Widdle Feetsies

There is something about the way that I am put together. something hidden on my genome somewhere, some experience or virus or something, some little mysterious part that takes who I am, and everything I believe and how I want to be seen by others, and smashes it into a million pieces whenever I see baby booties. 

Let’s be clear. I am not a baby-talker.  I don’t use baby words or cutesie stuff, even with the tiniest of humans. Babies do not have "itty-bittie-nosies" or "bummie wummies".  I’m not judging baby talk, and you can do if if you want to, but I’ve got me a whole boatload of witnesses who can verify that I speak to babies straight up, telling them the way things are.  I have been known, frequently, to pick up a crying baby and simply ask them to stop.  I rock, sway, bounce and comfort them all the while saying things like "Hey, hey. All this yelling is not nice.  I’m right here, and I’m listening. There’s no need to get rude."  It works for me. (Actually, it doesn’t just work for me. I have a great track record on the baby communication scale. They dig me.)

The point is that there’s no explanation for what happens to me when I get around booties.  They’re like kryptonite to me. I see them and I literally have to bite my tongue not to say "teensie weensie widdle shoosies! To go on widdle ba ba feetsies!"
Sometimes I even have the urge to stick my fingers into them and walk them around. (Sometimes, I am not able to overcome this urge.)

It’s not a good look man. Not a good look.  It’s like having an out of body experience. I hear myself doing it.  I am disgusted by myself, and I am helpless to stop.  These booties were particularly bad.  First, they are very little. They are newborn sized, and to make matters worse, they are fuzzy.  They are not as fuzzy as I wanted, which is probably the only thing that kept me from stroking out from the colossal level of cute they’re packing.  I used my Cutest Bootie pattern, modified for fewer stitches, on account of my thicker handspun.  I love them to death, but I am going to try for a do-over.  I want them fuzzier. I’m going to keep treating these bootees like swatches for the sweater I’m thinking of.  When I get a pair that  I’m happy with, I’ll make more of that yarn and finish the set.  I am going to do this mostly alone, so that there are no witnesses for the spasm of helpless baby-talking they seem to bring on. 
I am sad to report however, that it would appear that this flaw is genetic.  As Sam arrived home from school, she espied the booties on the table, grabbed them up with two hands, got an expression of delight on her face that I know oh, oh too well, and then proclaimed "Oh! They are so WIDDLE!"  Then I saw the shock come over her as she realized what she had said.  I looked away. The worst part is knowing that there’s no way to help her.  This appears to be a lifetime condition, with no hope for recovery.


PS: I wanted to tell everybody about this great event in Conifer, Colorado, at the Knit Knook. I’ll be there June 22-23. First for a talk that has lots of room, and then for a silk class (my favourite one to teach, it’s so much fun) and then for a sock class in the afternoon.  I hope I see you there.  I don’t get out that way often, so I’m pretty excited.

PPS: I know that I said I was probably giving away Karmic Balancing gifts today, but I can also see from my inbox that some of you haven’t responded to the email that explained how to enter.  I don’t want anyone left out, so go check your mail! I’ve rescheduled for Monday, just to give you a little more time.  If you’re still thinking about donating, you’re a peach. I’ll send the thank you/how to enter email tomorrow night, and Sunday night, to cover anyone who feels the urge to donate over the weekend.  Thanks so much knitters.  You’re amazing. 

69 thoughts on “Widdle Feetsies

  1. I am the same way. To make matter worse I’m due to have a new baby in July. There are so many tiny knit things in my house its maddening.

  2. I’m there with you, but it’s itty-bitty shoes that do me in. And itty bitty socks. My husband does everything he can to distract me when we are out shopping and we come anywhere near the baby or shoe department. Most of the time he fails and just plucks the cutesie widdle shoesies from my hands, puts them back on the shelf and gently steers me away while pinning my hands to me sides so I can’t get at them.

  3. Hmmm, I didn’t get any email about karmic gifts. I did donate several days ago…………

  4. Oh, come on! Either you or Sam has to stick her fingers in them for a picture so we can see how eensie-beensie they are. (It must be the XX chromosomes. We must have cute!)

  5. I’ve never made socks before, but I have made other things and I’d like to learn about socks next. Will the Sunday class in Confer be above my head?

  6. i will be buying my ticket to your talk monday! i am so happy you’ll be here in CO. bring lots and lots of water and sunscreen! yay!

  7. Those booties are fuzzy enough that I want to stroke my laptop monitor. So pretty. *sigh*

  8. Us mountain folk are very excited that you’re coming to Conifer. We’ll try to have good weather for you — bring your sunscreen and lots of lotion. At this alitude and very low humidity you feel like your skin will shrivel up — but it’s great for curly hair.
    Totally off topic – there’s a restaurant right across the main road from the yarn store you’ll be at that just added poutine to their menu. I’ve never seen it in the US. Did you call ahead?

