For the past several years Clara has been “knitting with yarn”. “Knitting with yarn” means she would burrow into the couch with a yarn ball in her lap that she would repeatedly tie it into rows of knots. She would eventually finish when she had a long wonky rope of yarn. I have received several of these as gifts over the years. I have found several hundred more scattered across the floor.

But this year she asked her mother to teach her to croquet. And she had a reason for doing it. A new little cousin was on the way and this little boy would not be kept warm this winter with a yarn snake.

So, several months ago, not long after finding out about the baby, Clara set to work on a hat. She worked on it in the car. She carried it in a bag and worked on it at church. She would sit and work on it in the living room in the evening. And under the dinner table when she was supposed to be eating.

It wasn’t easy for her. The pattern she picked was ambitious and she needed a lot of help from her Mom along the way. There were regular inspections, and sometimes hours of work had to be unraveled and started again. But she never gave up.

She was quite distraught when the baby shower finally arrived and she was still not finished. But she buckled down and pulled it together just in time. She was sewing on eyes and a nose in the car, on the way to the hospital to see him for the first time.

Little Joel still needs to grow into it. Currently, it’s more a bear mask than it is a bear hat. But I think he will appreciate it a lot more as he gets older. And even more than that, I know he will grow to appreciate the love of his sweet cousin Clara.24796466_10154882764081901_5757815791143545131_n.jpg