In my recent visit to my dad he mentioned that he had come across a piece of my mum's knitting and produced this, the baby shawl that my mum had knitted for me. As you can see it is a circular shawl, knit in robust and sensible off white baby yarn with a spiral garter centre and a feather and fan lace border.
Here is a detail of the stitch pattern. As you can see, this forty... ahem...something piece has admirably stood up to the test of time. My heart was also very much warmed to hear that having found it my dad mentioned that he had been putting it around his shoulders for sitting up in bed and reading. Now we are a family who don't gush a great deal about our emotions, being of no nonsense northern and peasant stock so of course we made the usual cracks about 'My what big eyes you have grandma', but I really treasure the idea that my dad is deriving warmth from something that was knit to welcome me into the world all those years ago.
And just to prove the provenance of this venerable garment, look what I found in the family album and yes, that grumpy little character is me showing absolutely no appreciation of mum's handiwork!
While I was delving in the family archive I also came across this marginally more cheerful image of me a few years later sporting more of my mum's knitting which I remember as white with a variegated blue wool for the stranded section. This photo tells a number of stories. Firstly, it demonstrates the British enthusiasm for the seaside - even if the temperature requires the wearing of a ski jumper whilst playing in the sand with the good old bucket and spade. Secondly the snugness of the collar of the jumper bears witness to the fact that knitwear designers sometimes forget the basic anatomical fact that the heads of small children are disproportionately large compared to the rest of their bodies. I attribute the slightly apprehensive look on my face to the knowledge that the removal of the garment would require significant wrestling and the possibility of the loss of my ears. When my younger sister, slightly more well endowed in the ear department than myself, inherited the jumper, mum relented and inserted a zip in one of the back raglans, to my sister's great relief.