  9. I loved reading your response to Sam’s response to the booties…yup, these things are genetic…nothing you can do to help her…

  10. I talk that way to/about baby kittens. Um. I talk that way about *photos* of baby kittens. So does my husband. 😀

  11. I only do that kind of talk when I see cute little doggies! With babies, I go into tourette mode and repeat “HI THERE!” a few times until they laugh, if they don’t respond, look confused, than I split real quick. Don’t want be perceived as a weirdo, you know what I mean.

  12. I’m not a baby talker either and hate to hear it, but I’m the same way with any little baby clothes!! I’m helpless and hopeless around them…..and knit items! It’s all over when baby knits are present.

  13. Remember the time you and Tina had at Port Ludlow after an event. Cute little multi-coloured booties, with pom-poms as I recall. Apparently this was before the staff knew you so well. And remember the little cap placed in the hope chest? Yes, we have seen manifestations of this syndrome before.

  14. I had emailed you earlier this week offering one of my knitted projects for the karmic balancing. Don’t know if you got it, so I sent it just now.
    Hope you get it and that you will let me know if it works for you.

  15. THank you, Stephanie! The day was frustrating me, really, for no good reason (I’m about to go away with a great MIL and adult daughter for 3 nights, to a beach house. Who cares if it rains on and off? just the three of us. Pure luxury. No good reason for frustration right now). But, your description of Sam was priceless, and the guffaw you just gave me was a wonderful gift!

  16. But they are cute! and widdle! and wuvly.
    Booties and baby socks. I’m not sure which is worse.
    Almost anything else I can continue to speak like a coherent adult. But socks and booties? no.

  17. Isn’t it a relief, then, to know that there is no baby talk allowed on the tour page? You could safely spend some time there.
    (Not that I’m nagging or anything.)

  18. Further proof that you ARE the Canadian version of me. 🙂 And baby booties are deadly.

  19. But they don’t work! I have some super cute ones from MIL that had sunflowers embroidered on the tops of them that I still have 18 years later, but they are gorgeous. Babies kick them off, they do a bit better with woollen leggings next to the skin, and then extra booties on top for an extra layer of warmth.
    If Sam wants to look at ‘widdle’ booties, she should look at ones for premature babies, they are really small! In real life, a photo doesn’t do them justice.

  20. I love booties and have a killer stays on their wee feet pattern for cascade fixation. That being said, the current human under construction, gender unknown is accummulating a large collection of BSJ variations in various sizes, several hats, and a denim blanket, but only one pair of booties so far. I have to admit that with an almost 15 year gap since the last round of baby things, I had forgotten how quick they go and how much fun they can be.

  21. Ahh! I can’t believe you’re going to the Knit Knook! I can’t believe I just moved away from the Denver area! I knew I needed to move back soon, but day-um, that’s so soon. If I don’t make it this time, I’ll be sure to make it next, so sad I moved recently 🙁

  22. … colossal level of cute they’re packing…
    I am so stealing that line. Just sayin’ – Best. Line. Ever.

  23. And here I thought I was crazy carrying on actual, if one-sided, conversations with my 2 month old. It worked with my others, so why mess with a good thing? They, however, elicit his smiles with such pithy observations as, “buhbuhbuh, boobooboo, I wuuuvvs oooo, piddy baybee.” Woe betide me if I should make him a pair of these booties – he may never manage to hear the English language spoken properly 😉

  24. Definitely genetic, and gender-linked. Same gene causes women of all ages to squee over newborn babies and engagement announcements. It may also have a role to play in squeeing over puppies, kittens, baby bunnies, lambs, etc.
    But the way you talk to infants is pretty much the way I do: no baby talk! In fact, I gave each niece and nephew what’s become known as “Uncle’s Rules”: There will be no pooping, peeing, or puking on me. There will be no shrieking or screaming in my ear. There will be no grabbing or pulling of the hair, facial hair, glasses, jewelry (if any), or necktie (if any). If you can follow these simple rules, we’ll get along great. If not, you will head back to your mom or dad so fast you may actually get younger. All seven of the niecephews obeyed “Uncle’s Rules”, much to the dismay of some of their other uncles and aunts!

