Tonight I finished my sister's Christmas gift. Last year she borrowed a sweater I made years ago for a party, making the comment "You know, you could make me one of these". For my sister to say those words was indescribable. It was a few days before Christmas and I already had her presents wrapped and in place, but I knew I had to make it for her this year.
The sweater itself is not a difficult pattern. It's done in 2x2 rib and theres no shaping whatsoever, and a ribbon around the shoulders holds it up. (I don't suppose you remember Tempting from Knitty? That's the one!) My sister has borrowed and worn it as much as I have worn it, mainly because I rarely have an event that I can wear an off-the-shoulder sweater to.
So why is this so remarkable? you may ask. It stems from our childhood. My mother sews, and she used to make us clothes all the time. I never minded wearing them, proudly displaying my mother's handiwork even though it might not look all that professional. But my sister, when she was around 10 or so, asked my mom to stop. I guess she was more fashion-conscious than I, which wouldn't surprise me. People tend to think she's the older sister, even to this day.
She's always been my biggest critic, but as my knitting skills grew I heard less criticism from her and more praise. And borrowing my sweater was part of that affirmation that she appreciates my work. I never thought to make her one of her own until she mentioned it last year.
My sister has long forgotten that conversation about my sweater, and that works just fine for me. When it came time to buy yarn, I got Knit Picks' Comfy Worsted in black. It's incredible. The pima cotton is going to be fantastic for her sensitive skin, and the acrylic means it won't shrink in the wash. In fact hers is softer than mine - think she'll notice if I switch them? Just kidding.
I honestly have never had a sweater recipient be ungrateful, although I know that's the stereotype. Maybe it's because I don't make ugly sweaters. And I cannot wait for Christmas morning for my sister to open hers!!