Finished Objects

A sweater filled with emotions – my Magnolia


The thrill of the cast-on

I have to admit, I felt really intimidated to start this project. All the sweaters and accessories in Laine Magazine looked so beautiful to me, that I was sure they would require some sort of a super skill to make – even though I read and reread the pattern several times and knew for sure that I new all the techniques required. Still, just casting the project on was really exciting, and I felt so thrilled when I admired the beautiful neckline.

It was the summer of 2018. I had just started in a new job, so I was full of excitement towards that, but also really happy about having negotiated a proper vacation for me and therefore having the time and the space in my head to knit.

I did the cast on on our balcony, enjoying the sun and the warmth. At first knitting with two strands held together felt a bit strange, but already after couple of rows it started to feel natural, and after few inches I didn’t even notice I had two strands instead of just one in my hand. Once I got over the self-doubt over my abilities as a knitter, the yarn really started to flow, and the project just became very hard to put down – the knitting was simply so enjoyable.

Blood, sweat and tears

The memories I have stitched into my Magnolia include knitting on the beach of a small town in Normandy called Trouville, where my husband and I spent a week that summer. My grandmother from my mother’s side used to live in that village, and I spent couple of summers there when I was I child. So for me it was a trip down memory lane as well as a vacation in France. I took the project with me to the beautiful beach that the village is actually famous for, and I was for sure the only person knitting there (perhaps ever)!

Even though we had a great time enjoying “la reine des plages”, e-biking up and down the coastline and celebrating France winning the Football World Championships, the trip includes also some memories of a darker shade. My husband’s grandmother passed away while we were there, and we also got to experience a visit to a French emergency room (for just few stitches, thankfully). So yes – my Magnolia literally carries blood, sweat and tears in it.

I finished my Magnolia at my family’s summer cottage in Ostrobothnia, Finland. It’s a really rustic place, where the time has stopped to the 1960’s – we don’t even have running water there. So it’s a perfect place to truly relax and focus on the simple joys of life, like knitting. It’s really my Happy Place, where I tend to imagine myself when I’m stressed, tired or just down.

The weather was unusually warm almost for the whole summer (way too hot, some would say), and unlike during “normal” summers, you could just take your clothes off and dive into the sea when you needed a refreshing swim (normally I only swim there from sauna, because the water and the weather are often waayyy too cold for me). The sense of hurry and stress were just lightyears away. I knitted the lace pattern like a maniac for hours by the waterline, waiting for a cool breeze to come and hoping that I won’t ruin the sweater by sweating so much. And I had just the best time.

A meaningful garment

So even though it’s a sweater made of wool yarn, I always think my Magnolia wants to feel the sun, and therefore it’s not necessarily something you would wear on those dark, polar night months we have in Finland. My Magnolia is made for sunny but crisp autumn days, when you want something light but warm around you – and really feel all those wonderful memories knitted into it.

I believe it’s safe to say that my Magnolia is definitely one of the most precious pieces of garment I’ve ever owned, and I hope that it will be with me for the rest of my life.

Unblocked but already so beautiful.

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