Allow me to introduce you to my neighbour Betty:
Betty has been a dear friend to me over the past few years. She’s had me over for many cups-of-tea-and-sympathy, and she’s given me very good advice. She herself has seen plenty in her life: she was widowed very young, suddenly left on her own with young children to raise. She knows what it’s like to lie awake at night worrying about how on earth things will ever come right. But to meet her you’d never guess: she’s so vibrant and funny and generous. She’s great company and a wonderful conversationalist – happy to discuss how to care for alpines, or the intricacies of family relationships, or novels about women living in very different societies from our own.
She’s also a very elegant woman, who loves to discuss the finer points of clothes design and construction with me. You know, the kind of friend that whisks her jacket off and turns it inside out to have a good look at the seams. She always shows an interest in what’s on my knitting needles, and so I offered to knit her something – whatever her heart desired. She chose this beautiful cardigan designed by Kim Hargreaves. I modified the pattern by adding a wee ruffle at the ends of the sleeves, and also sewing clear beads just under the edge of the hems, to keep them from turning up and to give a little flash of glamour such as befits Betty.
I’ve had such a good time knitting it – it came to England with me, including to the V & A. Betty is so pleased to have a cardigan made to her measurements, and I’m so happy it turned out as she’d wanted it. Doesn’t she just look fab?