Jagi (in Polish Dziadzi) was my incredible grandfather, whom I loved as every child adores a superhero. He was a towering man with shoulders strong enough to carry every problem I ever had, shoulders that always seemed to be covered neatly in a cardigan. I have one of his cardigans. It has extra buttons on the sides. If the front ones ever fell off, he could simply snip the side button and repair the front. It has a button placket and buttonhole band just like this pattern: doubled and sewn down, giving a tailor-made look and providing strength in the structure. The sleeves are long, very long. When I wear his cardigan, even now as an adult, the sleeves bunch at the wrists above the thick folded cuffs. It seems as if I haven’t grown a bit from my childhood self!
The unisex sweater pattern I have created has a Jagi version: plain front, no pockets, and a Missy version: a decorative motif on one front and two pockets. The textures on the back and sleeves remind me of being in Jagi’s Linden home making pierogies together. The crisscross pressing of the fork around the edges of each delicious crescent are reflected in the slanting pattern across the cardigan. Linden is the first in a series of cardigans to paying tribute to the kindly man I was blessed to spend hours alongside in a kitchen so many years ago. Ever patient, ever gentle, and always willing to share his sweater with his adoring rodzynku…I hope as you knit this your memories of a loved one are etched in to each of your stitches..