Lillian Hildegarde, my great aunt, was born in 1898 – the oldest daughter in my grandmother's family. I knew she had polio as a child, that she had walked with a cane since then.
I knew she was the keeper of our family tree. I spent one preteen summer with our royal typewriter re-keying her name lists onto new clean sheets. I still have these pages. I'm their keeper now.
Unlike most young women of her day she went to college. Single, independent, she lived alone in an apartment on Park Drive. Through family albums I learned more about her work at MIT. She was a librarian. I saw her smiling back from photographs taken at her retirement party.
But it wasn't until much later that I discovered she was a writer – a writer of steamy novels never published, about life, love, romance, and heartbreak. She wrote her chapters in Scribble-in Books – little blank hardbound journals. I have the one with pages numbered from 626 to 778. I wish had more more.
As sweater tribute to my novelist, I plucked the fitting family-inspired name of my latest design from one of her characters – a young woman named Estelle.
Introducing Estelle's Envy – a slim pullover with alpaca collar abundance. Pattern writing and testing are underway – EPD (estimated publish date) 9/15/2014.