"Courageous care partners recharge with self-care, striving for peaceful pinnacles
in patience, persistence, and positive 
changes, knowing when to conquer and when to comfort."

Your sweater is beautiful and beautifully finished. “Thank you” was all she said.

Dec 05, 2019 by Eileen Adler
The day began like most other days. I needed to go to the market; I have this thing about running out of milk and toilet paper. We all have something! While at the market, standing on one side of a tempting vegetable stand, I noticed a woman across from me wearing a drop-dead gorgeous sweater in a shade of turquoise that looked sensational on her. But what really attracted me was the way the sweater was finished. I knew it was handmade, but the finishing sent it off in another dimension. I complimented her and commented on what I observed. She thanked me, we carried on with our shopping, and I never saw her again.

I love to knit, and I adore finishing garments. Taking amorphous shaped pieces that slowly become something is magical for me. I know, many knitters dread the word in their pattern that says, “Finishing,” equal only to the word gauge, which I call the four-letter word in knitting. When I saw this sweater that was beautifully finished, I couldn’t help but compliment her, thinking she had both knitted it and finished it.

Knitters seem to find each other as if we are waving a banner that reads ‘here I am!’ It knits us together, to our past, present, and future. We share a common bond that literally knits our universe together. So, I was stunned when I received a phone call from Mary, the finisher at the local yarn store where I taught knitting lessons thanking me for complimenting her work. Her work? The woman never said a word; she just thanked me. Mary and I enjoyed a good laugh but all these years later, I still think about how Mary was short-changed. I knew nothing about this woman, whatever she was coping with, how she might have been struggling and was too engrossed to think beyond “thank you.” But I’m glad I said something. 


Whatever is causing your angst, grab a cup of coffee or tea and some yarn and needles and start knitting. Then find a friend who will help you finish your project and if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll finish it for you. We’ve got this . . . we are not alone.


Self-care Ritual: I think my most favorite aspect of knitting has nothing to do with knitting, but rather the collective self-care we provide for one another and knitting happens to be the glue. Frankly, anything you enjoy sharing with someone knits you together, it’s so unifying. The more diverse the patterns, yarn, needle sizes, the more enriched the conversation becomes. I believe that we are stronger together and that everyone, regardless of a preconceived notion of yourself, find a level playing field when we are together sharing a passion. Find yours.


P.S. Mary, if you are reading this, thank you for all the time we spent together sharing. Remember the time I asked you to help me shorten the sleeves on one of my sweaters? That’s another story.


You might enjoy knitting quick-knit Arm Lovies for your care receiver for a wonderful sensory gift. Arm Lovies are sleeves that help protect elbows from pressure points. For those with memory loss, adorn the top of the Arm Lovies with colorful buttons, ribbons, zippers, pockets, fringe, flaps with buttons, and flowers to make this an inviting fidget/sensory comfort arm lovey. Check out: https://www.knit-crochet-blog.com/twiddle-muffs-elderly/



Quick and Fast and Oh, so comfortable – Arm Lovies

This pattern begins at the top and decreases to the cuff.

This is how you wear it, but this is how you knit it – from the elbow to the cuff.




Materials: #4 machine washable and dryable knitting worsted weight yarn, lots of colors if desired. Yardage: 200 (250, 300, 350) yards

Needles: size US 6 (4mm) and size US 8 (5mm) needles

Notions: tapestry needle

Gauge: 16 sts + 20 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch Pattern

Sizes: small (medium, large, extra-large) - These arm lovies are intended to fit snuggly


Pattern notes:

Rib Stitch: even number of stitches and a multiple of four stitches  

All Rows: *k2, p2, repeat to the end of the row. Repeat Row 1 for Rib pattern


Stockinette Stitch: any number of stitches

Row 1 (RS): knit

Row 2 (WS): purl


Directions: Cast on 48 (52, 56, 60) stitches

Rows 1 to 12: *k2, p2* repeat to the end of the row.

Increase Row: (RS): *k8 (9, 10, 11) M1* repeat from * four times * ending with knit stitches until there are 52 (56, 60, 64) stitches  

WS Row: purl

Rows 3, 5, 7, and 9: knit

Rows 4, 6, 8, and 10: purl


Shaping Decrease Rows

Row 1: k1, SSK, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1

Rows 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10: purl

Rows 3, 5, 7, and 9: knit

Repeat these ten Shaping rows seven more times until there are 36 (40, 44, 48) stitches.

Continue in stockinette stitch (knit RS rows and purl WS rows) for ten more rows or to desired length with the finished length of 16” (16.5”, 17”, 17.5”). The Arm Lovey sleeve is completed from about 2” above the elbow to the cuff. For a thumb opening (see Finishing), add one more inch to the overall length. 

Last Row: bind off in pattern.

Finishing: Sew the seam and weave in ends. If the cuff is too tight, do not sew the seam all the way to cuff but leave it open. To create a thumb opening, sew the cuff for 1”, leave the next 1” open, and finish the seam to the top.

Pattern suggestions: add stripes or use all sorts of fun yarn to bring even more smiles. This is a great stash project – using up bits of yarn to create something practical and appreciated.