It was just meant to be. If you follow along on Instagram, you might have seen a cardigan I knitted up whilst on Christmas holidays. It was one of those serendipitous knits. There I was, with almost four weeks of lovely peace and pleasure stretching out before me, and I’d forgotten my knitting basket. Which, I might add, meant I forgot dear Sacha’s Christmas present – a rich plum coloured version of Kate Davies’ iconic “Owls”. And it was almost finished – oy!
However, Mum now has a sizeable stash of wool, courtesy of dear old Nanny. No need to visit the local yarn store. There were kilos and kilos of wool, in all imaginable colours, neatly stacked in Mum’s/Nanny’s downstairs dresser. And there amongst them, was a bundle of navy Cleckheaton Country Naturals that I had foisted upon Nanny, a couple of decades back, when I was completely bamboozled by a herringbone vest pattern. All frogged and meticulously wound back up into balls.
I could just picture Grandad winding the little Toyota wool winder whilst Nanny unravelled my knitted pieces. Nanny would probably have been sitting on one of the gold velvet armchairs. Grandad would have been at the nearby dining table. Nanny would have a fresh cup of tea in front of her. Grandad would have the paper opened beside the wool winder, weighted down with his glasses case. They were probably watching an obscure old movie that Nanny recorded in the wee hours of the morning. That wool would have wound up so quickly – winding wool was a dance the two of them had long ago memorised the steps to and they never missed a beat. It made me smile, and I took the balls upstairs to find just the right pattern for 10 balls of 8ply wool.
That wasn’t hard – I’ve had Pitch at the top of my list for a few months now! A truly lovely pattern – such a pleasure to knit and so simple to follow – by Susan Mills, for Classic Elite. It knitted up nice and quick. A few rows in bed as I watched the sun rise over the sea. Another few on the front porch with my coffee. Several in the car each day as we drove round and round the Bega Valley looking for land. More at the beach. Back to the porch. In bed at night as I listened to the thundering waves of Tura Beach. I do so love knitting. And this had the extra special sweetness of being wool with family history.
I cast it off just in time to wear home – a cold and drizzly journey that turned into!
Then today, I popped it on and asked Abby to take some photos so I could share it with you here. Now, I must confess, I can be a tad difficult when I get Abby to take photos of me in my handcrafts – I remind myself of Dawn in our all time favourite film “Hope and Glory” when she smacks her little brother Billy on the head when he draws the stocking seam up the back of her leg crooked.
No! No! No! I grizzle. The light’s all wrong, take it again. Oh no – the composition’s all wrong – you’re supposed to be taking a photo of the cardigan not the rabbit hutch with a scrap of cardigan. And on it went – with a few giggles but a fair dose of exasperation on both of our parts.
Until finally, Mum appeared and demanded “Give me the bloody cardigan to wear and YOU take the photos just how YOU want them and let poor Abby get back to what she was doing!”
Awesome solution. Abby was delighted and quickly disappeared. Mum buttoned up the cardigan. I fiddled with the camera. And what do you know? The cardigan looked so lovely on Mum that by the end of our little backyard photo shoot, I said “You simply have to keep it – it can be another Christmas present – it looks so good on you!” Mum was very pleased.
It will be perfect for her in Merimbula, especially through the often chilly Autumn and Spring months when she’s out and about – gardening, walking on the beach, reading on the porch, sewing downstairs – and doesn’t need long, heavy sleeves getting in the way. Something that snuggles her back and shoulders will be just right.
So there you have it – the wool that travelled from me to Nanny, from Nanny to Mum, from Mum back to me, then from me back to Mum. From an unfinishable vest to a lovely cardigan. And a sweet side effect of all this wool swapping – I can now buy some more wool, guilt free, to knit another Pitch for me! I’m thinking a nice grey.
Actually, I can just picture one of my gardening Aunties wearing one too – what do you think Auntie Jacqui? Do you too need a Pitch for those cool Dunedin summer days? What colour would you like? We could all be matching!
We will be the family of Pitches :-)
p.s. the lovely buttons are repurposed cedar from a Cobargo artisan who sells at their local co-op. The perfect buttons for a Bega Valley Cardie!