A Long Distance Hug

September 11, 2008

When I started working overseas my Dad would sign off our conversations with “Long Distance Hug”.  And when I was living in Asia, and twelve hours in the future according to him, it would be “Long Distance Hug to the Future”.  When I heard Grandma was getting sick, and I knew how much my Aunt, her daughter, would be going through, I immediately started digging around in the stash for something.  As usual Plan A did not work, but Plan B was adopted and a scarf for Anthea was started.  In my way, I was sitting at the bedside with my Aunt and her daughters, keeping the vigil, knitting with them.  But I did not want to make it a scarf that would remind the new owner of the death of a Mother, but of the life of a Mother.  So I knitted, and thought of my Grandmother, and my memories, and made them good thoughts.  I knitted on the plane beside my brother as we traveled out to Toronto.  I thought good thoughts.  At the luncheon after the funeral, and after the ceremony at the grave, I pulled out my knitting and knitted on the scarf.  My Great Aunt Lil sitting next to me smiled, and told me her stories.  She learned to knit at school in England, before the war.  If you wanted a warm sweater, or socks, or anything, you made it yourself.  During the war they made socks for the soldiers.  She confided that she liked the Canadian men she met at the local skating rink, Englishmen were so stuffy and uptight.  She came to Canada a few years after my Grandmother, and lived with them while establishing herself.  Later on she knitted for her daughters, and granddaughters.  One granddaughter in particular wore out a Mary Maxim sweater with a huge unicorn pattern that I would have loved to have seen.  I think when I was 7 you would not have been able to get me out of a sweater like that! 

I finished the scarf (or deemed that it was long enough to be okay) late that night, and gave it to my Aunt the next day.  I hope that as she wears it she will feel the warmth around her neck, like a long distance hug, from someone who shared the vigil with her, even if from far away. 

Misty Garden pattern from Scarf Style (essentially Feather and Fan lace)

Made from Sleeping Dragon sock yarn in a lovely blend of greens, from deep evergreen to fresh spring leaves.  I used about half the skein, so I may make a twin as the first scarf was lovely to make, and a nice easy pattern.  Very meditative.

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4 Responses to “A Long Distance Hug”

  1. Cheryl S. said

    That’s a wonderful hug! I’m sure your aunt will cherish it.

  2. Anne said

    Very pretty – and what a wonderful gift!

    (PS – I have a Great-Aunt Lil too. I suspect she is the polar opposite of yours.)

  3. How comforting! I’m sure your aunt will treasure it.

    I knit a baby hat for my new nephew while sitting by my aunt during her first hospital stay just before she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She took the o2 mask off to ask me questions about it…Knitting is about hope and continuity and memories. I’m glad you gave something meaningful to your aunt.

  4. melanie said

    Beautiful sentiment and beautiful scarf.

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