Last night, while I was visiting Luis, his mum Katie produced one of his sweaters and asked if I could replace a broken button. I'm sure I can (you saw the button bin yesterday, the odds are excellent I can find another, or replace all four) and I packed it along home to do it. It's the cormo sweater I knit for him months ago
and he's still wearing it, wearing it enough that Katie really would like it to have the button fixed, which is a good sign. This morning I pulled it out of my bag and had a good look. The sweater looks very, very different now.
It's clean, but has stains from when Lou scooched along, hiking himself forward on his forearms over floors and carpets like a little commando going under the fence. It's a little pilled, from many, many washes, and the bib of the front is quite felted, from the wet of teething and the months of sliding himself along on his belly. This sweater looks very, very used, and Katie said that the button broke while he was sliding through the big yellow tube at the park, and that means he was wearing it at the park.
It's quite the worse for wear. Every time I see Lou he's wearing a handknit, and the way this sweater looks means that Katie isn't just sliding him into one when she hears me come up over her front steps, like the way you get out the tablecloth your aunt gave you when she comes to visit.
This sweater could only have gotten to look like this one way. Hard use. This sweater has obviously been played in, slept in, eaten in - and I'm so completely thrilled. I would rather see a handknit I made a kid that looks like this than something tucked away and never used because it's too precious. This is the exactly the role I want handknits to play in my family. Exactly this. A comfy, soft, ratty sweater.
I totally put a new button on. I hope he wears it to rags, and Katie, who helped this little sweater get like this? She can count on an endless supply.