what's old is new

A few months ago my mother dug a box out of the attic filled with hand-knit sweaters made for me and my brother when we were wee ones. The majority were knit by my Grandma Shirley. Shirley was married to Harvey Bernstein, who lends his name to our darling boy. So you can imagine that Great-Grandma might be pleased as punch to see this photo:

Harvey in a 28-year-old sweater

a classic look

A visual reverse-engineering tells me this is a "surprise sweater" of the Zimmerman variety, though the detailing is much more impressive than any lazy-ass surprise sweater I had planned to make. Why all those cables are passed in back rather than in front I'll never know. An extra labor of love, perhaps.

Upon seeing the photo my mother sent this blessing-dash-warning:

That sweater was always one of my favorites. Jake wore it all the time. take good care of it (no washing machine)

Good advice! Knitters everywhere take heed - do not put your hand knit wool sweaters in the washing machine.

But beyond that, what does it mean to take good care of a sweater? I would posit that the right way isn't to handle it with kit gloves like it's on auction at Christi's. No matter how vintage it is.

As a knitter myself, there's one thing I fear about every project. Not that it'll come out bungled or I'll run out of the right color yarn (although on my budget that's always a concern.) My fear is that it won't be worn. Hours lovingly poured into a project stitch by stitch, only to know that it gets thrown in a drawer or an attic box, sitting unused for years.

So I say this to all future wearers of my sweaters in all generations to come: wear with abandon! Roll in the leaves. Spill your soup. Wrestle with the dog and pull at a thread or two. When it comes time to wash the thing, of course have momma use some cold water and re-block it on a flat surface. But when it's dry again, take it out to play. And hopefully, when the sweater is good and destroyed, there'll be someone new with a set of needles ready to nock out another one. She may not do the button-hole edging in popcorn stitch, and she might pass all the cables in front, but for the love of God no one in their right mind is going to notice.

harvey in a 28-year-old sweater, smiling

feeling warm and fuzzy

Alls I ask is that you take a picture. In digital. It'll last longer.


new month, new look

You may have noticed that we've changed things up a little here at the squibix family blog; more so even than when we replaced the green look with those cute snowmen a couple months ago. This time it's not only a new look, it's new functionality (that means stuff that does stuff) as well! Read on for some details (unless you only take in our content via RSS reader; in that case, go enjoy your coffee or whatever).

After a couple years menu-less, the menus have returned to the left-hand side. I asked Leah if she wanted the blog to look more spacious and zen, and she replied in the extreme negative—something about wasted space and not having anywhere to focus on the page. I compromised by making the menus fold up, so they don't take up too much attention-space if you don't want to look at them. Since I'm the spiritual head of the household, you'll notice they start out folded.

We also added tags, which were all the rage some three-four years ago. We wanted to make sure they had legs, you know. We've gone back and tagged about a year's worth of posts; the tagging work will continue, if only because we get a kick out of reading our old material.

Finally, there's now an archive, for the historically-minded reader. I particularly recommend the full page of calendars, because the principal reason I ever write in this blog is to fill up the little numbers with links. I also am prouder of that calendar code than anything else I've ever written.

Of course, as with any new software project, there are bound to be issues: what are known colloquially, in the business, as "bugs". Some of them we even know about, but didn't bother to fix quite yet: for example, Leah doesn't really like the tree drawing on the masthead. I promised to make her a better one, but I couldn't deny you the opportunity to read our twitter posts in the sidebar for the time that would take. So, later. Others we might not notice unless you tell us, so please don't hesitate to offer your feedback.

I know, with all that don't I sound like this is a real important blog, like people are reading?! Hi mom, hi Oona! Still, I had fun putting all this new stuff together, so I get to talk about it a little bit. I hope you enjoy!