Gen the Genius

I am not the only knitter in my family. I know that seems incredible, considering how much of the knitter mojo landed on me, you would think it unlikely that there would be two of us in a family, and indeed…one had to marry in.


Here’s my brother Ian and his lovely bride Alison, enthusiastically modeling their presents from Alison’s mother, Genevieve. (Hi Gen!) Check it out my friends, what you have here are absolutely classic Canadian works of art, fresh off the knitters needles and born straight out of that infamous purveyor of all Canadian craftiness, Mary Maxim.

The astute among you will note that Ian’s sweater sports the logo for the Toronto Maple Leafs, his team of choice. (The astute will also notice that he’s also gripping a bottle of Canadian. It was a moment of national pride.) Perhaps you are thinking that this is a pretty good fan sweater. (If you are also thinking that my brother will likely wear this sweater every single day of his life until he dies and then asks to be buried in in you would also be right, but I digress.) If you were thinking that this was a good fan sweater, or even an excellent fan sweater, you would be a wrong.

This is the best fan sweater of all time. Why? What has Gen done to propel this sweater above all the other Hockey Logo sweaters knit in all of Canada? (I assure you that it is competing in a broad field. Hockey logo sweaters of all types enjoy a position of esteem that really isn’t proportionately related to the population of this country. I can’t explain it. Ask around, it’ll freak you out. ) Gen the Genius has done this.


Dude. Logos in armpits for cheering. I tell you. Ian is never taking this off.

91 thoughts on “Gen the Genius

  1. Gen is the Queen of Mary Maxim. I inherited a number of patterns for Mary Maxim sweaters from my Nanny when she died. Long live the picture sweater!

  2. Welcome back dear Harlot!
    I absolutely love Ian’s sweater! I was educated in St. Louis (Home of the Blues!) and so have an appreciation for the most rabid of all fans, Canadian Hocky Fanatics! But, since I have a daughter at UT Austin and we are playing for #1 in college football on New Year’s Day….How fast can I knit this with a Longhorn Logo, and won’t the horns kinda stick her in the armpits?:)
    Happy New Year!

  3. Bluddy brrrrilliant! Alison’s sweater is lovely also. (Could we get a close-up of that diamond pattern?) Such a talented family you have.

  4. Great sweater! Even if i’m a canucks fan rather than a Toronto fan. You know that sweater would be just as great in Red and White for July 1st!!! Go CANADA!
    PS: although no attention was brought to it, Alison’s sweater is lovely too!

  5. Coolest. Sweater. EVER. That’s knitterly love.
    (The change in Ian’s expression from one picture to the next is great, too.)

  6. *insert silence at unfathomable brilliance here*
    That is one of the coolest ideas ever. I see an (American) football sweater looming in my future.

  7. Wow, she sets the bar pretty high there. πŸ™‚ Very fun. Gonna make your brother some matching socks to go with that sweater? ‘Cos everyone loves intarsia… πŸ˜‰

  8. Hockey is that thing with the ding dong on ice, right? *flees*
    Rockin’ sweater. I sincerely hope there’s a full season of hockey during which he can enjoy the sweater, maple leaves in armpits and all!

  9. Excellent fan sweater! And Ian? So much cuter with hair.
    However, this much knitterly power in one family is bordering on an abomination of nature and potentially dangerous. In order to maintain the balance of the universe, one of you must jump ship and come and knit something for Me immediately.

  10. that is definitely an awesome sweater!
    and guess what? the vest fit!!!
    i did the happy dance when my grandma left
    i was so happy!
    and she loves it
    so yay!!!

