At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Spotlight on: My Mom!

First, a few introductory comments about my mother. She is, to put it kindly, a bit of a nut. She believes terrorists are out to take over the Golden Gate Bridge (I blame this on CNN). She cannot stay in a hotel without cleaning the bathtub and toilet with Lysol. Every time I visit, she makes me drink some horrid brew concocted from Chinese herbs, designed to unplug blocked liver chi or reverse a stagnant spleen. (Is it my imagination, or have I been plucking more facial hairs since drinking the stuff?) All her eccentricities aside, she has been a stalwart supporter of mine throughout all sorts of misadventures--from disappointing love affairs, to workplace power struggles, to a late decision to return to medical school, thereby derailing my adult earning potential for another four years--and I love her dearly.

Mom learned to knit many years ago, when I was a grade-schooler, and knit the obligatory wooly muffler before setting the craft aside for 25 years. Last year I taught her the basics again, and she embarked on yet another scarf, a roll-brim hat, a pull-through neck cozy, and a rolled-edge pullover. Over the past year, since I've moved away for residency, we've had many mutually frustrating telephone conversations which usually begin something like, "Listen, what does SSK mean?" in which we decode knitting patterns and instructions. Last February, we attended Stitches West, where Mom took a workshop on attaining a good fit in knitted garments--she's a slender woman with a taste for designer knitwear--and left determined to make a fitted vest.

A trip to The Websters on a recent trip to Oregon yielded the perfect yarn--Manos de Uruguay in colorway #109, a lovely variegated blend of berry, moss green, and pumpkin. Mom then consulted Simply Beautiful Sweaters (click here for a review), altered a design for a flap-front vest, took careful measurements of a favorite sweater, and--tah dah! (Sorry, she absolutely refused to have her face appear in the photo.)

I think it looks wonderful. The photo shows the flap up, where it can be fastened with a nice pin. Mom chose a reversible double-moss stitch pattern which shows the varigation of the yarn off nicely. The fit is astonishingly good--the vest narrows at the waist, yet doesn't look tight. A real accomplishment, I think.

(I hope this means I'll be getting fewer pattern-related phone calls from now on....)

Please share your comments! If Enetation isn't working (I'm still fiddling with it), feel free to email me directly.