It feels like life has slowed down to a crawl during these last few weeks of waiting for the baby. For awhile, I was keeping myself busy by searching out and completing the quickest knitting projects I could find out there. There's something really satisfying about knitting up something tiny. It feels like such an extravagance, because a baby can only wear something this small in the first few months, but it's testament to the love and anticipation that surrounds its arrival. The last time I did a lot of knitting was before my first baby was born 9 years ago, and it was a meditative experience for me – into each stitch of baby clothing was knitted all the dreams and hopes that a soon-to-be first-time mother feels. In all the years since then, it's just been too difficult to keep on knitting – little toddler feet getting tangled up with skeins of yarn, so much of life to be lived as another and then yet another child was added to our family. But I recently discovered Ravelry and found myself feeling completely reinspired to take up my needles.
The knitting world has really evolved in the decade since I was last actively knitting. Knitting feels fresh and new for me. There are so many free – free! – patterns out there by generous and talented knitters. The baby dress above is called the Kaia Babydoll. I knitted the newborn size so it went really quickly, in Debbie Bliss's luscious Baby Cashmerino yarn.
I dream of someday spinning and dyeing my own yarn as well. In the meantime I can order handspun and/or hand dyed yarn from Etsy. This delightful skein of yarn practically danced in my hands as I knitted it up and the entire sweater took about 2 days to make.
The yarn was made by Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio. It feels so good to use yarn that is handcrafted with personal care in this way.
I've made a few things from commercial patterns as well, and been really happy with the results. These wee hats are from the book One Skein, by Leigh Radford.
I've also been enjoying knitting top-down seamless sweaters. Both the dress and sweater above are seamless and so are the ones below. Until I started knitting these I didn't realize how much I hated the process of sewing up afterwards. I don't think I will ever make another sweater again that isn't knitted in the round.
The pattern for the sweaters above is available here for free.
And then this pattern, below, is Elizabeth Zimmerman's famous Baby Sweater on Two Needles from her Knitter's Almanac. It's the same pattern I used for the green sweater above.
Finally, every new baby needs booties and hats. There are many, many free baby bootie patterns on the web, and I just kind of combined various ones and experimented. Here's a link to a bunch of baby sock and bootie patterns.
I couldn't resist purchasing the pattern for this pilot cap because pilot caps just look so darling on little baby faces.
I have been trying to keep up with knitting projects for the older ones too. They are happy with socks and hats as long as they can pick the yarn and designs, and Mia is still small enough to knit quick shrugs and sweaters for. Some things remain works in progress but the children really seem to enjoy knowing that something special is being made just for them.
Wool and cotton receiving blankets have been made, tiny clothing folded and put away. So now…..we just wait, while cherishing our last special days together as a family of five.