Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Joe's Vest

My Uncle Joe served in the Air Force in Cerignola Italy in World War 2. He wrote home that winter that he was never warm. My Mother hadn't met him in 1943-44, but as people were encouraged to knit for service-people, she asked for the yarn and knit this and sent it to him. He was thrilled to get it. He kept it and wore it the rest of his life.

Around Christmas his wife, my Aunt Ivadell, asked if I would like it. Of course I said "Yes!" It came in the mail this weekend while we are away. A good friend picked it up from our front porch and kept it safely for us.

The vest has been washed and worn enough that it is slightly felted. The dye has shifted, as you can see by the picture. The collar is still the original khaki on the exposed side, but the inside and bindoff have turned brown. When I first looked at it, I wondered if it had faded in the sun, but it has happened on both sides.

Hm, Mom, I just looked at the booklet you told me that you had used during the war, and I don't see this pattern! The only thing I can think of is that you took a long-sleeved sweater pattern and made it a vest because you didn't have enough yarn. Correct? The booklet is "Minerva -- Hand Knits for Men in the Service" with a copyright of 1942.

Ivadell's note says in part, "I'm glad for you to have it as a memory of two dear people, Mary Ann and Joe."


Serena said...

Very, very cool. Uncle Joe was such a huge part of my growing up, it's really neat to have the sweater Grandma knit for him in the family.

AlisonH said...

Wow. Brings back memories of the sweater my mom knit her dad that he wore the rest of his life, too. Very cool that you got that given to you.