Tom Flynn had an extensive collection of wool Christmas sweaters stowed away until the holiday season rolled around year after year. It seemed like he had an endless supply at times, though the total was probably in the vicinity of a dozen pieces.
Last year, my mother began an admirable journey to share parts of my dad’s story with my siblings, me, and our extended families through his sweaters. She tediously washed and dried the sweaters to “felt” them. Using circle patterns of graduating sizes that she created herself, she lovingly cut the sweaters into various circle sizes allowing the smooth silver blades of her scissors to slice through the knitted yarns. Pleased with the variety of sweater patterns and sizes, she layered them, thread a thick string through the center, and topped each one with a wooden bead, making an enormous family of felted sweater trees.
We are fortunate to have five sweater trees in our house – one for my husband, me and each of our three children. As I carefully pulled each one out of the square holiday Santa box, and placed them on the mantle, I couldn’t help wondering what the sweaters would tell me if they could talk!