I keep one remnant of my high school wardrobe, partly because it still fits, but more so because it was handmade with love by my Sweet Mama. More than 35 years ago, she knit the V-neck sweater vest with love and variegated yarn in 1970s rusty orange and muted green earth tones. It’s slightly nubby now, but still fashion forward in a handmade vintage couture way. And I still wear it.
Mama knit sweaters all right, pullovers and cardigans, along with scarves, hats, and mittens, and even blankets and doll clothes. And from about the late 1970s onward she started sewing “Made with Love by Mama” labels inside the necklines of the garments.
I still have other sweaters that she made me — a navy blue and white acrylic number that fit when I was 4, and several styles from the 1980s. These sweaters I no longer wear, whether for fit or fashion, but I keep them anyway.
Because all these knit creations, both the one I wear and the others I don’t, are sacred garments. They remind me of the mother I loved and still miss, with a dozen years gone since she passed.