Writing the coat tales
Wednesday November 05th 2008, 9:07 am
Filed under: Family,Knit

Kaffe Fassett Big Diamonds coat(The colors are more subdued in real life.)

When my grandfather died in ’94, the coat that I wore the winter day of his funeral up in the Rocky Mountains was my Kaffe Fassett one, knitted in one strand of mohair with one of wool on size 5.5mm needles: in other words, it was dense and surprisingly warm, even with snow on the ground.  My feet, on the other hand, froze memorably.

I felt somehow like it wasn’t quite right, though, to wear that there. I just felt it called too much attention to itself at a solemn moment.   So not longer after, for the first time since I’d gotten married, I splurged on a new, more formal, long wool-and-cashmere charcoal-colored coat.  Gorgeous.  When it came, though, the sizing was generous.  Um, like, real generous in the sleeves–I’m short-armed to begin with.

My children are tall.  Returns are a major hassle.  I kept it.

My oldest went off to college, and at the first snow, she called and told us she had her electric blanket set to “Deep fat fry!”

Two years later, her brother was packing for his first semester at BYU too, and she was having far too much fun telling him just how cold he was going to be out there.  Heh.  I heard her, thought about it, and it was clear to me I should have done this two years sooner:

I had bought that long coat for all the wrong reasons. I had bought it to fit in with my husband’s co-workers at their Christmas parties.  Did I think it would be more impressive than my Kaffe Fassett?  I had bought it so as not to be loud come the day that my grandmother should pass away; I did wear it to her funeral two years after Grampa’s, where we were, again, standing in snow at the gravesite.   But my husband and I had run out of 90-something grandparents to have leave us; we were done with that need.

And what nobody could have foreseen was, the thing now drove me nuts: the bottom of it flapped and wrapped around my cane with each left-foot-forward step, now that I was using a cane post-accident.  When your balance depends on your muscular feedback, this is the equivalent of my coat trying to throw me down on the ground in rhythm with my gait. Tell me, do your clothes do wrestling moves on you?

So my daughter upgraded to a longer, nicer coat. She traded it back and forth later with her little sister’s navy peacoat, each as she saw the other needing whichever.

…And I am hanging onto the memory of being warm at Grampa’s funeral, because my Kaffe Fassett is going to have a large job to do at my older daughter’s house in Vermont.  The sleeves on this thing came out too long, and I’ve never gotten around to going back and fixing that.

My children are tall.

The housesitter’s got the keys, the flight’s leaving soon.  Baltimore first, here we come!

7 Comments so far
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Argh!! I just can’t wait any longer to see you!!!

Okay, fine, I’ll just be calm and wait. But it’s no fun, I tell ya.

Comment by Kristine 11.05.08 @ 9:25 am

Travel safely — you and your lovely coat both! 🙂

Comment by Jocelyn 11.05.08 @ 9:47 am

Another touching story. You raised good children, you know…

See you Saturday. Can’t wait.

Comment by Channon 11.05.08 @ 9:59 am

Have a wonderful, safe trip! Say Hi to Essex Junction for me – I lived there for about 17 years!

Comment by no-blog-rachel 11.05.08 @ 11:03 am

Well, the saying in Vermont regarding the weather is “Wait a minute and it will change.” The last couple of days have been near sweater weather. However, better to be safe and bring your beautiful warm, handknitted coat with you. I’ll get to see it :>)

Comment by Joansie 11.05.08 @ 11:28 am

I will see you in Vermont! I got the day off from work and am so looking forward to this! Have fun at Stitches East. Nan Kennedy, the Seacolors yarn lady, will be there as a vendor, so do look her up if you want to see her wonderful yarns up close and personal.

Comment by Paula 11.05.08 @ 11:29 am

Hoping to meet you at Stitches. Have a safe trip.

Comment by Laura 11.06.08 @ 9:35 am

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