  11. I hope that you had a very Happy Christmas, my dear Stephanie and all of my fellow knitters also.

  12. I am truly impressed. Here I am, struggling with circlarly-knit two-handed fairisle, which I’m supposed to cut in the middle, eventually. (I’m sure I will die of fear, when the time comes to cut the dreaded thing, which cost me a fortune in yarn). Also in progress is another circularly knit object which I am determined to accomplish without an actual pattern. I am following Elizabeth Zimmerman’s formula of percentages. That one will have to be cut in the middle as well. God help me, I don’t even own a sewing machine, so when the so-called tubes are done, I will search out a friend who can make the steek seams for me.
    I love both of Gen’s creations, but I must control myself. Already, I’m thinking of doing something with intarsia. Maybe I’ll just satisfy myself with swatching something. Keep it up, Steph. You really brighten my day. Congratulations, Gen, they’re spectacular.

  13. now that they are letting knitting needles back in the stadium maybe I need a team with a better logo (and that doesn’t keep changing it) and maybe a better record while you’re asking for things. Love the fan sweater

  14. That rocks! And I thought it was cool that I made two Cleveland Browns hats this Christmas, one with “There’s always next year, Cleveland!” on the orange band. *sigh* I am not worthy.
    I’m thinking of how to take that idea, though . . . It would work for the Red Wings, I think, if I could get a decent chart . . . πŸ˜‰

  15. Oh My God, my husband and daughter would freaking love that sweater, especially the logos in the pits. Got to find that pattern.

  16. “If you’re a crazy arsed Leafs fan,”
    Is there any other kind? No really πŸ˜‰ GO LEAFS! Hrmmm…that would be pretty cool for Team Canada too. It’s a shame I dont knit that fast, or I would so be making one up for the Olympics.

  17. A) Any sweater worn by an Ian is a good thing. (YS’s name)
    B) Any woman smart enough to think of cheering appropriate logos deserves a medal.
    C)Would it be cruel to adapt this idea to do logos in fuzzy yarns? πŸ™‚

  18. I love Allison’s scarf — it looks like a rayon chenille yarn I’ve used which is just gorgeous and silky. Plymouth makes a verson called “Sinsation”, but there’s another vendor that makes it as well. Anyway, what’s cool about it is the core of the yarn is wool, so you can felt it. And after felting, it has the most incredible texture.
    Way cool sweater, too. πŸ™‚

  19. Logos in the armpits! That’s pure genius!
    I’m not a Maple Leafs fan, but that is actually a very pretty blue/white design. (I am not really a fan of black and orange, and yet so many cities I’ve lived in have that color scheme for a perennial Halloween theme.)

  20. A clutch of well-made garments, deserving of knitterly pride. I’m trying to think of where I saw something like the hat recently – is that a “Jayne” hat?
    (My cardie from 2002 has UAB knitted at the armholes. For “ugh argh bleurgh”. Just thought I’d mention it.)

  21. Sooooooooooo awesome… If I can design a logo with the Sacramento Kings on it to go in the armpits, my husband might start knitting himself… (And at this point anything will help the Kings–even B.O. would be an improvement…) Excellent sweaters, oh relative of the Harlot…must be kismet to bring you both into proximity…excellent kismet.

  22. Brilliant!
    I’m seeing the next fan craze: The ‘Pits. ‘Pits Across Canada. ‘Pits Across America. True fans show it in their ‘Pits. There will be gratuitous ‘Pit waves at every game.
    And you know, it won’t be long before it filters into rock concerts…
    And then classical concerts, with favorite composers and performers intarsia-ed onto elbows/forearms…
    And it all started here. πŸ™‚

  23. Love the sweaters. I got the blue one … as a kit … for Christmas and I have taken time out from next year’s Christmas knitting! to start knitting this sweater. I am almost done the left front and loving the colour and design. I also got both of your books and am enjoying both … alternating reading from each. Didn’t know which one to start reading first so decided to read both at the same time! And in the New Year I plan to go back and read your blogs right from the beginning. You have a way with words that is wonderful. Have a Happy New Year … by the way, did you get all your Christmas knitting done or did some people get peculiar stick things attached to wooly bits in their parcels!

