Our family are on tenterhooks this week. My younger brother’s wife is expecting their first baby, due ten days ago now. So we know it’s going to be this week… We just don’t know exactly when yet! This will be my mum and dad’s 8th grandchild so to some extent we have all been here before in some capacity or other. For me there is an extra special first about this baby though. Of course, I’m really excited for my brother and his wife, and to have a new nice or nephew myself. But also I’m excited because this has been the first baby I have been able to knit for. I took up knitting around the time my son was due but was too ill to knit anything for him before he arrived. And once he’d arrived there was a lot less time for knitting than I had expected! Similarly with my daughter I was really poorly during pregnancy so she was without a hand knit to be snuggled in when she made her entrance into the world.
This baby will be different. He or she has a hand knit blanket ready and waiting for them and it was my great pleasure to knit it for them. I chose Anne Hanson’s Hourglass (I know, more Anne Hanson..) in a natural cream merino wool. The wool was nice to work with and the pattern an absolute delight. I had not considered before how a blanket is the perfect blank canvas for beautiful stitch patterns and intricate design. Of course, I didn’t want too much fiddle for the little one to get their fingers caught in but enough to keep things fun and interesting. I think this is one of the largest single piece knits I have completed but it wasn’t in any way arduous and didn’t drag at all. The whole project was a joy to knit.
And my joy was completed by my sister in law’s reaction when I gave it to her, carefully packaged up and labelled. She was quite overwhelmed. A magic moment where I could see she appreciated what it was I was giving her. She’s not a knitter herself and I have given the occasional hand knit item to a non-knitter who hasn’t really been that thrilled. I guess if you don’t knit yourself you don’t quite know the love that goes into choosing the yarn, the pattern, knitting each stitch, each row, each pattern repeat one by one. Which is not to say any of that is a chore. This is my hobby and I love it. Just there’s been a lot of thought gone into the choices, and a lot of thinking time into the creation of the item. If someone shrugs that off you really feel it. There’s some of your soul in that. But when you can see that someone gets it and feels it, that is something very special. There’s a bit of your soul in that, and they noticed it there. And they were glad of it.
I have a suspicion that when I see this new precious life wrapped up snug in something I made them, I might just cry like a baby.