Knit Faster

Our little man Elliot is bigger by the moment.  I see him every few days, and every time I pick up his little body it has a greater heft. He’s gaining so well, absolutely thriving on his mother’s milk.  I suppose you would expect nothing less from a babe who’s grandmother was an IBCLC, and from a mum who went to La Leche League meetings in my arms. I was a Leader back then, and it all seems to have come together nicely. They got off to a grand start, and with very little trouble or fanfare, have stepped neatly around the pitfalls that make it so hard for so many mums and wee ones. (As an aside, it helps that parental/maternity leave in Canada is one year – paid. It’s so hard to nurse a little sweetie if you’re gearing up to be parted out of financial necessity.) He is fat, and glorious and his cheeks are a thing to behold.

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Here, I assure you he is smiling – you just can’t tell because his cheeks are a bit much to heft.  He was born just about five weeks ago at 7lbs 3oz,  and now tops the scales at a spectacular 9lbs 10oz.  He is brilliant, and his mum is too. He is probably smiling in that picture because he is about to spit up on his brand new sweater.

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Nice – right? He looks right fetching – and we haven’t even begun with his wee feet.  I made him a pair of booties before he was born, but they’re too big (unbelievably) so I whipped out another pair – but those were seeing hard duty. It’s still very cool here in Toronto and a little guy needs his woolies. So…

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Voila.  Pirate booties.  Knit from bits and pieces of fingering weight hanging around the house – which downsized them nicely from the 3-6 month size they’re written for.  I did them on 2.25mm needles, and they suit just fine.

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For the moment. though the little fatty will likely have outgrown them by Monday.

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It’s all a grandmother can do to keep up, I tell you. I’ve called a brief hiatus to the baby knitting while I wait for some yarn to come in the mail – we’ve another family baby due here shortly, I’ll be an auntie again, as Joe’s brother Chris and his wife Robyn get ready to welcome their second. The blanket yarn is back-ordered though, so I’m back to knitting for me – until Monday. Then if it still hasn’t shipped, I’m going to freak out. If needed. I don’t want to waste any energy.

98 thoughts on “Knit Faster

  1. My breastfed son had thunder thighs. Now he’s 28, slim, and athletic. I was a La Leche Leaguer too, and it made those first months so much easier. And having lived in both the US and Canada, yes, it’s much less stressful when you’re able to have home time with your new baby without financial stress (or medical bills) on top of the lack of sleep. The EZ jacket is simply gorgeous.

    • I read thunder thighs and had to laugh. I have six sons all of whom I nursed and two of them definitely had the thunder thighs going on. Ironically, they grew up to be the most slender. Go figure. The first was a month early and scrawny. After a month of breastfeeding (in 1987 as a single mom, not one person talked to me about breastfeeding. I was away from home and nursed because I knew I wanted to. Found out that the nurses had been slipping him “food” whilst in the nursery and I was livid) he was soooo cheeky! Everyone laughs at his baby pics cuz his cheeks were enormous! He did grow into them however lol. I love that breastfeeding is getting all this exposure and has such wonderful ambassadors as Stephanie and Meg! Plz ladies, give breastfeeding a positive plug whenever you can!

  2. Those cheeks! Love! My grandson is breast-fed as was his father. Healthy happy baby! Mama has to pump while at work but she’s doing a great job keeping up. I wish USA had paid maternity leave for one year.

  3. Oh those cheeks take me back, waaaaay back to 1980 when my first had similar breast fed cheeks. Very sweet.

  4. What fun! I dearly wish that anyone of my sons (age 30. 28, and 20 would at least have girlfriends! Then grandchildren could be a twinkle in my knitterly eye. Sigh. Love those cheeks and that intense stare! I think he needs another sweater…….

  5. I can’t believe those cheeks! And nearly 2.5 lbs in 5 weeks!

    He certainly seems to be a serious young man – but you may be right in that perhaps it is the size of his cheeks which keeps him from smiling. 🙂

  6. Oh so wonderful! Thank you for sharing this joy with us. Elliot gives me light in world that feels very dark to me. And so wonderful that his Mum won’t have to rush back to work! Canada is so civilized. I wish I could emigrate! (or is it immigrate?)

    • You emigrate from the country where you currently reside and immigrate into another country to take up residence there. You emigrate out and immigrate in.

    • Just know that the paid maternity leave is actually paid out of employment insurance and is a portion of your salary (not the whole amount – usually 55%). Some employers top it up but not all.

