| | | |

The return of mauve and other things my mother would’ve loved

I was so much more content to wear my brother’s old blue jeans than dresses straight off the set of Little House on the Prairie.  My mother won on Sundays, though.  Not only did she curl my hair under, like Joey Lawrence,  but she got the itchy, puffed sleeve dresses over my head.  If she dared to say I looked nice, I would then feel forced to walk with a horribly, exaggerated hunched back, muttering under my breath, with a dazed look on my face.  I cannot say how many times I heard her say, “Oh, be pretty.  Just be pretty.”  She was only half serious.

When I ordered the Palette yarn in Comfrey and the Gloss Fingering in Velveteen and Hawk, I thought of her.  I remember a mauve skirt and jacket she wore to church, and her mauve nail polish.   Though I liked that the color made me think of her, I would never have seen myself wearing it.  Mauve was synonymous with my mom… a forty-year-old housewife.  That, and the eighties.  I would have died before wearing mauve nail polish.  I was in my twenties when Urban Decay had just launched nail colors like “Acid Rain” and “Roach.”  Mauve wasn’t my thing, or anyone’s thing then.

(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)

But here I am, a forty one-year-old housewife and mauve is everywhere, growing on me through osmosis.  So my selections for the Holla Knits KAL 2015 are all for you, Mom.  Cafe au Lait is knit in Knit Picks Palette, in comfrey.

This Gloss Fingering will become a pair of Cedar Glen Mitts.  Not only is it mauve-y, but it’s even pretty.  Mom would be proud.

Not mauve, but very feminine is the New Girl skirt I’ll be knitting up later.  It may be finished after the KAL, but who cares as long as it gets made?  I’m using Paton’s Classic dk in sea green and medium grey.

This last knit will be in Cascade 220 sport‘s Lake Chelan colorway.   It’s not a color my mom would’ve worn, at least not when I was a girl.  But I know she would’ve approved of the style and the little stitch pattern of the Julep Jacket.

(more on ravelry, kollabora, and flickr)

Truthfully, my mom liked crafts.  All through my childhood she was dabbling in some kind of craft.  There was macrame, tole painting, sewing, and ceramics around the house at different times.  So I’m pretty sure she would’ve enjoyed all of my knitting projects.  I like to think she might have even wanted to knit along with me.

Similar Posts


  1. When I was a child I also had to wear girly dresses that were embroidered by my mother or aunts, and then made by a friend of my grandmother. I hated those dresses, preventing me from doing all the things that I could have done with pants. But it was the early 80's, before there were cool jeans for kids. So it was those dresses and matching hair bows. It still gives me the creeps.

    I'm sure your mother would have loved those beautiful yarns and would have knitted along with you.

  2. That top is definitely mom approved. As a bonus you do look awesome in that colour, I remember your henley, and you will rock it.

  3. I think you're allowed to change your opinions on colours over time! You have a lovely palette here, and it's so nice that it reminds you of your Mom. <3

    Every time I see a proper beaten-in cowboy hat or a dinky old rusty tractor in a field, I think of my Dad and his unending tinkering projects in the yard, garage, livingroom, neighbours place, the ditch in front of our house… 🙂

  4. Mauve, Lilac and violet are colours that my Mum adore. Purple is her erm, thang! For years I avoided purple for that reason. Instead I hit my late teens when Avril Lavigne was cool (am I allowed to use the word cool without a teen cringing? ) so my colours were black, grey, pale grey and a fuschia pink so bright it must have been radioactive.
    I'm sure your Mom would have adored your knitting. Maybe even saying Oh that's pretty, that's just so pretty. And those colour palettes are beautiful.

  5. You always pick the most beautiful colors. My grandma is a mauve kind of lady, too. I think of her every time I pick something pinkish for my wedding. She's going to be so happy to see me in pink! 🙂

  6. Hehe, oh we were similar, Elena! I hated dresses. I was an incurable tomboy. I kind of still am. I mean I wear nice things I make fairly often. But mostly, I am in wife beaters and baggy jeans- just being honest. I always wanted to do martial arts as a girl- see we have that in common too. If I had my way, I'd knit, then learn to fight all day. That or break dance. 🙂

  7. Oh, thanks, Kelly! I was hoping for a similar effect. I think my mom would have liked my summer knits the most. So many of them are very girly- Nachtfalter, Fire Opal, Oud Tank, and Lady Bat. She would've appreciated them in our climate.

  8. Oh, I love seeing your WIPs grow, too, Jennifer. I'm enthralled with your dyeing adventures. I've now got yarn, a book, and just need a few things to try solar dying. Yeah, I'm taking the lazy way out the first time.

  9. Oh, your dad is a tinkerer, too, Heather?! Those a great associations with your dad. My dad is called the lawnmower man in his neighborhood. He tinkers with them and repairs them for people, then charges less than it really cost him to fix it, especially if they seem to really need a mower. I love that about him.

  10. EEEk! I'm so glad you're join gin in Kelley! I love seeing what you come up with. Cannot wait to see your Sexxxy Librarian look. Also the Velma looks like a classic!

  11. Funny how we change! There was a time in my life where I said, "I will die before I wear bell bottoms." I did. And I didn't. I think being a knitter opens you up to more choices too. I look around a yarn shop and it's really just a question of "What have I not knit with before?", you know?

  12. Well, I have a feeling your grandmother has great taste. Is she the one who was helping you with a sewing project?
    I can't wait for you to post on your wedding. My daughter is now officially marrying in August! I can hardly believe it's so soon. I showed her your dress, too. She'd never wear a knitted dress in a Texas August, but I've been thinking about a shrug. If not for her, maybe me? Hmmm. She is also looking a mauve-y colors for her bridesmaids. 🙂

  13. That's really kind of him. 🙂 My Dad should've been a farmer, and was buddies with all the farmers, truck drivers, and trades person in our area. He'd barter like a champ; 'oh you need your garage wired? I'll do it for that old parts chevy and a length of towing rope'. He had lots of old cars and equipment and old junk to tinker with in the yard. Car broke down? He'd cobble one together from the backyard. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.