Friday, November 4, 2016

Chunky for Winter . . . . . . . . . .

Have you noticed the amazing choice of sweaters around for this
autumn. . . . .and for the coming winter months?
Hefty but soft and drapey come to mind - and coziness and 
comfort can't be denied from the way these cuddly beauties look.

I grew up in England and we called our sweaters 'jumpers'.
Every British child had at least one jumper - often hand-knitted
by mum or grandma. Even when school uniform was everyday 
dress, it usually included a v-neck, snug fitting, fine wool jumper,
worn over a white blouse/shirt with a school tie for both girls and boys.
 Remember there was no such thing as a school building with central
 heating back then in the fifties! A coal burning stove around which we
 warmed our hands after outdoor playtime was about it when I was in
 elementary school.
Winter could be cold even where I lived in the south - how
those up north managed to hold a pen to write their essays
in freezing classrooms is beyond imagination.
During inclement weather we were not 'babied'. Teachers shooed
 us out into cold, often rain-soaked, playgrounds at playtime to 
gasp fresh air and do rudimentary exercise such as a game of
tag whilst sloshing through puddles. Needless to say, footwear in
 winter often included rubber 'wellies', the basic rubber Wellington
 boots. . . . . . . not elegant Hunter boots seen more as a fashion
 statement these days.
Yes, growing up in what was definitely a more Spartan lifestyle
was tough at times - but we had no idea it could have been
any different. To be honest it was fine, made stronger
people out of us I believe. . . . . . . . and I have no regrets, 
having loved every minute of childhood and school days 
no matter the weather.

Do you knit?
If so, can you share any good pattern sources for chunky jumpers please?

I used to be good knitter as a teen, making many sweaters and cardigans. 
Now I'm getting a bit tired of knitting only scarves while watching TV - perhaps
 I need to get the jumbo needles out and try my hand at something chunky
 while enjoying cozy evenings by the fireplace later.


  1. I haven't knitted for years, but you have whetted my appetite Mary - a bit of knitting during the winter months could be fun, and chunky even better.
    Love your childhood memories - I recall the wonderful window frost patterns - flowers, and leaves - a magical world etched all over the bedroom windows - it must have been freezing in the room to do that, but I was cosy under my blankets and quilt.

    1. Gosh Rosemary, I too recall how cold it was IN the house on those freezing mornings! We had a regular fireplace in the sitting room, burning it in the evenings, and just a tiny electric fire which we used in the kitchen - holding undies in front of it to warm up before putting on!!!
      Yes, the inside of the bedroom windows were ice covered and so pretty - they faced north toward Dartmoor and I could just see the highest points such as Haytor. We had those heavy Australian wool blankets, in fact so heavy it was hard to turn over! It was miserably cold some mornings, but we survived, haha!

  2. You have just taken me back to my infant schooldays Mary ..... I have photographs of mr in my handknitted cardigan and my shirt collar was always skew whiff !!!!! Your blog layout looks AMAZING ! XXXX

    1. Thanks Jackie. We do have great memories don't we. For me, England in the fifties was a magical place to be a child - and much of it was thanks to our loving, hard working parents following the war years. We had little in the way of material things but a whole lot of everything else required for a wonderful life!

  3. Grandma used to say..'Put another woolly on if you are cold!' My infant school had a big stove and I remember the warmth from it as we went in.

    1. Oh yes B, I recall them being called woollies too! Of course we really only had pure wool to knit with in those days, no manmade yarns. I remember how the wet jumpers smelled hanging up to dry after mum hand washed them and put them through the wringer -
      they took days when the weather was bad and we couldn't hang them outside.

  4. Dear Nary, Just the other day I was thinking of how good knitting needles feel in ones hands. I used to knit a lot, even gave a fashion show at the Hilton Hotel of my knitted and crocheted bikinis and evening wear.
    I was taught by a spinster school teacher who insisted that we not put knots into socks because it would irritate the soldiers marching. No one was marching anymore, thank goodness, the war was over.

  5. I enjoyed your reminiscing in this post Mary. How times have changed! I'm not a knitter but my older sister knitted a lot of sweaters for me over the years and probably hundreds for others. I like a nice cozy sweater and turtle necks to keep me warm when I go out to town or visiting, but only wear sweatshirts around the house. Our schools had central heating but it was cold so we wore sweaters and cardigans with our dresses and blouses. And we didn't wear uniforms so could wear whatever we wanted. I remember we couldn't wear pants to school until I was into my teen years of high school when we were allowed to wear pants, but not jeans. How times have changed. Of course I am most comfortable in a pair of jeans every single day! Have a lovely weekend. xx Pam

  6. Those sweaters are lovely. I only know basic knitting and have not knit for years. I grew up in Michigan and it was COLD in the winter. At home we had an oil furnace and a fireplace. I can remember in the middle of the night sometimes we would run out of oil. Our parents would wake us up, bring us downstairs by the fireplace and we would sleep in sleeping bags on the floor in front of the fire until the oil could be filled the next day. Miss your visits, Mary. You have missed some exciting news of mine. Hope to see you at my blog soon. Maybe you are not getting the emails again?

  7. Oh Mary, I love those sweaters. I looked once for chunky yarns and they were very expensive. But, oh how beautiful would those sweaters be. I taught myself to knit, but it has been so long, I've forgotten how.

  8. I, too, enjoyed your reminiscing here, Mary! My mother was a knitter, and she also crocheted...but I don't. The great thing about this time of year is snuggling with my cat, sipping a hot chocolate in the evening while doing crossword puzzles and watching TV. I love the Polar wear sweaters, as I cannot wear wool, it makes me itch. Thank you so much for sharing and for bringing back some wonderful childhood memories.

  9. I can only knit in straight lines, having never mastered turning a corner, so I knit blankets, which are lovely on a chilly evening when I'm too mean to turn on the heating.

  10. Hi Mary, yes I remember back in the day the itchy jumper knitted by Grandma that was a thing to be avoided at all costs :) Now, I am sitting here reading your post and commenting with an oversized jumper on and loving the warmth and relaxation it gives me. All warm and cozy. Have a wonderful weekend my lovely xx

  11. You help me know what to be looking for in fashion. I love it. Love chunky sweaters too. Have fun if you pick up the knitting needles. I never ended up grasping knitting, as each time I started to learn I knit too tight and got little tiny things.

  12. Yes, go chunky all the way, my dear Mary! :)

    Your childhood really does sound ideal. Dreamy. So glad for you.

    You know, I remember schools even in the 80's that did not have heat! Crazy. And yes, I had a jumper as part of the school uniform but it really was not warm enough so I wore my school blazer around all the time, even at home! We could see our breath in our home. Same thing with my sister's current place, actually. haha.


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