Widdle Shoesies

Ahh, baby things. I love to knit baby things. I know there’s all kinds of ideas and superstitions about not getting things for the baby before the baby, but I don’t truck with any of that. I feel like the things I make anchor babies to the earth, makes ready the way.

layette1 2015-05-19

There wasn’t too much knitting here this weekend, but I’m half a bootee away from a finished layette, and it’s so beautiful, and so tiny. Knitting first size things always makes me nervous. Newborns have a chest size of about 30-35cm, that’s only about 12-14 inches, and the whole time I’m knitting I keep thinking “No, that can’t be big enough, they must be a little bigger” but they’re not. The sweater’s all finished but for buttons, and I blocked the wee sweet bonnet over a big apple this weekend, and now once I finish that bootee, I’ll affix a whack of ribbon to the whole thing and there it will be. Ready and waiting for someone to fill it.  I’m so delighted I might wrap it in tissue paper.

I was going to say that when it’s done, I’ll have time for a pair of socks or something, but while I was typing that sentence the letter carrier rang the bell, and voila. The rest of the blanket yarn has arrived – which is totally exciting for me, and the beginning of a long expanse of knitting the same thing in one colour for the blog. I’ll see what I can do to make it interesting, but I think you’d better prepare yourselves. There’s only so exciting I can make nine million miles of white yarn.

While you consider that thrilling revelation, Thank you for your generous donations all weekend long. There was a rough few moments (or hours) on the training ride on Sunday, and knowing it was doing a world of good made all the difference. My arse doesn’t hurt less, but my heart was light.  Thanks to everyone who emailed in that they’d like the trip to Squam – Last night at midnight I sorted all the emails into a pile, then used a random number generator to select a name. Amysue will be  making her way there this summer. I’ve emailed you Amysue, and do me a favour? Have a swim in the lake for me.

More gifts on Friday, see you tomorrow, when the blanket starts. You won’t want to miss that. White knitting. For miles. And weeks. For now, I’m going to take a nap. I have a date with my sister tonight, and you wouldn’t believe where we’re going.

75 thoughts on “Widdle Shoesies

  1. I love the widdle booties.

    Of course, “Half a bootie short of a layette” does sound vaguely insulting.
    Or is that just me??

  2. oh SO exciting! Wish your sweet arse could get a rest in the lake– but trust Amysue will be your proxy. Next year– I trust you’ll be ready to ride from Toronto to Squam! 🙂

  3. Oh glory, blocking the hat on a large apple made me think No way was he that small (he’s now almost 3), until I think of the tiny hospital shirt I have sitting on the shelf and yes, he was that small. Widdle booties are indeed pure magic.

  4. OK, here’s the deal: I won’t criticize you for making stuff ahead of babies’ arrival–as indeed I never have, nor has anyone else to my knowledge–and maybe you could quit bringing it up and referring to my deeply ingrained religious reflexes as “superstitions”?

    They’re cute, anyway!

    • I doubt it was meant in any way towards your personal beliefs. In any case, this is less about any of us readers personally and more about the little one on the way. In the past, people have brought it up (multiple times), so I can understand why Stephanie may acknowledge her point of view in a post about knitting for expected babies in a post on HER blog. She writes funny things for us to read, and I enjoy them very much – but this is her space and you choose to read her content.

  5. Oh those sweet wee booties! Thanks for making my uterus complain that it isn’t being used right now, lol. Maybe next year… Did I miss the pattern you’re using?

  6. Lovely set. I can’t wait to see the blanket. Please don’t run out of yarn this time. I don’t think we can handle that suspense again. 😉

  7. Wow, nap?! *fainted*. You beat me, you are knitting pretty fast. I knitted one Cutes Booties from you and took me two hours to knit from cast on to cast off. How did you focus on knitting? I adore you.

  8. Those booties are adorable…

    …and you *are* going to tell us where you’re going, right? Ok folks, time to stalk Twitter and Instagram, just in case.

