After reading about Mr. Rogers' sweaters on Monday, I looked around the Internet to try to find out more. I found a nine part interview from the Archive of American Television. It's long, and I would like to eventually watch the whole thing. However, he talks about the sweaters in the first five minutes of the first part. (You can watch it here.)
According to the interview, Mr. Rogers' mother is Nancy McFeely Rogers. During World War II she knit sweaters for the troops. Apparently she knit a sweater a month, or twelve sweaters a year, almost every year. She gave them to her closest family and friends each Christmas.
One of the sweaters is in the Smithsonian. If you look closely, there is a cable on each side of the zipper. Someone on Ravelry pointed out that the cables are pointing the same direction, rather than facing each other.
I'm going to keep looking for more information. I wonder what type of yarn she used and how she put in the zippers. Did she steek the sweaters? Were they her own design, or did she use a pattern?
Imagine having your knitting immortalized in the Smithsonian. And I bet Mr. Rogers truly appreciated the work that went into those sweaters.