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Thank you to all those 'hip' folks for bringing back what has been described as ugly Holiday sweaters. There have been a variety of photo displays in various media showing these fine creations. It appears that the 14 and 15-year-old crowd has decided to wear them to school on "Ugly Sweater Day".

My memory bank is tuned into images of my mother, my aunts and my grandmothers. I can imagine them sitting around the kitchen table, or sewing room or in front of the wood burning stove. I expect that they would be talking and putting these sweaters together -- knitting, sewing, crocheting, darning -- all talking at once about their creations. They would talk about cooking and family recipes and Holiday meals. Family memories would be spun and strengthened like a strong Christmas stew. Younger women would be learning the craft of assembling these classic, long-lasting winter garments.

These festive and sometimes whimsical sweaters were many times a masterpiece of craftsmanship, handed out as special gifts to special people. They were "presents from the heart".

It concerns me greatly that this art form and lengthy assembly has been somewhat ridiculed by calling them 'Ugly". I see nothing ugly in them. I see love and age-old craftsmanship being on display.

Let's start a grassroots campaign to rename these as "Classic Sweaters" or "Vintage Holiday Attire". Let's not diminish the skills and love with which they were originally assembled and presented. It is nice to see them being worn and used. No matter what you call them. Let's keep them from disappearing from our wardrobes.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I do appreciate the love and attention that went (4+ / 0-)

    into them.  My grandma made afghans* instead of sweaters, but the color schemes were similar.  But all the love in the world couldn't make them any less scary, aesthetically speaking.  At least the afghans weren't seen outside of our rooms (and they were really warm and snuggly).

    * Remember when that word called to mind crocheted coverlets, or maybe long-haired dogs?  it was a simpler time...

  •  The Majority (6+ / 0-)

    Of these sweaters being worn are 1) being purchased at thrift stores and tag sales, so are being recycled, which is better than being added to a landfill and 2) rarely hand made, but are much more likely to be from KMart or Walmart in the 80s to early 90s. I actually run a vintage clothing store and pass on buying these sweaters when I'm buying, as they don't really fit the vintage criteria and those that want to buy them for these parties rarely want to spend more than $10.....but I can promise these are mass marketed, off the rack sweaters. "Ugly" of course is in the eye of the beholder!

    "I'll tell you, if there's anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman. S.T.A.U.N.C.H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling 'ya!". Little Edie

    by vintage dem on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 06:34:53 PM PST

    •  Yeah, I don't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, vintage dem

      pay that much attention to these trends, but when I have seen stories about it, the clear majority are mass-market, some seriously ugly, sweaters. If anything does look handmade, it's the ugly puff paint sweatshirts that got made back in the 90s.

      Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

      by Debby on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 07:55:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have an ugly sweater that I love (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Debby, ichibon

    I own a sheep dairy in Oregon.  The prime season for milking is winter, when it is not only cold and dark, but very, very wet.

    The only sweater I own that will stand up to that is an Aran-type sweater my mother-in-law in Australia knitted for me out of Merino wool.

    It is absolutely the best sweater ever.  Except it is pink.  Bright pink.  Why it is pink, I have no idea as my MIL certainly knows I am not a girly-girl, and I only wear earth tones.  I think she must have knitted it for someone else and sent it to me by mistake.

    She says she cannot knit me another one now because of her arthritis.  I would dream of someone making me another.  I know I don't have the skill myself.

    But until that day, I shall worship my horrid pink sweater.

    •  I have an Aran Isle sweater (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catesby, phonegery, ichibon

      from the Ould Sod. And it is, I promise, quite water resistant, even waterproof, in rain and high seas.

      Not pink, though.

      The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

      by Mnemosyne on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 07:25:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are so lucky (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mnemosyne

        I have gone and looked at real Aran sweaters, and tried to justify the price.

        They are not pink, after all.  So with that and being waterproof, they are probably worth every penny.

        I do have the most amazing New Zealand hand-knitted cardigan though.  All around it shows a landscape with sky and hills and fields.  And little sheep dotted all over.

        Here is the link, but in the wrong color:  http://www.bonz.com.au/...

        Mine was earth toned.  So I gladly paid $400US+ for it.  Definitely the most expensive piece of clothing I own.  But I won't be going out milking in it.

        •  my sweater was (0+ / 0-)

          a gift, years ago, when the dollar was much stronger in international purchasing power.

          The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

          by Mnemosyne on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 07:56:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have several, (0+ / 0-)

          that I got for dollars at the thrift store.  I love them.  If I can dig up the really big one I have I will send it to you.  I will contact you via kosmail.  I have so many old wool sweaters that I cannot pass upo\ at $3 bucks a pop.  I know that they are handmade, 100% wool and originally expensive.   If I could send them to a good home I would be glad to part with one.  Let me know.  I have no pink, just earth tones.   We call them fisherman sweaters.  Is that the same as Arun?  I have two that say Arun on the lable.

          And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

          by tobendaro on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 06:04:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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