  9. The booties are so cute! What pattern did you use? I have a little grandson coming my way who needs those booties!

  10. Hey, I just ordered yarn for a baby blanket for my daughter’s first child who is not conceived yet. But the yarn was very cheap, and it’s beautiful, and she’s hoping it will happen soon, and I’m a slow knitter . . . and did I mention it was really cheap?

  11. I don’t think it’s the least bit weird to have knit for a baby before it gets here. Where does that superstition come from?

    Our family always has everything ready before a baby gets here. And we never get anything in newborn size cause if the youngun’ is less that 8 lbs and 20 inches long it’s a preemie.

    • Agreed. Knitting for a baby before he or she is born is no different than preparing the room, buying a crib, arranging clothes and diapers in the drawers.

    • Have to agree with Amy at 5:21. Not everyone sees this in the same light. Waiting to make this kind of preparation isn’t merely a superstition .

    • To my knowledge it’s a Jewish thing. And in my case, an Italian thing. You don’t bring anything in the house or set up the nursery before the kid arrives – you don’t want to tempt fate, evil eye and that sort of thing. That said, my mother-in-law did get me some lovely baby clothes ahead of time – I thanked her and kept them at my mother’s house till my little Caroline arrived.

    • And I almost forgot – once the baby arrived, admiring neighbors would compliment her and “spit” three times – toi toi toi – again, to ward off the evil eye. You wouldn’t want to seem so full of yourself or tempt fate to bring you down a notch, so the spitting was supposed to prevent that.

    • I don’t get it, either. I’ve never heard of it until just now. And a friend of mine is happily knitting away on goodies for her soon to be arriving baby.

      A commenter above mentioned it as a religious belief? Really? Which religion?

      • Yes, it’s a Jewish thing. (Ashkenazi, mainly.) And therefore very far from being universal! Of course, many people get a lot of pleasure from knitting for babies who haven’t arrived yet. (I do too–I just wouldn’t give the gift till afterwards, when the baby’s been safely born.) My point was not that anyone should necessarily subscribe to this view–only that it would be nice if disagreement with it were expressed a bit more respectfully.

        • Amy, I’m not being disrespectful of yours or anyone else’s beliefs/superstitions. I had never heard of it before. And if I don’t ask how will I know? The only stupid question is one unasked and ignorance breeds intolerance.

      • It’s part of the Jewish faith/culture, but it happens other places too–where, as it’s not tied into a religion, it IS most accurately called a “superstition.” I know my mother’s social circle never even started to make/buy anything for a baby until the pregnancy was in the third trimester. Not because it was bad luck to do so, or anything, but because that drastically reduced the chance that you were going to paint a nursery, sew a quilt, or knit a layette for a baby that would never happen. The expectant parents saved money for the baby’s things, of course, but they didn’t buy any of them until late in the pregnancy.

        My mother wasn’t an especially slow knitter/crocheter, but because she was a busy one–and if she noticed my arms were getting a big long for my sleeves, she wanted to be able to knit my new sweaters uninterrupted by baby things–she tended to knit or crochet baby things when no one she knew was pregnant, then put them aside to be presented the next time there was a baby born. (Which doesn’t work if it’s a personalized blanket, but hers weren’t. They were lovely, but they were not chosen with a specific baby in mind.)

  12. Absolutely has to be the Prince concert tonight!

    And the almost finished layette is lovely. Can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with for a baby blanket design.

    Chris S.

  13. I know knitters who have knitted for grandchildren not yet conceived, nor likely to be conceived in the near future. Some knitters want future generations to know they were loved long before arriving here.

    I’m all for making a heritage item — not that I’ve done it yet, but I think about it.

    • We had a knitter at the Knitty Coffeeshop named ICUSue. SHe did the most magnificent colourwork things in Baby Ull, and stashed them all away for theoretical grandchildren. I think it’s based in culture and religion. As always with Knitties, we treat everyone with respect. Heritage is to be respected.

    • I knit when we were trying for a baby — the “if you build it, they will come” idea. It never worked out for us, but I’ve got some nice blankets to give my nephews’ kids someday, assuming they are luckier than we.

      I knit a blanket for a nephew in Sweden and sent it before he arrived. My mother-in-law let me know quite clearly that that is a huge no-no there. So add that to the list of cultures where sending stuff ahead of the baby’s arrival is just not done (at least in my husband’s family!).

