my goddaughter yesterday. It fell out of a book. I had apparently been using the photograph as a bookmark. I am not sure why. I usually use slips of paper.
The photograph shows her at about four years of age. She is wearing the rather extraordinary garment I knitted for her at the time - designed to keep her warm while ice skating in a New York winter. I can remember her earnest instructions to me.
"Aunty Cat I want animals all over it, lots of animals - and birds."
She got her animals and birds. There is a curious mix of koalas, kangaroos, penguins and parrots and other things. It is a veritable zoo. I remember buying the background yarn - cream wool - and hunting through the household stash for colours that might do. It was a challenge to make but it was fun. The Whirlwind got a similar one some years later - something she refuses to part with although she has long since outgrown it.
I made other things for my goddaughter too. I have another photograph of her wearing the blue cardigan with the white angora rabbits around the border.
For the last few years they have been living in a tropical climate. Woolly garments have not been necessary. Instead I have knitted for a friend who has severe arthritis. She likes lightweight mohair with deeper than usual armholes. The garments are easy to get on and off and keep her warm. I have knitted for the Whirlwind - and tried to persuade her to learn to knit without success. I have made things for the Senior Cat as well. The rest of the family simply does not wear wool. They do not feel the cold. Our winters are not icy cold. They dive in and out of air conditioned houses and cars and do not appear to notice the temperature in between.
I still knit. There is always a reason to knit. My goddaughter is off to university in September. Oxford will be cold in winter. She reminded me of this. I have been making three garments for her. They are, to my mind, boringly plain. They are what she asked for. I have no doubt that they will be worn. They will be be "everyday" garments.
But then there is something else she wants. It is small and I may manage to make it before she arrives for a two night stay three weeks from now. It is a hat...like an owl. She sent me a photograph. There is a pattern for it but as I do not have access to the right sort of wool I will have to make my own pattern. I think I can. It is a matter of some cables in the right places and some little tufts for the ears.
It was a relief when she asked for this. It shows that she has not quite grown up yet...and animals and birds are still important to her.