Bolt gave me a really dirty look. But the baby was fussy and he needed something to distract him. He’s just learning how to grab things and fling them around, much to his amusement. So I gave him the closest thing I had. It just happened to be a knitting needle.
Now, before I get voted worst mother ever, I’d like to say in my defense that it was a circular needle and the part attached to the cord was pointing toward his face, not the pointy side. So, I was reasonably certain that he wasn’t going to poke his eye out. Which, he did not, for the record.
I have been spending the last almost three months of Bug’s life relearning how to knit with a baby on my lap. It is slowing me down something fierce, especially as he is getting better at grabbing. We’re making do with a slower pace on everything around here. I have to choose recipes that can be executed in 20 minute chunks, because that is the longest amount of time that Bug will sit happily in his bouncy chair.
I both love this forced slow-down and deeply hate it. It is the essential duality of my motherhood experience so far. For instance, right now, Bug is fast asleep on my chest. I am so completely in love with him and love feeling his little hands wrapped around my chest. But, we’re having guests over for dinner in an hour. I should really be cooking dinner or showering or something. I’m stressed, when I think about it, but calmed when I feel him. I am learning, slowly, to deal with the stress I feel to get things done. He is the pressure I need to prioritize. And I only resent him for that occasionally. It is kinda like if my vitamins were dipped in chocolate half the time and bitter the other half.
So, Bolt’s new sweater might take a lot longer than it would have if I had started it BB – before Bug. But, it will get done. And, presumably, I’ll find some more suitable toys for my baby in the meantime.
I started Sheldon with a purple shell, but thought the yellow would be a better fit in the end. I like how well he goes with his blanket. Sheldon now is ready to be packed up and sent out into the world with his super comfy blanket! Just in time too, I don’t imagine I’m going to be working on any knitting projects in the days to come…
As I mentioned before, it seems like everyone I know is having a baby. A couple years ago, everybody was getting married. These waves of life events has kept my crafting projects list buzzing. I, not infrequently, wonder why I do it. It takes more money and more time to make something than it would to go to the store. And it is an emotional gamble too. It is impossible to detach from what I give, especially if you end up spending hours and hours putting it together. If the recipient doesn’t like it, there is no gift receipt.
Ever since my very dear friend from high school got married back in 2008, and I was looking for a gift to give her. I’ve never been really good at telling my people how important they are to me, but I wanted that opportunity to show her. So, despite the obvious utility of buying her something she had actually asked for and just writing up a nice card, I decided to knit them a blanket. Of course, because of all my hemming and hawing about what to do, I didn’t actually start knitting the blanket until about a month before the wedding. Between the full time job and, you know, feeding and bathing myself, I did not actually finish the blanket in time for the wedding. I believe, if memory serves me, that I wrapped it up and gifted it, only to take it back and finish it a few months later (this is an unfortunate trend in my craft-gift giving).
A very blurry wedding blanket
So was born a tradition of sorts. I can’t just buy a gift for someone that I feel strongly about, specifically when it comes to a big life change (I don’t have the same compunction about Christmas and birthday gifts). I just don’t feel like it says enough. I want to say that ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you’ or ‘Your friendship means so much to me,’ but I’m no good at that. I am good at knitting. I’m not sure that it really does anything for the receiver, but as the giver I get to spend hours and hours thinking about the person that I’m giving the gift to. I get to settle on just how I feel about them and our relationship and really revel in it for awhile. I can’t say it is the most practical thing. And, like I said before, I have no idea if the receiver cares or understands the way that I feel. There is an old curse in the knitting world about knitting a sweater for your significant other (I’m actually more than a little shocked by the full Wikipedia write up on that one), that embodies the possible dissonance between giver and receiver. But, nonetheless, I have to. I hope that those I give to understand what I am trying to say and feel as loved as I hope they do.
My Belly from 23 weeks to 32 weeks
There is something of a pregnancy boom in our lives. We’re at that age, I guess, where our friends are decided en masse to get themselves knocked up. Of course, we were not immune from this desire. As you can see, my belly is growing at a remarkable rate. Our little Bug-to-be is making me alternately tired, excited, terrified and somewhat manically happy.
Kibo loves the camera
Bug and his soon-to-be playmates have filled my list of to-dos for the foreseeable future. So many tiny sweaters, blankets and quilts to make. However, I wanted to make one last thing for me before I got started with the all the crafts in miniature.
For Christmas this year I got a bunch of beautiful teal yarn and a copy of the knit.wear magazine. I was immediately drawn towards the Lark Cardigan, by Pam Allen, because it looked both cozy and like something I could wear over my future protruding belly without problem. The stitch pattern is really beautiful and it is a fun pattern to knit up. The collar took forever, but I love the drapiness of it in the finished product. Incredibly frustratingly though, I discovered, after I tried it on for the first time, that the cast on edge was just too loose. Instead of hanging down nicely, the edge looks ruffly. I have learned my lesson for the future – mostly that I actually need to learn other cast on methods (something I have so far steadfastly refused to do). I am going to try to wash the sweater and block it a bit, despite the fact that the yarn is acrylic, to see if that helps at all.
In the meantime, no point in crying over spilled milk. I’m moving on to a baby knitting project, one of my old favorites Sheldon the turtle, for a friend and a baby quilting project for us.
Baby quilt in progress