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My stepfather passed along to me a couple of garments my grandmother knitted for my mother: the  scarlet coat above and the bright red cardigan below.

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My grandmother was an extremely good knitter. She used the same pattern all the time: a raglan sweater calculated mathematically in a leaflet she had, like the Knitter’s Handy Book series. She also liked bright colors.

My mother did not. She wore colors like brown, khaki, navy blue, and perhaps in some moment of utter wildness a dark green. She probably never wore either of these gorgeous things which my grandmother spent so many loving hours making.

My grandmother famously refused to make anything in dark colors, though we have a couple of blue sweaters she made.

Check out the handmade buttons, the neck binding, the beautiful hems, the coat’s lining, the beautifully constructed pockets.

I don’t make the same pattern over and over, but #1 son was saying, when we happened to talk about it recently, that my grandmother chose to hone her craft by repeating the one pattern. Clearly, he’s right.