knitting · make this · sweaters

Norah’s Knits: Knitting for Great Grandma

Occasionally, we receive a letter asking why we don’t design more for woman of a certain age , implying (or just coming out and saying) that our patterns are only for the young.  The letter might mention an age of 55 or 60. This question always makes me think of Mom.  She’s 80 something and looks great in quite a few Berroco designs.

Last Spring when Mom came to visit us in New Hampshire I lent her my Aidez and it looked great on her!  I wish I had shown some presence of mind and snapped a photo of her in it. I didn’t.  Here’s a link to my Ravelry project page with me in it. We did manage to snap a shot of Phoebe in Hume from my Vol 13 at the TNNA trade show in June.  (The under layer is a crocheted sweater of her own invention, made in Seduce – sorry, no pattern is available).

P1020146 - Version 2

So, this has gotten me to thinking.  What else might I want to knit for Mom?  Here are three patterns I am thinking might be good choices:


Tarim, Carcross & Juli

I bet Phoebe herself will weigh in with an opinion.  What Berroco pattern would you knit for the great grandma in your family?

18 thoughts on “Norah’s Knits: Knitting for Great Grandma

  1. Well, Norah has put me on the spot. Of the three she has selected I would choose Carcross as favorite even though it looks much better on Betsie. Not only cozy-looking in Marmot, but very elegant! Second choice is Tarim. I love pockets. For me Juli would be better in Wintry Mix 2607. Do you agree, Norah?

    1. The wintery mix would look great! I wasn’t really picturing the hot pink being your color, but I did think you’d like the simple textures and cropped length.

  2. Frankly, although I’m 66 and no longer so svelte I think limiting what I knit and wear only by age is silly. It is a matter of fit and appropriateness. Rather than saying to you that you don’t design for “women of a certain age” (what age would that be anyway?) the women in question should have been more specific. Too many patterns with negative ease perhaps? That is the only thing I see right now that might be a bit difficult. However, considering one can always leave out waist shaping or knit a larger version that would fit better, you do give us measured specs after all, I just can’t see an issue. It could be that older women who grew up knitting from patterns feel less able to make changes? It took me awhile to free myself from my upbringing and become more adventurous. Or perhaps they are less familiar with computers and how to search for patterns? That is also hard to fathom, given all my friends who are older than I that have some sort of device they are tied to. Maybe they just can’t find the patterns they used to like in shops? It IS all still out there, they can find the original older patterns in vintage online shops and on eBay, etc! So, I think the originating comments are spurious, you design for everyone and if they still don’t think so, all the older patterns can be had.

  3. This makes me wonder how much of the “certain age” notion just comes down to attitude and outlook? We have a woman in our guild who is in her 80s, and she’s always keeping up with yarn trends, taking every knitting class she can, and knitting the latest Stephen West shawl. I totally want to be her someday!

  4. I knit Drift in vintage for my Grandmother. She is 89 and loves the sweater. I sized it off of her favorite sweater- acrylic number from Walmart. I used vintage just in case someone else was doing her laundry and it is very soft. It is a winner!

  5. One of the things I love about your designs Norah, is that they are timeless and ageless. I would have worn them when I was 20. I wear them now in my 40’s. And I know these are the sweaters I’ll continue knitting and wearing through the rest of my life. They will make me feel good about how they look, they will feel good to wear and I don’t see them ever being outdated.

  6. That’s odd. I often think that a lot of knitting designs that appear in knitting publications (I can’t speak directly about Berocco ) is that they often look a bit on the “sweet old lady” side. The only exception is Knitscene, which often looks likes a trip to the Juniors section at Kohls.

    1. So much of the final look is in the styling. The same sweater can look sweet old lady, fashionable any age, or junior section depending on how i’s photographed. Someday i’d love to take the time and money to show one item 2 or three ways.

      1. That would be really interesting to see. I imagine one could even do this by styling with accessories.

  7. Perhaps it is because the designs are mostly shown on younger models? I know Berroco does occasionally use older models (I’m thinking of the fabulous model in Norah Gaughan Vol. 1). I’d love to see more older women looking fabulous in Berroco booklets 🙂

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