Day 50. The mid-way point. Winter (or at least winter sweater) weather is half-over. Or, as the sweater-hating pessimists might say, "I am so sick of winter. Can't we just skip to May?" If we did that, of course, I'd be the odd duck who was wearing Fair Isle sweaters at the Memorial Day picnic (which, as I recall, might be more weather-appropriate than shorts and a t-shirt).
So, since this is sort of our midterm break, I thought it might be nice to reflect back on what we've accomplished so far, and then set goals for the remainder of the term. Actually, let's just cut to the chase and tell you what you really want to hear: the body count. As of this posting, 32 sweaters have drifted up to that great armoire in the sky. This number is somewhat misleading, however, because it does not take into account how many new candidates are just waiting in the wings for their chance at stardom. These newbies will just have to keep on waiting, however, because I've still got piles of chenille, boucle, and cowl necks that still need to put through their paces.
Just to be clear, I didn't create this blog because I wanted to cure myself of this sweater affliction. If anything, I've become an even greater fan of knitwear after spending almost two months living, breathing, and blogging sweaters. So when I say that I may have added a few sweaters to my collection this year, I don't feel that I need to hang my head in shame. I will say, however, that I am now a lot more judicious in my sweater purchases ("More judicious than buying five mock necks in all different colors? Impossible!"). If something irritates me in the dressing room, it is unlikely that it will make it as far as the register (that is assuming, of course, that I even bothered to try it on before I bought it...which is also something that I am getting better about, thank you very much).
I did slip and "accidentally" click on a lovely sweater from Boden--in three different (but all entirely essential) colors--but I don't think anyone truly expected me to go "cold turkey" on my multiples addiction. The sad thing is that I honestly didn't even make the connection until just now...it's as if buying sweaters in multiples from the Gap, Abercrombie, American Eagle, and the Limited is a crime, but it's absolutely acceptable behavior when one is shopping online or from a British catalogue. I maintain, however, that these crewnecks (in pink, orange, and a charming striped yellow) will never hurt me the way that those acrylic turtlenecks from New York & Company did. I will wear them three days in a row and never tire of that basic and classic crewneck style that Boden seems to favor every year. Uh oh...looks like I've already got fodder for that next sweater blog--coming Winter 2018.
But back to today's selection: a lovely pink cowl neck sweater from Express in a chenille blend that simply begs to be adored. In fact, I saved it for today because I remembered how cozy and cheerful it made me feel, and that seemed appropriate being that it is so close to Valentine's Day. If I were an archaeologist, I would put this sweater (and its 4 siblings!) somewhere around 2001. But this is the most attractive in the family--call it the Jeff Bridges, Dennis Quaid, Alec Baldwin, or Matt Dillon of this sweater dynasty.
Don't you wish your sweater was cozy like this?
Will this neck prove to be friend or foe?
Haven't you always wanted a bird's eye view of a cowl neck?
These bell sleeves toll for thee...
Do you remember when early favorite Chris Daughtry got eliminated from American Idol...who could forget that dark day, right? Everyone thought that he'd be the eventual winner and go on to meet the success that later befell household names like Lee DeWyze and Taylor Hicks (yikes...that's the second time I've picked on him here. Sorry. I think I did actually vote for him). Well, that didn't happen...but I guess things turned out okay for the balding rocker (as for other Idol also-rans...well, it's a good thing there are so many celebrity cooking/crafting/cartography reality shows).
I put this sweater into this category...I had nothing but high hopes for today. In fact, I almost felt a little bit decadent putting this wonderful sweater on...as in, what did I do that was so special to deserve the honor of wearing this beautiful "handknit" (according to the tag, anyway) cowl neck?
America voted, and this sweater's journey ends here. To begin with, it was short. Really short. Like, Julia Roberts' shirts in My Best Friend's Wedding short. Also...those sleeves. Oy, those sleeves. Not only were the bell-shaped, but they too were abbreviated...but not in a cute, 1960s manner. When the cowl neck is the least of your problems, you know that times are tough. Sure, the color is cute and I still like the style, but I only have two hands with which to tug, and they were in perpetual motion.
How could I have been so wrong? Either my memory is completely off, or something happened to this sweater after its trip to the dry cleaner. My Mom assures me that this fiber content (45% acrylic, 44% polyester, 11% wool) does not allow for shrinkage. (I'm just curious as to how they determined that it was exactly 44% polyester). But I'll get 4 more chances with this style...and none of them are in dry cleaning bags (because I really hate to disturb a sweater when it's in that packaging. Let it sleep, I say).
My rating: C. Thomas Howell. I'll admit it--I loved him. Deeply. Out of all of the "hunks" in The Outsiders (and there were many: Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez...need I go on?), I chose him. And I stuck with him--through good times (Secret Admirer was kind of fun) and bad (Soul Man...actually, I think that's where I lost him). But sometimes your memory of someone is better than the actuality of that person. Were I to go back and watch The Outsiders again, (on my VHS, DVD, or Special Edition DVD), I'm guessing that my affections might switch to another. While I'd like to honor Johnny's wishes and "Stay gold, Ponyboy," I'm afraid that this sweater just didn't live up to my memory of it, and although I want nothing but the best for Mr. Howell, his affinity for straight-to-DVD shlock horror films (not to mention his cringe-worthy, albeit victorious, performance on the celebrity magic show, Celebracadabra) have further convinced me that gold, like my love for him, is "Nature's hardest hue to hold," (and, yes, I memorized that poem...that's how much I loved him).
Author's note: Since I've, ahem, gotten a little bit behind on my sweaters, I decided to revisit a few of them, and remind myself just what got them eliminated (or reinstated) 'lo those many days (weeks) ago. I chose to wear this particular sweater today because I did not trust my initial reaction to it back in February. How could this beautiful pink sweater (that I have actually worn on my birthday because I thought it was so cheerful) cause anything other than pure jubilation? And how was it possible (spoiler alert) that its siblings seemed to fit so nicely, while this one resulted in a case of severe tugging and adjusting?
Well, I don't always trust my initial instincts (as legend has it, I told my Mom that the witch in Snow White was nice because "She gave her an apple."), in this case, I was correct. The neck is nice when peeking out of a coat, but that's about the extent of the praise for this chenille wonder. Snow White had a happy ending (even though that Prince was kind of a stiff, if you ask me), but there will be no royalty coming for this sweater. Back it goes into the donation pile. The end.