Yesterday I knit like a fiend, after I suddenly realized that really, it’s not a joke. Your baby will not be born until his/her shawl is finished. I know that it might sound funny to you, my belief that babies don’t come until their knitting is done, but I have a lot of babies to judge by and a perfect track record. The girls were each born (one two weeks late, one two weeks early and one right on her due date) all on the day that their blankets were finished, Hank was born on the day I finished his blanket, Snowdrop didn’t come until I finished her shawl, Sam arrived in 49 minutes once I was done with that boring baby blanket (though I feel bad that he was a week late. It was a pretty big blanket though.) …..I don’t know why I was worried. Clearly, the baby comes when I finish.
This got me to thinking, since truly my next thought was “why rush?” (Yes. That does make me rather cruel. I’d rather not discuss it. I’m still reeling from the realization that I’ve been artificially inflating birth weights in the Province of Ontario for my entire career.) if it is finishing the blanket that triggers labour, and you will definitely be pregnant for as long as I decide you will, until the time is right, then perhaps I should get a move on. (I promise that the way you wake up every morning, realize you are still pregnant and then call me absolutely furious about it had nothing to do with my decision to get a move on. I would feel sort of guilty if you exploded because I got distracted by a fair isle hat though…so I stuck to it with some focus.)
I took the shawl with me to the S&B at Lettuce knit last night. Right, sorry. I didn’t have any fun though. I bet you had more fun than me, just sitting around watching your feet swell. I definitely didn’t have fun while I was taking this picture, which I have entitled…
“Emma may have miscalculated her gauge.”
Emma (the one in the back) knit this on the fly, and since denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, it was only when she cast off and had the zipper mostly in that she could no longer deny the truth. (I’m sure you will be laughing as hard as I as that she said this sweater only had an extra “16 inches” in it)
We ripped it back last night. I tried not to think of the irony that I was delaying knitting your shawl while ripping back the only item in the world that is going to fit you if I don’t finish the shawl.
Wracked by guilt, I knit on the streetcar, on the bus and until 1:30AM, when…I finished the knitting.
I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking “It’s 10:30AM Steph. It’s been (*&^%$#!!!! nine hours since you finished! Why the (*&^%$!!! am I still *&^%$#ing pregnant?” Firstly, don’t talk like that, the baby can hear you, and secondly…because lace isn’t done until it’s blocked. The knitting was finished, the shawl was not.
Knitting done, I folded the shawl, relieved that I would be blocking it today and turned in. Lying there, my dear friend. I started to think about you. I though about how you were trying to sleep while someone jumped on your spleen, kicked you in the diaphragm and played rousing games of “I’m sure that’s her bladder” so you had to get up to pee 57 times while I was lying there. I felt sort of bad.
So I got back up.
The shawl, blocking at 2:30am. (Never say I do not love you.)
(By the way, statistically speaking? What do you think the odds are that this totally innocent looking black cat is not going to lie on the blocking white shawl the minute I go up to bed?”)
By the time I got up this morning the shawl was dry. (I woke up twice last night imagining you calling me in a rush, and me staggering around the living room with my coat half on, cab at the door, kicking pins out of the thing at 5:55am ..but no.) I unpinned it and lo.
It is finished.
It is knit. It is blocked. It is dry. It is ready.
Specs for my knitter friends: My own pattern, with the final snowflake pattern and border boosted from this book (which is a fine book.) It took 2 full balls and a little bit of a third one of Misti Alpaca Lace. (437 yards/ball) on 3.75mm needles.
Teresa, please forgive me for not knitting as quickly as I could, and accept my deepest apologies for that last stretch mark that was probably completely preventable. Mea culpa.
Know that despite my regrettable lack of speed, I will point out that I am actually done on your due date, that this is one of the best and most beautiful things I have ever knit, and that I couldn’t possibly be more excited about being at this birth, touching the third of your babies (you do such nice work) …and finding out exactly who is in there.
In short, my dear friend….Bring it on.