Election Day; Knitting for a Baby

I voted today. Unless you're under 18 or not an American citizen, I hope you did, too.

All right, then, on to knitting. I'm afraid I don't have much to show today, but I have been planning a few things. I'm always planning knitting projects, in fact. I think about knitting at night as I go to sleep; it helps de-clutter my brain of all the political, musical, and otherwise insomnia-inducing stuff that keeps me wired during the day.

Remember how I had this whole skein of hemp/wool/mohair yarn that I thought I didn't like, and didn't know what to do with? I believe I used the word: fugly. Well, I've changed my mind:

It certainly looks much better knitted up than in the skein. And I suspect that I didn't fancy the sock because it doesn't look great in rib, either. But look at the dark purple, teal, and fuchsia! Mmmm.

I was doing laundry today anyway, so I thought I'd throw the swatch in and see what happens. This is what it looks like after a trip in the washer and dryer:

It felted a bit, tightened up the fabric, and oh my is it soft now. As in, next-to-baby-skin soft! Like a fool, I didn't check the row guage pre-washing - which is obviously where it shrank the most - but the stitch guage didn't change very much; I think it was nearly 25st/4" at first, and now it's 25.5st and 40 rows/4".

So why the sudden re-interest in this yarn? Well, I have a lot of it in a couple other colors, and I'm trying to figure out how to use it. I recently read about an online baby shower, started by Afrindie Mum (I read a few adoption blogs out of personal interest), for a single, pregnant mom who really needs things for her baby and is, at the same time, under pressure from friends and her church community to have it placed for adoption. For some reason, this story struck me, maybe because she's due in February, the same month my own son was born (he's nine months old today, in fact!), and maybe because she lives in Kansas, a state where I have many family and other personal connections. I feel compelled to help out. I especially feel compelled to knit something for her baby and for her.

I think this hemp/wool/mohair yarn would make some lovely baby things. One reason I tossed it in the washer and dryer was because I'm guessing a single mom trying to make ends meet might not have the patience to hand-wash and flat-dry baby clothes, so I wanted to see what would happen to the yarn. It's so much softer felted anyway, that I think I'll just plan on that. We don't know the gender of the baby, so I'm going to use a bright teal color to make a hat, maybe some booties, and a simple cardigan with little mittens that button on to the ends of the sleeves. I think it will work well for unisex; doesn't everyone get sick of pale yellows and greens? I don't have an exact pattern, but I have enough baby sweater patterns that I can pick any one to use as a guide for sizing and make it up myself. There won't be any elaborate shaping or stitch patterns, so I have confidence! (Can you hear me humming that song from The Sound of Music?)

Now, the mother. This woman, whom I know very little about, really, seems to be having a difficult time. I'd like to knit her a pretty scarf, something fairly simple, but pretty and feminine and warm. I think every new mother needs to feel a little bit beautiful and special. I don't have specific ideas for this yet, but I'm sure I can come up with something. Your ideas welcome!


Thorny said…
I voted too!

I've also been thinking a lot about that single mom you posted about. I've got a bunch of clothes and things lying around that I want to send, but I've also been thinking about knitted gifts for her and her baby (and maybe her older boys, even?). Of course, what I /want/ to do and what I actually manage to do don't often intersect, but... I'd really like them to.

Sure, I've got a whole political axe to grind on the subject of people trying to force women to have or not have babies, as if we're not qualified to make those decisions for ourselves. But even so... my sister is a single mom, and she's got three kids, and... I dunno. Our family has always been pretty supportive of her, but I would hope that if we weren't, that somebody else would step in, y'know?

Egh. Enough rambling on someone else's blog. I have my own blog for rambling on. grin.

That hemp blend yarn though... I think that'll make a great baby sweater. And if you felt the need to leave an option for her to "girl it up" should the baby be a girl, you could always send along an attachable/detachable bow or something. :)
Suze said…
i thought about knitting for her two boys, but two things make me hesitate:

1. I'm not sure if i could realistically finish anything in time.

2. The older one is 8, an age where a hand-knit sweater or even hat might not be acceptable, if ya know what i mean!

I like the idea of an attachable bow...or maybe a little felted flower? we shall see!
Thorny said…
Hee - yes, exactly. My ideas and ambition often /far/ outstrip my actual time available for those kinds of things. And you're right - eight years old is a tough age for handknitted gifts; some kids are still interested in "cute" stuff, other kids want more "mature" stuff, and some kids will simply turn their noses up at anything and everything anyway.

And a felted flower sounds /perfect/ for a little feminine adornment for the baby sweater. Have fun!

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