• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 01
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To start with, I bought them for you. Brightly coloured, plain knit gloves. Marl with a simple cable. Stocking stitch with Aran ribs. Fairisle. Heather colours, tiny sprigs of pattern. Fine merino wool. The pattern and the colour didn’t really matter. The important thing was to keep you warm. Soon, I began to knit them myself. The soothing repetition of knit one, knit one, purl. Each pair a token of my care for you, each stitch a word I couldn’t bring myself to say, each new pattern a fear I refused to express.

It was a cold winter - hard frost at night, chill air by day - and your hands were mottled, waxen yellow poking through a livid tracery. Your room was kept hot as the Tropical House at Kew, yet still your hands were cold. So I kept knitting glove after glove after glove - enough pairs for every day of that bad year. As I shaped each thumb and every finger, the wool circling, my needles slipping through the loops, I thought the same word over and over - glove, glove, glove - as if these stitches contained everything I wanted to tell you, as if these gloves could stand in for everything left unsaid.