  7. I suspect that when you’re grandma rather than mum this is less necessary, but I find that using worsted-weight yarn on a fingering-weight pattern works wonders. And the best part is that the five-month-old still fits into those booties! (Negative ease is a wonderful thing).

  8. I love that you are so calm and prepared and confident. I’m so happy for your daughter, that she gets to learn this with her mum. Thank you (and thanks to Meg) for sharing some of this story with The Blog.

  9. The pirate booties remind me of a conversation with Grandgirl, now a worldly-wise 15, when she was about 9:
    Me: I just found out that (DS’s friend) is pregnant, and due in a couple of weeks. I gotta knit her some baby booties.
    Grandgirl: Gogo, how would you knit one of THOSE?

    I did the doggy head-tilt for a moment until it occurred to me that, as a modern city kid, “bootie/booty” meant one’s posterior to her.

    • Lol- I work with middle school kids, and I have similar moments on a regular basis. I nearly choked on my coffee over this one though.

  10. Seeing pictures of that little guy just makes my day!
    We have seen him twice in that (gorgeous) sweater-isn’t it time for a new one?

  11. I love when their jowls rest on their chests. I love fat babies. I remember making the pediatrician crack up during the 2-month visit for my oldest (14 pounds!) when I asked, “So, when do they get ankles?”

  12. Thank you for the update! He is growing so sweetly. I too went to La Leche but only before my first baby was born. I had no family support and in the 80’s in my part of the US there was no lactation consultant, only a nurse who said something to the effect of, ” put the baby on the nipple and it will happen.” We struggled for the first few weeks and it was probably only by the grace of God and the fact that (against the advice of family and everyone at the hospital) I didn’t take home any bottle or formula when we were discharged from the hospital that we eventually got it going. Your daughter and grandson are blessed to have you, and supportive government policies (but mostly you).

    • Ha! So it wasn’t only me. I referenced my first foray into nursing as a reply to an earlier post. I know that nowadays the WIC program has some lactation consultants working with them as my Sister in law was one for years, but back then….pfft. I kept trying to get my poor skinny newborn to latch on and he just wasn’t interested. Found out the nurses were giving him sugar water. Sugar water!!!! ARGHHH. Did they actually think that sugar is better than the milk God gave us? I guess they figured that a young single mom wouldn’t in any way want to nurse. By the 6th son I feel like I was kinda a pro and now I am always trying to talk about the virtues of nursing with any appropriate mom to be. Next victim…..my son’s girlfriend who is due in January.

  13. Those cheeks are glorious! Seriously, you could post nothing but baby pictures and I’d be a happy camper, but to post pictures of baby and baby knits?! I’m in heaven.

  14. He’s just precious! My nerd boyfriend is also a huge fan of Elliot. Apparently, he looks like “a much cuter Nien Numb” (some kind of Star Wars creature). He’s much keener on us having a baby now, too <3

  15. Elliott looks great in that sweater, and I love the expressions on his face! But, those cheeks! He looks like a hamster, putting the food away for the winter!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful boy with us! I get so excited when I see a new blog post. Give those glorious cheeks a kiss from me. XX

  17. Oh Stephanie, he’s an absolute marvel! Those cheeks will bring the world to their knees.
    I have endless happy wishes for you and your family. I’m so delighted for you all.
    Much love.

  18. A baby fed until he’s 12 months old, who lives until he’s in his 80’s will have spent a tiny proportion of her/his life at the breast. Don’t sweat it, it’s love that matters, not how you come by food.

    • Thanks for that! We were emotionally blackmailed into breastfeeding by hospital staff, midwives, health visitors, NCT, etc and (for us) it worked out really badly for several reasons. Not least because they kept pushing it after it should have been obvious to them that it was making us both sick. (we still have recurring infections as a result of it even now, 8 years later). Sometimes you do everything right and it doesn’t work out. So bear in mind YMMV. It’s not the only way to get a healthy baby and you’re not a bad person for doing things differently.

  19. Oh. My. Gosh. Those cheeks – how can you not just eat him up? I’ve had 5 boys, and I’m pretty sure none of them were quite this chunky. He’s just amazingly gorgeous. I love it when their jowls fall off their faces!

  20. Ah! If you are finding it hard to keep up with knitting for one baby I can be excused for giving up knitting for the twin step grandchildren (did knit a bunch pre birth) and then the grand triplets 8 months later (changed to sewing up sleepers pre birth)
    I think they’ve slowed down in their growth now that sweaters can be knitted before they are outgrown. The twins have sweater vests. Selecting a sweater for the trips on my visit.
    Eliot is adorable.

