You probably don't know this about me, but I'm a knitter. My best friend taught me in my junior year of college (so around 2001) and I started making scarves and hats and mittens and even sweaters, all of which were completely unappreciated by my family, who soon asked me to return to buying them gifts instead of making them. (Lawyer Guy never received a knitted gift in those days, as I stuck to the maxim that a woman never knits for a man until she is married. After our wedding I made him a Christmas stocking).
But I kept on knitting because I liked it and found it relaxing and engrossing and satisfying. And I kept knitting unwanted and unworn gifts, because knitting for myself never inspired me in the same way that knitting for others did. And so this state of affairs continued...until I made a happy discovery.
They were the answer to all my dreams. They are cute. They are small (so they don't take as much time). Babies are always growing, so fit matters less (no guage swatching necessary). And prospective or new parents LOVE getting handknits, even imperfect ones.
Thus began my career as a knitter for babies. I made sweaters, shrugs, sweater vests, toys, booties, and hats. But my crowning achievement was the blanket I made for my niece when she was born. $500 worth of pale pink cashmere yarn in an intricate waffle pattern, with a scalloped crocheted border and a white velvet ribbon woven through the border loops. It took five months of steady work, the ripping and reknitting of countless stitches, and many lessons in crocheting, which I taught myself (I ripped out that border three times before I was satisfied). But it is beautiful and the in-laws loved it, despite Lawyer Guy's warnings that they wouldn't appreciate a handmade gift.
About a year ago, I had two close pregnant friends and plans to knit blankets for each of their babies. I bought the yarn and went to work, thinking to myself These are the last gifts I'll make before knitting for my own baby.
I never finished them. I haven't touched them since June. I bought them gifts off their registries.
When I was pregnant, I planned out a list of gender neutral knits I'd make for the m&m--I'd finish the two blankets I already started (nicely, one of them is chocolate and green, similar to the colors we've picked out for our nursery) and get to work on some sweaters and outfits for both boys and girls.
But I didn't actually start (or restart) any of these projects. I wanted to wait until I felt "secure." I wanted that strong heartbeat. Every day I thought of the things I would do to prepare for my baby, but I didn't feel comfortable enough to do them.
Now, I don't knit at all. I tell myself I don't have a lot of free time for knitting, with all the reading I have to do, but that was always the case, and I used to find time.
I just don't want to knit for other people's babies. I don't want to knit for the upcoming Niece #2, and I feel bad about that, like she's already getting the second child's familial neglect. But I just can't do it. I can't make my hands work for other people's children anymore.
I think I'm going to start knitting for my own. I've held off for a year, afraid of "getting my hopes up" or "setting myself up for disappointment." But my hopes have already been dashed and knitting can't possibly make me feel more disappointed than I already do. I no longer believe my baby will magically come if I just pretend I'm not waiting for it. I no longer believe that acting as though pregnancy is the farthest thing from my mind will help it arrive sooner.
I just want to start getting ready for my baby. I know he or she may take a very long time to get here. I've learned the lessons about counting chickens and banking on potentialities. But I like to knit. I like to knit for babies. I think this might make me happy.
Maybe I'm actually getting better at the waiting.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
11 months ago