My grandma gave me a special gift one Christmas morning when I was 5. Under the tree sat a beautiful handmade doll, named Lindy Lou. She was sparkly clean, white, and had long hair made of chocolate brown yarn, which I could (and did) braid for hours. My Grandma’s sister, Helen, wrote a book entitled, Lindy Lou and the Green Umbrella. Grandma fashioned a doll to go along with the story, and it was that special doll who awaited my friendship that Christmas morning.
Adventures we did have – Lindy Lou and I. We went camping, hiking, and spent hours in the grass looking up at the clouds. We played jump rope, jacks, and every summer went to stay with Grandma. Grandma would shake her head when she saw the condition of my well-loved Lindy Lou. As Lindy Lou accompanied me on my adventures, she became more and more tattered. Her hair was missing some large chunks of yarn and her cheeks were smudged with dirt. Grandma said, “I will give Lindy Lou a makeover – a face lift and a new body.” I screamed at the very thought of Grandma performing plastic surgery on Lindy Lou. “No, no, no! Do not touch her face. It’s who she is. It’s who I love.” Grandma and I agreed to disagree. I finally consented to let Grandma reinforce Lindy Lou’s body with some new (cleaner fabric) but her face was not to be touched. Lindy Lou came home that summer with a fresh pink body, but she retained her handsome, stately and very grubby face. The face I loved to kiss!
As I changed from a small girl to an adult, Lindy Lou still accompanied me – sitting stoically on my bed watching me through my teen years, sitting quietly in the corner of my room at College, curiously watching my two growing sons from the tiny rocking chair they had outgrown. But one year when I was in my 30’s, Lindy Lou unexpectedly found herself sheltered away in a plastic tub way up on the closet shelf.
My two boys have grown and left home. My knitting has curiously turned to baby things -- baby dresses, baby socks, baby hats and lovely fair isle baby sweaters. There is no baby coming soon to this house, but ahhhhhh haaaaa I suddenly remember that I have a little old doll who is the perfect size 12 mos. Lindy Lou eagerly climbed down from that high shelf in the closet to try on her new wardrobe, and she is thrilled.
I know too that my Grandma is somewhere smiling down on me. Although way too old to play with dolls, I still am in love with this sweet little doll. Do you have something from your childhood that that can still bring up those safe childhood feelings?
The cute little tams are from Beth Brown-Reinsel's "Fair Isle Tam" class. It's such a fun little pattern and a great way to experiment with color-work. www.knittingtraditions.com