    • See, I’m used to a combination of the two: my mother and her friends would make things for babies that had not yet been conceived, but that was a generic, theoretical baby. (My mother made blankets for all of her friends’ children when I was young. She would make them when she had free time, and store them away, until there was a baby born.) Once there was a specific pregnancy in mind, none of them would make a single thing for that baby until late in the pregnancy.

  14. Will you share the yarn you are using for the layette and blanket? I need to make one and don’t really have a “go-to” yarn in mind. Thanks!

  15. Patterns please! I love the white yarn too. I have several babies on the ground and in the womb for whom I owe some knitterly lovelies, and you’ve inspired me!

  16. Please help…I have no luck with booties. Somehow can’t get it right. I end up making a funky turn at a crucial point–or something. If I knew what I did, I wouldn’t do it. So…all suggestions for the “best bootie pattern” would be met with the greatest gratitude. Thank you! (Beautiful layette, as usual…)

  17. I sooooo know where you’re going. Enjoy catching up with your pint-sized boyfriend. It’s just you and the one formerly known as. He knows it. Or he would, if he would just open his liner’d eyes and really SEE, for once. And you know it.
    Bring us back some glitter.

  18. Do you have the exact pattern name for the booties? My FIRST grand-baby is on its way and I am so excited I could scream like a goat at random moments

  19. Oh my gosh I am so excited! I almost woke our youngest up with my squeal (and in this house there is an ironclad rule, if you wake the baby you stay with the baby until she’s back asleep). I will most definitely swim in the lake for you!

    Thank you so much!

  20. So I would like to donate to the rally, but for some reason, your link hasn’t worked for me (I’m in the US). Is there and address where I can just mail a check? P.s. I almost never post a comment but I read every post in this lovely blog. Best wishes on the bike!

  21. Yay for Amysue! Enjoy the lake for me from Bangkok as well. At least I won’t have to cross an ocean. Although I was ready to do it!

  22. Now obviously I don’t want to teach my grandmother to suck eggs but to be safe I would have done the blanket from the large pile of the same dye lot and the lickle things from the newly ordered yarn. Speaking as the recipient, many years ago, of a christening shawl with a stripe!
    Also, I have 2 kids 27 and 24. I have 2 boxes on top of a cupboard, hidden away, and when I have a moment I knit 2 unisex baby items and pop them in. I will be the granny with the most knitting!!!!!

  23. Just a quick Congrats! to Amysue… Enjoy the you-know-what out of it for all of us who wanted to be ‘the one.’

    Lovely, lovely, lovely, is about all I can say about the knitting…

    Here’s to callouses on your arse sooner than later!

  24. I’m expecting my first baby (arriving this fall) and am THRILLED about diving into baby knitted things. I’m a quilter too so my go-to gifts have often been quilts (read: fabric stash was always easier than yarn) but now this baby will be spoiled with all things textile. Can’t wait!!!

  25. This little baby layette is so gorgeous!
    Maybe I missed the link to the pattern… would you be kind enough to give it again?… and the yarn you are using? 🙂
    Thank you.

  26. Dear Harlot,
    I understand that you and Erin went to watch and listen to my husband play a concert. He may be short but he sure can sing and dance! And while you may believe that they two of you have a connection of the soul, remember he’s mine. Always has and always will. Plus, I live in Minneapolis and I’m a lot closer.
    Sincerely,
    the Wife (forever and ever) of the Artist Formerly Known as Prince

  27. Please don’t feel a need to entertain us with knitting while working on the blanket. Watching the progress is plenty of fun, and you are always full of insight, interesting thoughts and now fun bike stories.
    Plus, you are the Yarn Harlot, so perhaps a side project or two will enter the mix?

    • Me too.
      A much more positive view.

      I have never given gifts until birth, and we certainly waited until 3rd trimester for purchases, but that was purely practical. x

  28. So nice that you are knitting yet another blanket for someone you will hold close to your heart. That is the only reason to knit. Meanwhile keep on spinning the low gears to save your knees.

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