Yesterday was Mother's Day, and all across the country mothers were getting things–flowers, cards, telephone calls–from their children. My own, dear mother deserves her own island in the Caribbean, a pony and a chocolate fountain; but since I didn't want to embarrass her with extravagance I just sent flowers.
She sent me something, too, and I want to share it with you.
First, a bit of background.
Mom and one-day-old Susan.
Susan just celebrated her own first Mother's Day.
My mother is a can-do sort of woman. If she wants to excel at something, she will. She did not, for example, learn to sew at her mother's knee. As a young wife, she decided sewing would be a useful skill. She got a sewing machine, took a class, and turned into the second coming of Betsy Ross. We reveled in an abundance of expertly hand-sewn clothes, gorgeous Halloween costumes, perfectly tailored school uniforms and matching family Christmas pajamas.
She also learned from a friend how to knit. Aside from an occasional afghan, however, this was a skill that lay dormant for years. The first time I ever saw her do it was Christmas 2005, when our incessant chatter about the joys of yarnplay persuaded her to join the fun. Her powers of recall were startling. We gave her a pair of needles and a gentle nudge, and soon she'd turned out several very nice scarves and a few patterned washcloths.
Then she decided it was time to try a shaped garment. She picked a doozy–Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket. In case you've been knitting in a cave, the Baby Surprise Jacket (which you can find in The Opinionated Knitter and Knitting Workshop) is a little cardigan sweater that's knit as one flat piece, folded up like origami and seamed at the shoulders. It's a classic pattern and a fun project, but not always an easy knit for a beginner.
My mother, however, does not care about easy. She wanted to knit the jacket. She got the yarn, the needles, the pattern and Meg Swansen's instructional DVD, and off she went. And look at this.
Not only did she finish, she worked in a bunch of Meg's fine details including paired increases and decreases, a collar, and a cast off that eliminates the little dog-ear at the very end.
I'm choking up just looking at that. How you've grown, mother darling. There's a Rogue Hoodie in your future. I just know it.