  21. A year paid leave. The US is positively in the Dark Ages by comprison. I got around it by teaching in college, where my schedule was more flexible. No daycare, which I loved.

    It”s American Mother’s Day. Please wish Meg a happy first Mum”s Day from the lands south of you!

    • Just know that the paid maternity leave is actually paid out of employment insurance and is a portion of your salary (not the whole amount – usually 55%). Some employers top it up but definitely not all.

  22. The BSJ looks gorgeous on the adorable Elliot. And that sweet little rosebud mouth between those cheeks! My babies are 32 and 28. No grandbabies in sight. I knit for the 32 year old and he wears what I knit. The 28 year old is too opinionated in what she wears, I will do things she asks for, but no surprises. Their father? Not a chance! I have knit him a few pairs of socks, but I really don’t “get” the joy of sock knitting. Sweaters , hats, baby things and hats are more my thing. I knit him a couple of really nice bunny-soft hats and every time he wears a knit hat, it is an acrylic gimme hat. I get my baby-knitting fix knitting knitting for nieces/nephews/coworkers babies

  23. Such a serious face! Already trying to figure out what that thing is that is pointing at him! Love the cheeks, Love the eyes, love the sweater, love the booties! May love continue to surround your family.

  24. The cheeks! OMG the cheeks! He is truly perfect and wonderful and clearly a born model for hand knits. Probably also a genius. 🙂

  25. Goodness! If he were in my family, he’d be nicknamed “Chipmunk” and have to live with it until he ages out of it in this 9th decade or thereabouts.

    Love the cheeks!!

  26. I still can’t get over those cheeks! Every time I see them it makes me smile. Thanks, Steph, and all the best to you and yours.

  27. I love the last picture in this post, because it says everything, without you having to write anything. We don’t have to read it to feel it, and this photo conveys it perfectly. I’m so happy for you.

  28. I keep trying to comment, but am unable to focus. I’m utterly COMPELLED to keep scrolling back up to the top. Because CHEEEEEEEEEEKS! They are awesome in every sense of the word. And in previous posts, I’ve noticed that your little man has the most graceful-looking fingers! They look like the hands of a concert pianist/knitter (of course)/sign-language interpreter.

    I have to touch the clock…because time flies and wee grandbabies grow so fast!

  29. Oh my gosh!!!! So adorable!!! I’m so happy for you all that a little angel has come to live in your family.
    Julie

  30. Love the pictures and those cheeks. Those eyes are sucking in the whole world and all of us knitters who love reading about the new man in your family.

  31. My little girl weighed 9lbs10 oz at birth 🙂 She was all chub! Next month we’ll be celebrating her second birthday and she’s still nursing. Her brother nursed until he was 2 and I was about 20 weeks pregnant with his sister. He weaned himself.

  32. Who was it that said all babies look like Winston Churchill or Mahatma Gandhi? Winston Churchill had fabulous jowells, too! Elliott is precious! Thanks for sharing!

  33. I so wish that all of the mamas in the world had access to paid maternity/ parental leave & tons of support with breastfeeding. I loved being with my babes & nursed them for years, on demand. Such a joy!

  34. Oh, those cheeks! Remind me of my baby, who is now 19. Elliot is so completely beautiful! Thanks for sharing him with us, Meg and Stephanie.

    A year, oh, my. O, Canada!

    So much love to that gorgeous squooshy baby boy, and his mama, and her mama, and everyone who loves them all 🙂

  35. Thank you. We’re having a bit of a tough time south of your border. Your photos of Elliot are wonderful medicine.

  36. Breastfeeding all three of mine was so special, and I am so grateful that I was able to give them the start they needed and to let each of them wean themselves in their own time. Good for Megan! It truly is a precious gift.

  37. Hi Stephanie! Your little man Elliot is so beautiful!! Congratulations on him! What an incredible thing to be a mother and then a grandmother. 🙂 My husband and I got married a year ago and our 1st year anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks and we are trying to have a baby… I’m a little scared about the thought of so much responsibility taking care of another human being, but I also can not wait!! Oh and we just introduced a new yarn called LOOP which is the highest quality of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Can I send you some so you can knit up something for him? Just let me know what color/s you like. XX -Lisa

  38. He’s not smiling. THAT is the perennial “weight of the world because you people know NOTHING” face that I find stunningly adorable.

    Nom those cheeks for me!

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