I talked with my Mom the other day, and she had read the blog about Joe's vest (April 17th post.) From the conversation I gleaned the following information:
1. Mom did not make the pattern changes herself. She is, and always has been, horrified at the idea of deviating from the pattern she is using. So, she suspects that when she was handed the yarn from the American Red Cross that she was also given this pattern. The pattern booklet that was probably purchased with the idea of making something else. She THINKS, but I will need to look at the vests and the patterns, that she knit the two vests for my Dad out of that booklet. Does anyone know or have that pattern? I'd love to have that along with the vest and the note from Aunt Ivadell.
2. Mom had been surprised that Joe had held on to this vest. She had a hard time imagining that it would have meant that much to him.
3. To her surprise, she remembered that my father is still clinging to 2 vests she knit for him in 1941. Dad's are, I understand, (I don't remember seeing them, but will certainly look the next time I am out there) sport weight and have cables. I wonder if one of those was made from the burgundy wool that seemed to be ubiquitous in my childhood knitting? Anyway, I have asked for the vests, to be kept with Joe's (probably in the freezer to protect from bugs until I come up with a better idea) when Dad no longer wants to hold on to them. She said that she asked Dad, the last time they put away winter clothes, if she could finally throw those two vests away. He said, "NO!"
4. Joe's vest was the first thing he had ever had that was knitted for him. There is something delightful in knowing that someone cherishes the work of your hands that much, don't you think? As an aside, I had asked my Dad once if his mother knit socks for his family (he was one of 9.) He looked horrified and responded, "NO! She didn't have the time for that!"
As to the burgundy wool I mentioned above, that is the yarn I learned to knit with. It was on a hank, sport weight, I believe I used size 2 needles. A long stockinette scarf. At about 8 years old, it felt like an eternity to knit on that! I don't remember binding off or wearing it, all I remember is knitting and knitting on it. Dad had a month long vacation each year, the year that I learned to knit I remember taking the knitting along on vacation and knitting while camping. That yarn was always available -- Mom didn't seem to run out of it. I remember winding it up into balls, one person held it and the other wound it into balls. I must have taken some of it with me when we got married, I found a small ball in the steamer trunk when we moved here. I think it is all gone now, but my, it was used for a lot! When I think of my earliest knitting, I think of that burgundy yarn. I still have the pink Boye needles I used when I learned too, even though I now use circulars for flat knitting.