There is a baby coming in our family. It’s been a while since we had one, so excitement is running high. Hank’s getting really big, and all other grand-children are old enough to vote in the next election, so this baby is going to be a very over-cherished wee thing. Joe’s sister Katie (and I suppose her Carlos contributed a single cell, so should be mentioned) is going to give us a baby sometime in February (or early March, I don’t want to rush her at all) and I am getting ready. Katie is very, very nice, and I’m assuming the baby will be too, which means that the two of them together (and Carlos, he’s nice too) are entitled to all the best knits that can fly off these needles between now and then.
The thing is that I am pretty well acquainted with how long it takes to make a baby. I also know that as a knitter, I shouldn’t even be a little concerned about that baby until after the Christmas knitting is done. (Yeah, I said it. It’s time for the Christmas knitting. Live with it. We all knew it was coming.) I flirted with the idea of the baby knitting, but really I had it in my head that I had just buckets of time before I had to worry about it, and then it happened. A baby shower invitation arrived in the mail, and faster than you could say "holy booties Batman, I thought I had three months" I needed a baby gift.
Naturally, this prompted a deep dive into the pattern stash, and I came out with Baby Knits from Dale of Norway: Soft Treasures for Little Ones, which was floating sort of close to the top of the pile. (Yes, by the way, that book is out of print and yes, that means it’s expensive. I promise it wasn’t when I bought it. I bet you can get it from the library if you really need to see it.) I love just about everything in that book, and since I was leaving for Port Ludlow, and couldn’t really get into it, I just tossed that book and four balls of Baby Ull into my suitcase. I figured I could work the rest out later.
I did. The day after the Colour Retreat, I cast on Perlemor, and away I went. For the most part, the thing proceeded without any sort of upset or difficulty until I entered some sort of fugue state on Friday night when I realized that the baby shower was SUNDAY, and had a freakout the size of Chicago, which is not at all insignificant. Still, I held it together until Saturday night, when the sweater was done and blocking, and I only had the bonnet to go, and I realized that the bonnet had a turned back brim that was going to add an extra six centimetres of length to that mission, and promptly cast on, knit seven rows and then went to be completely demoralized.
I am nothing, however, if not delusional determined, and so Sunday morning I got it into my head that I could totally nail it. After all (I argued with myself) the shower isn’t until 2:00. Who can’t knit a bonnet in five hours? I made coffee, and applied myself to the mission, and at 1:45 I was steam blocking the wee thing, wrapping it, and heading out the door.
(The wrapping part sounds insignificant there, but wasn’t. I’ve unfortunately inherited a rare genetic trait from my mother in which I never have any tape. I can buy as much as I want, stash it in various locations around the house, and it makes no difference. Every gift giving event leaves me swearing and thrashing and eventually going to the store on the corner for tape minutes before I leave. You’d think that would mean I’d have tape for the next time, but no. It’s promptly sucked into the void, leaving me to be destined to repeat the same thing. Christmas is a nightmare.)
In any case, Katie is a smart mama, who knows darn well she’s having a winter baby in Canada, and is embracing and understanding the wave of wool shaped love headed her way…
and I think she likes it.
I can’t wait for this baby.
PS. I have already explained this to Katie and Carlos, but the fact that I have knit a blue and white baby sweater is no way a statement or endorsement of the idea of them having a boy. I understand there’s just about a 50% chance that there’s a wonderful little nephew in there (who I will adore completely and wholly, as I do Hank) but my preference for girl babies is well known. That’s what I want. I just happen to think that babies of all varieties look nice in blue and think dressing them according to what’s under the diaper is silly. That’s it.
PPS. We also gave Katie our favourite baby gift. Feel free to steal this idea, it’s one of the best we’ve ever had. I went to the bookstore and bought the first book each of us can remember. For Joe it’s Curious George , for me, Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb , for Amanda it’s Green Eggs and Ham , Megan remembers Very Hungry Caterpillar and Sam fondly recalls Murmel, Murmel, Murmel . Winners all.