Project 365 day 50: Woolly Hugs
I've been thinking a lot about my Mum today, because it would have been her 92nd birthday. At some point I realised I was wearing the big, snuggly Aran cardigan she knitted for me about twenty years ago, which I've lived in over the past two or three chilly weeks along with the cosy Aran sweater she knitted only a little more recently. They feel like a warm embrace. For Christmas my sister-in-law knitted socks for me. I love hand knitted socks but don't have time to knit many for myself, and I found myself tearful when I opened them, realising they are the first thing knitted for me since my mum died ten years ago and that they made me feel loved in a way no other kind of gift could. My mum knitted (and sewed, and smocked) so many wonderful things for us all over so many years. She was knitting her own long grey school socks by the time she was eight, and in the fifties made fashionably fine, fitted cardigans and sweaters with three ply wool on horrifyingly thin needles. The two photos are from the early sixties, and on the right I'm wearing the cosy striped jumper with its matching hat which I think she originally knitted for my cousin and which was subsequently worn by all three of us. It was always known as the woolly bear, after the hairy orange and brown caterpillars (of garden tiger moths) which were common in our garden.
Through this long year shielding my daughter at home, I've found myself more than usually immersed in memories, and started to sort out some of the treasures and junk from the past which fill too much of my house, some still in boxes from our last move eight years ago. The difficulty is deciding which are treasures worth holding onto and which are simply clutter.