My little sister is one of the best people I know. She is strong and clever and a wonderful mum to my gorgeous nephew Jayden. Best of all, she’s pregnant again and it’s going to be another little boy for me to dote on as the crazy Canadian aunty.
Megan, the aforementioned sister, was a bit of a mystery to me when we were children. We’re very close in age – only eighteen months apart – but that was where our closeness ended for a long time. Despite occasional Spice Girls dance routines made up of ridiculous moves including pretending to be bees (we do share a sense of humour), most of the time we lived our lives very separately despite our rooms being beside each other.
Her room was hot pink, mine was dark purple. She went out with her friends, I sat and watched Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring for the fiftieth time. I was one of the outcasts at school, she was super popular. As teenagers these things seem insurmountable.
However, once I moved out of my mum’s house at the age of 16 (Megan was 14 at the time), something strange happened. I hung out with my sister and saw I’d been living with this hilarious and awesome person all that time without realising it. When she had her son six years later we were already good friends and Jayden only brought us closer together. Now despite our relatively cold beginnings I consider her one of my favourite people in the world. And I’m picky about that stuff.
There is a point to all this background story, I swear, and that point involved knitting. Because this is a knitting blog after all!
Megan is one of the few people I will knit for without thinking about it or worrying about what they’ll do with the finished object. I don’t care with her. She could set fire to it and dance around its ashes (though I’d hope she’d rather not risk the fire alarm again for Jayden’s sake), because I don’t knit for her out of obligation. I knit because she’s my little sister and I love her. I want her and her kids to have a physical representation of that love, especially since I am living three and a half thousand miles away from them.
With that in mind I cast on a little cardigan for my upcoming nephew. He’s due to be born in July but I don’t trust English weather; why not have a snazzy cardi just in case of cool breezes?
It’s the Little Coffee Bean cardigan made with Cascade 220 yarn in two shades of green. The yarn is living its second life; it began as a sweater for me a couple of years ago that I decided one day last year to reduce back to its composite parts (it was a bad fit). The sweater is stripy and adorable and, most importantly, it is tiny.
We love tiny things, don’t we? I’m the least maternal person you will meet but I love my nephews (including the unborn one) and that adds an extra layer of satisfaction to the process. My lovely, sweet little niece – the daughter of my older sister – will be getting something soon too, bringing out my urge to knit something ultra-feminine. Trust me, that never happens.
My upcoming nephew will be a stranger to me for a while before I can meet him, but I’m determined that he’s going to have plenty to prove to him that his Aunty in Canada loves him dearly. This sweater is the start of that.