I was cleaning out some toy buckets in the boys' room last week when I came across a pile of knit Barbie sweaters.  My grandma knit them for me when I was very little.  I remember the red jacket especially, and how smart my dolls looked in their delicate clothes.  I remember receiving them and knowing that my sweaters were something special, made just for me, with her hands {not at all like the bright neon frills that my friends' dolls were wearing}.  I remember how the tiny white pearlized buttons and the simplicity of the small stitches were intoxicating to my five year old self.  I adored every single one of them.

When my boys were very little, we discovered the trunk full of dolls and clothes in my mom's basement.  They found the little sweaters and buttons equally captivating, and that summer, Barbie and her hand knit wardrobe found their way into all kinds of sandbox stories.

It's bittersweet to find these now, because three weeks ago, my grandma died after a long struggle with Alzheimer's.  It had been a very long time since she remembered how to knit.

In the quiet moments of the early morning sun or after everyone has gone to bed, I sit with her needles and work the stitches.  To heal.  To remember.  To celebrate a life well lived.