"About 1925, the word sweatshirt came into the vocabulary.
were originally for athletes to wear while warming up, before or after
sports. The earliest sweatshirts were utilitarian gray pullovers."
Currently a peculiar shade of almost orange, the sweatshirt I wear the
most used to be a lovely deep red. Unless a bitter prairie wind takes
me by surprise, and I have forgotten my hat, I rarely use the hood.
Maple Lag, the rustic cross-country ski resort where we used to take
our kids every winter, is still clearly written in deep blue across the
front. The flocked letters, no longer fuzzy, lost their glory some time
shortly after my youngest daughter willed me her former treasure. A
relatively recent and purely unintentional encounter with an overly
generous measure of bleach is responsible for the unfortunate color
Like my Maple Lag hand-me-down, our favorite sweatshirts often carry
with them a special place we visited, teams we cheered, restaurants we
enjoyed, events we were a part of, camps and schools we attended--or
hope to attend. Shrugging on those sweatshirts, we remind ourselves and
show others, who we are, what we’ve done, and where we’ve been.
Once a deep green beauty, my prized sweatshirt dates back to when I
a camper at Camp Hochelaga on Lake Champlain in South Hero, Vermont.
Frequently worn back then over a damp bathing suit on cool summer
mornings and sometimes by campfires on chilly evenings, my Hochelaga
sweatshirt was a part of my cherished camp days. With frayed seams, a
ragged neck, and unraveling cuffs, age has rendered it out of practical
service. So although it still fits me, I’m afraid to wear it. Newer
models have been offered by the camp, but not one ever had the same
feel or look.
while back it did occur to me that I might knit a worthy substitute.
More than a decade ago at a reunion, I even purchased a camp patch for
a handmade replacement. And since then, many times I have downloaded my
perfect candidate, the Knit
Adult Hooded Sweater (pictured
left; click the name of the pattern to open details). Rated
"Easy", knit in
machine washable, soft Lion Cotton, and
designed with a comfortable
positive ease, it looks like a sweatshirt.
For all these reasons, this pattern continually ranks high on my
annual "to knit" list. But as it happens with a knitter’s best
urgent projects--gifts and community donations--usually take over. That
might have occurred again this year had I had not experienced a
springtime of knitting snags requiring much re-knitting and creating a
serious backlog of unfinished shawls and socks. A summery break was
needed. The time had finally come to knit myself back to Camp
Eight balls of Fern Green Lion Cotton were ordered. On the inside of
the first ball band I removed, compactly and clearly printed, was Knit
Adult Hooded Sweater pattern--a sure sign I was on the correct knitting
path. In Iowa City, Iowa, in June's deep greenness, starting out with a
twenty stitch swatch, a journey of a thousand miles began.
The back is done now, and half of the front, too. The hood, the
and the two sleeves will be finished soon. I'm no longer sure about
sewing on the camp patch I have saved all these years. Maybe this
sweater should be allowed to gather its own memories. Even without
flocked letters, an emblem, or logo, maybe one day this plain green
sweatshirt-like sweater will help remind me how summer here turns the
rolling hills of Southeast Iowa into a velvet patchwork of greens.
The Hooded Sweater pattern is also available in children’s sizes 4-12. Click
here for the pattern.
I eliminated the first 6 rows of stockinette before the ribbing on the
sweater’s bottom, the cuffs, the pocket.