When I use the word “inspired,” I don’t just mean that we thought, “Hey, Mr. Rogers…he wore a lot of sweaters!” but I mean truly inspired by his kindness, his generosity, and yes, his sweaters.
Here was a man who encouraged tolerance, love, and gentleness throughout his life. Every day when the Princess was but a wee monkey–wee-er even than she is now–she would turn on the tv to her local PBS station, watch Mr. Rogers take off his shoes and don that day’s cardigan–and be enveloped in his warm, televised hug. She learned that she was special. And that other people were just as special too.
Much, much later, the Princess created an Establishment of Craft and decided to rule the world through yarn. There were good days and bad days. Some days the Princess didn’t feel so special after all. And there was one day when a customer (not a crafter, we might add) was a real biotch to her for no good reason. That made the Princess feel bad.
And then she went home and thought about Mr. Rogers. And how kind he was. And then she thought, “Hey. Maybe that total biotch had a bad day. Maybe she’s just got Biotchy Resting Face.” And she thought that Mr. Rogers would forgive that temporarily mean lady. Mr. Rogers would react with kindness.
And as the Princess became reacquanted with Fred Rogers, she grew to admire him more and more. Here was a man who moved congress to give public television $20 million dollars with an impassioned speech about how important it is to teach children how to be good adults.
He loved music and was an accomplished musician who created over 200 songs (many about love, friendship and caring…and of course, being a good neighbor).
He genuinely wanted to make the world a better place, and felt that helping others was a privilege and responsibility.
He knew Koko the Gorilla.
And finally, his mother hand-knit all of the many sweaters he wore on his show.
So in honor of Mr. Rogers, we’re presenting yarn dyed in both muted neutrals, and the bright fun colors of the 70′s and 80′s that he favored, every color perfect for a man or woman, boy or girl. The yarns are made from 100% American wool (see our past post about “Overdressed” to see why we like that).
Mr. Rogers’ actual red sweater–along with his blue sneakers–have been donated to the Smithsonian. Luckily, you can create your own Smithsonian-worthy sweater that doesn’t need to be kept behind glass.
Let’s take a cue from the man himself and take 10 second and think about someone you love, and how they helped shape the person you are today–the best parts of yourself. And perhaps enact a completely unrandom act of kindness. Cook for them, take them out for a drink, or maybe make them something with your own two hands, every stitch made with love.
In the meantime, warm the cockles of your heart with this little video from Mental Floss, “35 Facts About Mr. Rogers.”
What are your memories of Mr. Rogers?