I think of Cara and I hear the shop door swinging open and see her entering with a slightly perplexed look, and know it’s time to reach for my tape measure.

Cara is in persuit of the perfect fit and her persuance of it, shouldn’t be underestimated. Cara’s finished sweaters, of which there are now reassuringly plenty, fit her so beautifully, that I’m sometimes tempted to tell people their gloves fit them like Cara’s sweaters.

Within minutes Cara is wearing the top half of a cardigan that comes halfway down her back to the point just below her underarms. She’s come in for a second opionion on the fit and to cross-check that with the numbers she got from her original gauge swatches, to see if it needs another couple of rows of raglan increases, or if she’s gone too far already. You could say that she doesn’t like to leave things to chance. As a mathematician and an actuary she understands gauge and the risks associated with ignoring it. Swatching isn’t just sensible, it’s integral.

When I asked Cara to tell me about her knitting through the lockdown period, she explained that ‘In March I was working on my Ama sweater but I tried it on and it was so unflattering I stopped and fell out of love with knitting for a bit!’.

No no no!! I remembered the lovely speckled shade of Woolkitchen yarn she’d used for the contrast colour, and wanted to shout out over the ether, ‘Don’t give up on it! We just needed to try it on you and work it out. It’s going to look lovely on you.’ I made a mental note to put aside my loathing of Zoom and to suggest we do a remote measuring session to see if we can get this one back on track. Can we Cara?

But Cara’s story has a happy ending. She continues..

“I did finish my East London Knit brioche scarf that I started after my brioche classes with Renee. I really enjoyed the repetitiveness of the brioche – quite calming when everything else felt stressful. And very satisfyingly squishy. Once I’d done that I taught myself to do brioche in the round so that I could make a hat and mitts to match. The pattern I found (not one of Renee’s!) had lots of mistakes in so I was quite pleased with myself that I managed to work it out and make changes so they looked how I wanted. The dark blue yarn was Malabrigo Rios leftover from my beekeeper cardigan and the lighter colour is something I’ve had in my stash for a while (I bought it when I got overexcited at my first yarn festival!) “

I miss you Cara. I hope you’ll be back soon.

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