  25. I can’t resist chiming in about the baby talk, even though its not about knitting. Neither my husband nor I used baby talk with her daughter. Several of our friends and family members did, but then they’d rush to correct themselves, looking all embarrassed and clearly assuming we opposed baby talk. Which left me explaining that we were just fine with them using baby talk. In fact, there are several convincing studies indicating baby talk is an appropriate instinct and has some developmental value. (I knew this for my work. I am not a read every parenting book parent either.) We just both lacked that instinct. Of course, our kid has turned out to be highly verbal. And, of course, several of my cousins have noted that and banned baby talk with their kids. Sigh. So much for the ‘just talk to them, it doesn’t matter how’ theory we were actually following.

  26. Oh my gosh I’m a grown woman who’s just silly excited to get to attend your classes in Conifer. The excitement level is actually probably stupid. I don’t care. Thank you for coming so far to spend time with us, especially at a tough time in your life. We promise to make it worth your while. You may even want to move here by the time we’re done. Seriously.

  27. I love baby booties and have always sucked at making them. Cannot for the life of me figure out why. HOWEVER, I just downloaded your pattern. I trust that my bootie bad luck is now over. Keep making them, Steph. It can only be good for your soul and whatever ails you. I’m counting on it. xo

  28. For increased angora halo without waiting for the effect from use, put item in dryer on no heat and turn on for a couple of minutes. Tada halo with no waiting

  29. Sandy: don’t you have to add some form of abrasion for them to knock against? I’m thinking a damp towel or some such. You would need a crap tonne of booties to make a dryer full.

  30. I don’t do the cutsie baby babble either, not even to booties, though I’d probably pick them up and stroke them, just like I do my cats.

  31. I think telling anyone that you’re listening to them is just so important, especially a tiny human who has no idea what the heck is going on. And who doesn’t just crumble about tiny knitted things for tiny humans? I mean jeez.

  32. Great booties. My youngest turns 20 this weekend, I showed him the hospital name tag that was on his baby sized ankle.It now just fits on his big toe, he is amazed! (and so am I)

  33. I don’t know if somebody said it already, that, IS NOT A GOOD IDEA TO PUT FUZZY BOOTIES ON BABIES. Babies are able to put their feet in their mouth, and they can choke with the long fibres.
    Also those long silky ribbons can be dangerous. They do not stay in place, and the baby can swallow them too. The best is to make a cord from the same yarn, as it would not slip through the holes. Better safe than sorry.
    All the best,

  34. I am the same, yet went a bit silly (I may have actually said ‘squeee’ out loud) over cutest tiny baby Converse in a shoe shop the other day, how embarrasing.

  35. Those are beautiful and adorably precious at the same time! Baby stuff is so fun to make! I wish my brother or sister would get a move on in that dept. I’m tired of being the only one with kids! I’m ready for a niece or nephew that I can knit tiny things for!

  36. I don’t think it’s normal to be able to resist the cute that is newborn sized baby booties, especially fluffy ones so don’t worry, there may be no cure but at least we’re all in it together.

  37. I think the baby knitting and hope of a new life is your way of coping with the looming end of a life in your cosmos. We all cope in unique ways and there is nothing like a new baby in wool, the way they look and smell that wouldn’t at least bring momentary peace and sanctuary.
    Geez I think this is the most deep stuff I have ever written. I could use a new baby in my sphere right now. .

  38. It’s a good thing you’re keeping quiet about this failing of yours that has you so embarrassed. Best not to tell anyone except for your closest friends. Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with us!

  39. Now, widdle bootees is on the sound side of babytalk. I remember (ouch, long ago) a young man singing about an: itsy bitsy teenie weenie yes you guessed, yellow polkadot bikini. Now, in hindsight, that was weird, singing about a girl of dating-age and itsy bitsy, she must have had widdle handsies, widdle footies, maybe a not so widdle spine end? I do talk to babies and toddlers like to grown-ups, up to a year naming their name instead of you, after that I use you. I cringe hearing them talked to: Does Jimmy want a butty, and the boy seems to be five. Why not say: Jimmy, do you want a butterbread? I think talking to them the grown uo way even makes them behave better, with far less or non at all tantrums. They learn to talk in right grammatics too(sorry, I am Dutch, English is not even my second but my third language). But, widdle or little, those baby bootees look adorable, even if they do not fluff up, they could be hung in a Christmastree after being worn bij the newborn, they will not collect dirt from the roads or garden.

  40. “Hey, hey. All this yelling is not nice. I’m right here, and I’m listening. There’s no need to get rude.”
    I have to say, you never sounded more stereotypically Canadian then when I read this. This is how I imagine y’all talk all the time.
    I know what you’re talking about with the baby stuff triggering something insane inside you. I actually truly despise children (I hated other kids when *I* was a kid and it hasn’t gotten better since becoming an adult…) but I start seeing little baby things and I talk like I’ve just inhaled helium. Of course it doesn’t help that everyone I know is pregnant right now, even people who never planned on having kids. For the next 600 something years it seems, I’ll be churning out adorable little bits of knitting for the babies I can’t actually stand to be around.
    Question for the group, does anyone else who DOESN’T like or want children feel oddly left out when all their friends start having children? (Not in a, “I want to join them” mode, more of a,”I will miss you being able to join ME”.)

