December 12, 2008


When I was a little girl, little girls wore wool cover shorts.  Everyone did.  And almost everyone hated them, was ashamed to have them on her bottom.  I, too, loathed them.  They itch.  They are too thick, too padded (though were knit with fine fingering yarn.)  They seemed to be the symbol of obedience, the focal point on those endless battle against THEM - parents, elders, authorities (of course, I didn't aware of that word at that time).

And now, thirty-some years later, I knit this;
Slide-a-go-go on Stitch frontSlide-a-go-go on Stitch back
Pattern; my own.  Trace my daughter's panties on a paper, measure it, and knit a little bigger.
Yarn; Kanebo Cattleya (207m/50g, 50% wool, 50% nylon) in brown(271), pink(280), white(201)
Needles; JP 2 (2.70mm) DPNs

I am pretty satisfied with the finished garment, but feel complicated about telling my daughter to put them on.  For now, she doesn't care.  She doesn't like them as socks, but treat them just like socks - doesn't put them on until the last minute before going to a playground, and takes  them off the moment she comes back home on a warmer day, but not so quick on a colder day.
I am afraid, and waiting for her to say "NO, mom, I do NOT wear them.  I hate them."  This is a kind of a tradition.  We have to pass it on to younger generation, no matter how they don't want it.  And when the time comes, they will give it to their own offsprings.  And we laugh together.  In order to laugh later, I have to bear the coming rejection.

About the needles, I felt a little nostalgic and had decided to use 5 DPNs to knit round.  And asked my mother for an instruction.  She told me to use a piece of paper (often it was a re-used wrapping paper) to transfer the targeted size ("pair of panties or pants, anything does").  I asked some gauge-related questions, how thick the yarn was, how many stitches she usually casted on, something like that.  Her answer was, "Ah, I machine-knit them, you know, so the gauge was never off.  I don't really remember the exact thickness of the yarn.. something with nylon, it's sure.  I just knit three or four pairs in one day, and grafted the crotches on the next day."
I felt I looked for "a traditional granma's pie recipe" and ended up making a medieval lard-rich savory pastry using a wood-fire oven.

It took longer than I first intended, set aside while I was busy on Christmas knitting.  I showed the finished one to my mom.  On the first look, she said "This crotch is too wide."  Just that.

Really.  Thank you.  Now I'm determined to make another, a better one.

Talking of what I didn't like, I didn't like socks, neither, when I was a little girl. They were always too toasty. I didn't like hats, neither. They were too itchy, even if it were made of cotton. I didn't hate mittens or gloves, but I just couldn't find them when I wanted them. It was OK, I had always pockets on my jacket.  And, I thought all the wool was itchy.



Rach said...

Wow, wool cover shorts are 'Kei-pan', aren't they? They reminds me of my childhood...

BTW, thanks for leaving a wonderful comment on my blog.
Plus, I'm SO sorry that I didn't say to you, "Welcome home!" in July. I'm really looking forward to talking to you both on the web and in person.
I can't wait to see you & your lovely daughter! Take care.

O'Chica said...

Rach, yes, that's it. 'Kei-pan'.. pronounced more like 'Keh-pan', right?

As a knitting project, it's very soothing. Round after round of stockinette stitches, simple decreases, just a bit of excitement with Kitchner stitching at last.
As a garment, I still can't ... uh, make myself comfortable in them.