If you have been knitting in this country for any amount of time, you will be well familiar with the name Sally Melville.
An accomplished designer, a sought after teacher, a prolific author, (not to mention- a Canadian!), this woman is known around the world for her work in the hand knitting industry.
One of her more recent patterns, Margaret’s Gift, has a special story to accompany it, and is the subject of our latest contest. So read on to learn the story of the sweater, and how you have a chance to win everything that you need to knit one.
Sally’s friend Susanna is the owner of the gorgeous painting that you see pictured below. While Sally was admiring it one day, she said to her friend “We should knit that sweater!” Susanna agreed to the challenge, but it was when the yarn shop 88 Stitches, in Langley BC sent out a note on Ravelry, challenging knitters to knit something by a Canadian designer, Sally immediately thought of the painting.
Upon studying the painting, Sally noted how clear the details of the sweater pictured were. Such perfect stitch definition! She concluded that the artist either had to have been a knitter, or the sweater actually existed in real life- or both!
In order to get the full story (and permission to write a pattern for the sweater), Sally emailed the painter, Steven Rhude, and inquired. Turns out, the sweater did in fact exist. Steven’s mother Margaret knit it for his father in the 50’s. Steven wore it while attending art school in Florence, then lent it to a friend who was hitchhiking through Germany. It was then brought back to Canada, where his wife wore it so that he could paint the evocative image that you see above. The sweater was eventually lost in a clothing drive, but Steven has hopes that whoever owns it now, is warm!
Sally searched for a pattern, but was unable to find one, and Steven seemed to feel as though his mother “Just went for it” while knitting. Given that Canada did not even have it’s official flag at the time the sweater was knit, this was a truly impressive feat, if in fact it were true! Steven suggested to Sally that she do the same, which is exactly what she did; ‘actualizing’ the pattern that you see today- the product of her Canada 150 Challenge!
And while this could be considered a very happy ending, the story continues! (Hint: it gets happier!) Once Sally had posted the completed pattern onto Ravelry, a woman contacted her to to tell her that her mother had also knit the sweater for her father. Her father’s version had a hood, but it was seemingly the same sweater. So perhaps there was a pattern after all? The woman was so thrilled to discover that someone had re-released the pattern! Which leaves us wondering, has she knit an updated version yet?
For a chance to win the pattern Margaret’s Gift, the appropriate needles, and the Cascade Eco Yarn required to complete an adult large version of the sweater, simply tell us on our Facebook post about a fond memory you have of a sweater from your past. And it doesn’t have to be hand knit! (But it certainly doesn’t hurt if it is). On Monday, August 14th we will randomly select two lucky winners, and contact them through our Facebook page. Contest open to Canadian residents only please.
Wishing you all the best of luck!
Happy knitting everyone.