  41. I agree with the concerns for safety. A knot can be tied in the back middle stitch of the bootie when the ribbon is woven through.

  42. oh, boy. if you were shooting in the garden with those booties, AND doing baby talk, people probably REALLY think you’re a bit off your rocker.

  43. Question: do they stay on the feet for more than a few seconds? In the many knit pairs of booties I received the baby had them off in less than a minute. Cute but useless. If these stay on every bootie knitter in the world should be made to knit nothing but these.

  44. My grandmother was a big believer in speaking ENGLISH to babies. She never did “baby talk”. Thus, all of us spoke complete sentences when we were very young. And we’ve passed it on to our children, and now to my grandchildren.
    I do talk baby talk to the dog, however.

  45. Another Coloradoan here excited to see you, even if I have to drive 65 miles to see you!
    I can only be there on Saturday, but I’m excited nonetheless.
    Love the booties. And no baby talking in my family either!
    Best wishes for you and your family.

  46. I had my email. Then it poofed. /shrug
    The booties are adorable. Baby talk forgiven!

  47. I can understand the kryptonite. They are adorable booties. I don’t use baby talk, but I don’t have any babies of my own yet (just a few more months). But even when I’m walking the dog, if he does something objectionable, I talk to him mostly as if he was a moderately bright person and about how he is supposed to communicate his desires to me.
    I’m sure for most people it is just a different kind of hilarious, but it works for me. I’ll have to see if a tiny baby changes my kryptonite settings.

  48. I understand the power of booties. while in grad school, a friend knitted mey baby a pair of white booties. I decided then at the age of 27 that all new moms should know how to knit so I took lessons from a lady who had a little knitting store in a corner of her home.I still have one of the booties and use it as a Christmas tree ornament.

  49. I wish you could come and speak to my baby boy. He’s 3 weeks old and if he’s not eating or sleeping he’s screaming. His older sister was a dream to be around as a baby. I as a mom I am still in shock that I can’t seem to mellow him out. Maybe all he needs are some booties. I’ll try and knit some up.

  50. the cutest widdle weensy teensy babeee bootees for widdle feetsies I ever saw!

  51. That “hidden part of your genome” is your second X chromosome. It’s the same thing that allows you to hear the baby crying in the next room while your spouse is snoring happily away. To be fair, said spouse has been known to wake in the middle of the night to hunt down the water he can hear dripping at the other end of the house. Maybe that’s a Y chromosome expectation.

  52. Annadownya: I’m with you 100%. I dislike children intensely and will go out of my way to avoid them. But baby clothes? Adorable. Mainly the gorgeous little party frocks for baby girls. I love them. And I want them. I want an adult sized version of every little baby’s party frock, ever. And it does make me terribly sad when my friends have babies, because I know that I won’t see them any more, because of the whole ‘avoiding children’ thing.

  53. Ok, gotta take you and some of the commenters to task here. You say you have nothing against baby talk. But you are deeply embarrassed when you lapse into it. So clearly you do. Say it. Own it. And take the fact that some people will be offended like a grownup. We as women *must* start owning our words and quit hedging everything we say.

  54. So cute. And you sound so much like me in how you talk to babies.
    I’m wondering if not-fuzzy might be safer for babies, who do after all stick their feet in their mouths? But oh, those are so cute! (I need to keep looking at them. I need to get over my fear of knitting booties. I need a pair by Saturday. The one and only pair I ever made, for my first grandson, fit his three-year-old cousin, who claimed them on the spot. Second grandson, second challenge, gotta make me some cutesie-wootsie here and fast.)

  55. well, i guess it’s been long enough. i waited and waited for a post about the event in Arkansas, because i live here, and was SO BUMMED i couldn’t even attend at all, and was so excited about it, ans so sure you would make a post mentioning us down here… but it’s been a while now, and i guess you’re not going to. i really hope you liked us down here, and that you had a good time.

  56. I’m so glad you reminded us about donating. It was something I was meaning to do but forgot. I put mine in last night (Sunday). Will look for your email.

  57. I can’t believe that you’re coming to Colorado again and I can’t go! I was barely a conscious knitter the first time you came and I remember reading in your blog that you got altitude sickness, so I despaired of you ever returning…and now you are and I’ll be in Nebraska at a wedding when you’re here this time. Boo.
    Also, can you address the vinegar and sunshine solution to getting things really white? I’m so curious!

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