I had a visit from the two little girls yesterday, well, not so little. Lucy is ten and Phoebe is eight, and both are growing so fast I can hardly keep up with them!
I took the opportunity to do the annual task my grandmother did with my sister and I. Every summer, just before time to leave the Cape and return to our winter home, we would get a request… send the girls down for a visit. Granny lived in a little cottage just down the path from the house we lived in during the summer. We both knew what the “visit” was all about.
Granny would be seated at a table, paper and pencil in hand and a tape measure near by. The paper was usually an old envelope, carefully cut open so she could write on the inside where there was no printing. (Granny saved everything she could reuse) We would put a hand on the paper and she would trace around the hand, carefully marking the tallest finger and the wrist lines. She would then have us stand and measure down the back, neck bone to sweater length, then arm pit to wrist, and chest size. We both knew what this was all about. By Christmas, we would have mittens and sometimes a new sweater. Once in a while a sweater we had out grown would have an added sleeve and back length, sometimes with the same yarn and sometimes with a different color for the extensions.
Yesterday was a repeat of Granny’s annual event. Lucy and Phoebe had hands and feet traced and length and width recorded. They added hat sizes and color requests. Lucy wanted a purple cardigan. Phoebe wants rainbow colors. Socks are a new request as I have gotten into sock knitting for myself. They want cat and dog hats as well. Will I get around to all that by Christmas? Probably not and they know that. They have learned to knit as well and sweaters take a looooong time.
I love repeating the tradition. When I looked through old papers in my basement, I found hand prints of the older grand children and pictures of sweaters I have long forgotten knitting.
Well, my winter tasks are clear…. and “Oh Grandma, I want a dog quilt”……. I guess knitting and quilting will take care of idle times all winter.