Called Canadian Cashmere by some, it is indeed soft and very warm so I'm told. No, this sweater is not mine. I did lust after similar garments when I happened upon the Jacques Cartier store in Banff a few years back but the prices were too rich for me.
This sweater belongs to a store customer and it was in sad shape. She brought it in to see if it could be repaired and sadly I had to tell her I thought it was beyond repair. Large elbow holes would have been difficult to repair in a plain stockinet pattern. This sweater sports cables, stockinet and double seed stitch - all of which made it difficult - and for this knitter, most certainly impossible - to repair. The customer despaired.
She promised she didn't care if the repair was patterned to match the sweater. She promised she didn't care if the repair was invisible. She promised that she didn't even care if the repair looked good -she just wanted to be able to wear her beloved, hand-knit, Quiviut sweater. Attempting to scare her off with stories of how inept my attempts might be, how amateurish the repair might look, I did my best to prepare her for a less than beautiful repair. Not easily swayed, and having already purchased a ball of almost matching yarn,
she finally convinced me to try.
An off-hand comment made by another knitter gave me the idea to repair the sweater with patches. First, I knit two patches and sewed the first to the outside of the sleeve. It looked really - patched. That wasn't going to work, so on the second try, I sewed the patches to the inside of the sleeves,
The less-damaged sleeve looks not bad.
The sleeve with the gaping hole will test the customer's promises.
Aware the entire time I worked on the sweater of the rarity of the fibre, the exclusiveness of the hand knitting and the sheer cost of the yarn- this 25 g ball has a price tag of $85.00 - I felt as if I was getting a glimpse into a different social sphere.
Knowing a Quviut sweater is certainly too rich for me, I was not unhappy when my face started to itch, my hands started to itch and my eyes became very bloodshot and sore. An antihistamine and drops of Visine later, I finished the repair and can now say "Ah, yes. Qiviut. Lovely fibre. Unfortunately, I can't wear it. Allergies, you know."