This knit has a rather long story, years long actually. Back in my early days of knitting, pre-kids, pre-even entertaining the idea of kids, I bought a book full of the sweetest children’s knits. It is called Adorable Knits for Tots by Zoe Mellor, and though the patterns are a bit laborious, it holds many lovely little pieces. The time for children was coming, imminent really, but in those days I just paged through the book, imagined knitting patterns, trying to see what my child would look like in knits.
I fell in love with the many cabled projects in the book and picked a few that I knew I would love knitting. Cabling was fairly new to me then, these vests were the first ones I tried without a cable needle. I knit the first one and put it away, only knitting the second after I found out we were having twins. I was lucky to have enough yarn to finish a second. It is what they wore when they met Santa for the first time.
But my first love in the book was a hooded heavily cabled jacket, I do not know if it was the knit or the curly headed child wearing it that made me long to make it. The Robin Hood Jacket called my name.
I ordered the yarn, the gorgeous Rowan Cork that they cruelly discontinued. I held onto those 7 skeins like precious stones, stacked carefully in my wall cubbies. Sometimes I looked at them and studied the pattern, but I never did knit it up. The boys were born and time passed along. I only had enough yarn for one and I could not imagine the making of one without the other…they notice things like that now.
A few months ago I read a post from Jess and then I knew what I was going to do with that precious yarn. And so I finally cast on for the sweater that I had dreamed of making for my little one.
And as I knit each stitch I thought about a lot of things. About a little girl who might need something to snuggle under as cooler weather comes and her birthday approaches. A Mama I have yet to meet, but want to hug more every day, want to hold carefully and give anything I can to assuage some of her hurting. A loss that is so difficult to comprehend and accept, a loss of such a girl to such a family.
Knitting is so intimate and loving, it means so much to me in so many ways. As I watched the boys dance around and run in the cool morning air, snapping away with my camera to capture this knit…to capture them…I remembered those days; pre-them, pre-Mamahood, pre-twins. That time when my child was only imagined, when I looked at those glossy pictures with little ones in little knits and wondered ‘curly or straight’, ‘boy or girl’. I never dreamed of twins, never saw into the looking glass of my future children in that way.
And now they are here, boys running and climbing and gently caring for a baby doll that is going home with the cabled sweater. I will knit them different cable sweaters soon, but this one is going the place it should. It is so hard to know what to offer. I have thoughts and prayers and hopes for a grieving family. And I have yarn and stitches and physical warmth to give. But I wish I had something else…something more. For now, I know it will go to the home where it is needed and maybe give something more.
The Whitt family is leaving soon, not in a jet plane, but a large RV that will take them around our country, a few months away from the place that must hold so many many things for them. If you know Tuesday’s story from reading here, you might consider stopping by Jess’s blog and giving a bit to the journey. The original plan is posted here…they may not be writing “fuck Cancer” on the side of the borrowed bus, but sometimes I wish they could.