a lesson in paying attention

70 + 1 Ribwarmeralso known as 70+1 rib-neck-kidney warmer for mom

Ribwarmer Revisited WG58 SO42
by Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen
from Wool Gathering #58, Ribwarmer Revisited
Ravelry Project Page
505 yards of LB Collection Organic Wool in 178 Dark Teal
4.5 mm needles


Let’s see. Last year mom had a milestone birthday, she turned 70. I bought her some purty yarn and thought that I’d make her a nice wrap that she could use to keep warm as she best saw fit. Okim Park’s Every Way Wrap is very nice, but I hated knitting it. I got only a few inches in and emailed mum “sorry, we have to find another project”. We spoke about what she was looking for… Something to cover the small of her back, her kidneys** and the back of her neck while she was at work. They like to crank the AC up on high year round. I looked around for something that she could wear that would keep her warm and be easy to wear, a wrap might fall down and she’d have to repin/reposition it … bleah.

Then I found it. How could I go wrong with Elizabeth Zimmermann? I knew I’d want to knit the Rib Warmer and I thought perhaps some modifications to it would be in order.

So, this summer I purchased the pattern and started knitting. I thought the long modifications would be perfect. I quickly cast on and began to knit.

Then I sent a panicked email to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio do you have more of the dye lot? In the Teal, yes, they did. I bought more. Lots more.

Then I laid it out for photos, and it seemed a bit big, but i didn’t seem too far off what the pattern hinted to, and mum looked similar in build to the models so I kept on. It was only after I knitted over six skeins worth of yarn that I really held the garment up to E … and then on mum. And we all laughed really hard. My tension was off. Way off. And mom really didn’t care for a knee length vest nor one that would hold three of her with room to spare.

I pulled out the needle and that afternoon recast on down a needle size and knit the regular rib warmer. I used less than 3 skeins and blocked it aggressively. She doesn’t require jacket type fabric, just something to put a barrier between her and the AC. It means the front is a bit loose but that’s ok.

It was gifted to her the week after my birthday — but was less than two months late as a 70+1 birthday gift. I still owe her a 70th birthday gift…

Now to determine what to do with the remaining 1900 yards of aran weight in a very bright colour…

** – The one lesson I remember mum teaching me in first grade when we were allowed on the big kids playground.. my jacket needed to be long enough to cover my kidneys (the small of my back) and then I’d stay healthy and warm. We’re both this way (and wear a hat for many reasons including cool weather/warmth) and it works. The same is that if i’m really cold inside I make sure that my neck/feet/hands/back… and head are all covered. and then I warm up.