This little sweater is finished now, totally finished with buttons, a bath and everything, and it is exactly as I'd hoped.
Dear you hear what I just said? That's a knitting miracle. Do you know how often in knitting something that you make is exactly as you hoped? Sure you do. It's not a lot.
Now think about what just happened here. I had no yarn. I started with 100% angora, straight off a bunny, and some gorgeous CVM, a chunk of a dirty fleece that my friend Judith tucked in my bag in February. I processed the fibres, and carded them, and spun them - a big bobbin of each. I plied them, finished the yarn, dried it and wound it into balls.
I had no pattern, so I just started monkeying around a little bit, starting at the neck and knitting down until it looked "big enough" and then dividing for arms, placing buttonholes where they made sense as I went.
I increased a little just after the armholes, because I like there to be a little extra room to go over a big cushy cloth diaper, and knit until it seemed right. Back to the sleeves, and I made those what seemed like a good length, then added about 5cm for cuffs - both because I like cuffs, and because it will give the sweater a longer lifespan. They can be unrolled when the wee thing starts to grow like a disease. I crocheted along the front edges, just to tidy things up.
When it was done I gave it a violent bath - hot water, cold water, quite a bit of scrubbing - I really roughed it up. I wanted to bring up the halo of the angora, and I wanted to be able to tell the parents (with confidence) that it would need no delicate care. When it was all dry this morning, I sewed on the wee buttons (tacking the front neck edges down, they always seem in the way on people who have no necks) and lay it out on my lap to look.*
It is a handspun, hand knit, designed on the fly sweater, and it is exactly what I thought it would be. Think about that process, and marvel at my luck. The processing could have gone wrong. It didn't. The yarn could have gone wrong, It didn't. The knitting could have gone wrong, it didn't. I could have lost the buttons, the shoulders could have been strange, the neck could be too big (I like a big neck on baby sweaters. It's easy to overshoot), the gauge could be weird, that could be the wrong number of buttonholes... but none of those things happened and this sweater is just as it was in my mind when I started. It's a miracle. An amazing miracle. It doesn't shed, not one little bit, and it is so soft that it's going to make the baby seem like sandpaper. It's freakin' perfect and you know what else it is?
I know. I can't hardly stand it either. Darn it, it's just so perfect.
All I need now is a baby.