been the same yarn but it would not have been the same gift.