Mum’s Big Woolly

April 13, 2018

I suppose when we look back at how we begin new ventures or hobbies, we often find there’s a subtle, subconscious influence which has guided us to that point.  Sometimes it is hiding in plain sight.

For me that influence is this big blue woolly jumper!  Yes there I am again in it – in fact it is rarely off me in the colder months. It also features down there at the bottom of the page, one of my humble doodles, which will probably act as my signature throughout the following posts I hope to throw out there.  My wee homage you could say to this creation!  I want to say a massive thank you to the lovely Katie at The Picture Patch Ltd for taking some of the beautiful photographs so far (the one of me in black and white up at the top of the page and in my first post and ‘about me ‘ page).  They really do justice to the colour and stitch definition of the jumper.  Check out her website, she is such a talent.

I have a strong bond with this piece of clothing as believe it or not my mum knitted it for herself when she was 21 years of age.  My mum is now 77, so that makes this jumper 56 years old.  Vintage it certainly is!  However for me there is so much more significance.

Mum (on the right) in what might be her woolly!

There are the obvious reasons of course. The beautiful thick wool, knitted into a drop-stitch stocking stitch pattern, accompanied by the vibrancy of a rich deep blue colour. Not forgetting to mention my mum’s knitting skills.  Although some fading round the collar, the stitches have barely fraid in all these years – only minor patch ups required here and there which have enabled it to continue on its long journey.  A journey that has seen it travel through time.  Being present through all our births (there are four of us girls!), and of course accompanying me to University, from my Welsh home to my new one here in Teesside 24 years ago.  There is real history in its fibres.

Most importantly for me though, this adorable hunk of a jumper connects me to my mother.  Each time I wear it, I feel my mother’s arms around me.  The most comforting hug, even though she is 300 miles away.   When family aren’t near, I believe connections like these are vital for keeping those we love close to our hearts.  A photograph enables us to see a person… object enables us to feel them.

So perhaps then, my first knitting project two and a half years ago was always going to be a big woolly jumper.  This time for my lucky husband…..and it’s big and orange!  Not sure if it will last 56 years, but you never know.  As for Mum’s Big Woolly, well the story continues.  Just a couple of months ago, an amazing chance sighting of the original pattern on Ebay caught my eye. I jumped on the chance to purchase it and now I have the very instructions to reproduce a modern day big woolly like my mum’s. I look forward to sharing that project when I eventually get started.  Until then, keep your special items within arms reach…..feeling woolly with you.


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  1. My first knitting project was a jumper too… had A-ha written on the front and used 7 balls of wool simultaneously. Seriously cool (at the time!). Ah! it brings back memories of my youth, if only I’d kept it….they’re touring again in June I could have worn it again (or perhaps it would be a tad small for me these days!) Happy memories in a few balls of Wendy double knit!

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