  24. What a great idea! I have to check Mary Maxims and see if they have a Red Wings pattern.. in several sizes (my husband, daughter, and youngest son are huge hockey fans.)
    I can remember laying on the couch with my grandmother, at age 3 or 4, watching the Leafs play hockey on the only channel we could get on TV in the Soo (Michigan).
    The year she died, the Wings won the Stanley Cup. I like to think she helped them along πŸ™‚

  25. Kris, blogbuddy, I like the iea for an FSU fan sweater, except that it needs to be a UF fan sweater (gators under the pits, ya know).
    Harlot, all I can say is, this woman truly loves this man. What a great present!!

  26. Boooooo Leafs! Great sweaters though. πŸ™‚
    [I have been toying with making some hockey sweaters… DH already has a Canucks one. In the US, this is unheard of. πŸ™‚ ]

  27. hubba…. hubba….
    The sweaters reminds me of one of the entries in your “Meditations–” book…the one about the bride knitting her betrothed a sweater and putting his initials in the engraving on the inside of the wedding band….Coincidentally, that was the one I turned to yesterday morning before I read your post…it’s a woo-woo thing…….

  28. Beautiful hockey sweater. The only gear I knit for husbeast is hockey related so I understand about the hockey sweater. Of course I haven’t knit one with logos in the armpits for cheering. Pure genius.

  29. I believe that Hank is doing the international hand gesture of Spiderman πŸ˜‰ I have a 4-year-old son, and I can recognize fellow web slingers anywhere.

  30. Being a Senators fan, I won’t hold the logo against Gen, or Ian for his misguided choice of teams. Work(wo)manship, creativity, and the love that goes into every stitch are what counts in knitting. Although I believe a Senators logo would look much sharper on that sweater… πŸ˜‰

  31. Can’t show my husband this…he will want one too. That’s definitely a FAN sweater. Love it! πŸ™‚

  32. This is truly awesome! I would love to knit one like it, but with the Habs’ logo. My older son, who is a Habs fanatic would love one, although he has never in the past shown any interest in hand-knit sweaters. We are Montreal ex-pats, living in Sydney, Australia, but he remains a hockey devotee. I looked through the MM website, but couldn’t find a pattern for any hockey logo. Could you possibly (!) point me in the right direction?

  33. I haven’t laughed so hard since the goat yarn thing. F*&%*) AWESOME! You tell her I said she ROCKS. πŸ™‚ (if she’s ok with the admiration of strangers)

  34. A design that truly understands the needs and actions of the user. Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, and that guy who designed the Honeywell thermostat would all be much impressed. (Oh – and I am, too.)

  35. Love the hockey sweater, logos and the surprise armpit flash! But what about the periwinkle cardi/sweater that Alison is wearing? Did Gen knit that too? Looks very roomy, warm and beautiful.

  36. What a shame that as a Leafs fan he won’t get to raise his arms that often. Great idea for fans of other teams.

  37. Seems you had quite the warm wooly Christmas in the Harlot household. Gen is a genius. It’s so incredibly clever. She saw the possibilities in armpits of a sweater. Next we’ll be knitting sentiments on the soles of socks for those times when you need to put your feet up but still make your feelings known. Or the underside of a collar; keep your neck warm and let the guy behind you know what you think. She’s opened the floodgates.
    Alison’s sweater looks warm and comfy and nice and long too. And little dude, Hank, he is almost too cute for words. Is that a Gen created hat he’s wearing or is that your handiwork?

  38. But, how can it be the best of all hockey logo sweaters if it’s a …. Leafs sweater?
    GO Sens GO!!!

  39. Strange moment….I was just scrolling through your blog (which I love) and I recognised Alison. I believe I worked with Alison at Cotton Ginny in Oakville Place when I was in high school. It is a very small world.
    Tell her Jill Thorp says HI!
    Happy holidays.

  40. Hello,
    Love the sweater! My son is a Toronto fan! Do you know where I can get a Montreal Canadian knitted pattern for a men’s sweater, for my husband.

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