We used to call Sam the Bambino, before he was even born. Then Sam and Bambino became Sambino, which got shorted to Bino, and now just Bean. And there are all sorts of fun variations of Bean: bean sprout, beanie boy, string bean... Back when Sam was just a tiny bean sprout and newly born, he had to spend quite a lot of time in the NICU. At some point one of the nurses put this little beanie on him.
It's been interesting working on this Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern. Being such a young knitter, so unsteady on my needles, I have liked a pattern to tell me exactly what to do, every row, each stitch. I've relied more on the detailed instructions than on an understanding of the big picture. So, for that reason, this EZ pattern initially threw me off a bit.
She writes as though I know what I'm doing! After fighting against her method, trying to count how may stitches each row would have and writing it all out, I got hopelessly tangled in a mess of numbers. "Fine," I said, "We'll do it your way." I relaxed. I trusted her. Mostly I trusted myself. There's something about having someone trust in you (even a pattern maker you've never met) that somehow makes you more capable. I found this project so much more enjoyable because I wasn't bogged down in the minutia. And in the end, it changed the sort of knitter I am. I started trusting myself more and being less afraid to experiment. It seems to have opened up a whole new world of things I didn't know I could do!
The only unfortunate thing is that my baby girl is growing so fast that her growing outpaced my sporadic knitting! I picked up the sweater project and worked on it in little snatches of time here and there and before I knew it, she was much larger than the sweater!
Luckily, I have quite a few dear friends who are having babies soon, so this sweater shouldn't have any trouble finding a new home. And it will give me the chance to make another one! The funny thing about knitting is that I'm finding I like the process just as much as the end product. So, I never particularly mind if I have to unravel and redo something or even start a project over entirely. It just means more meditative time at the needles.
Here's the sweater with the little fishy buttons I got to go with it. Nice and gender neutral so it can go to a little boy or girl. I thought, at first, that it would be hard to give away something I'd put so much time into, but there's something about knitting that makes the whole process, not just the benchmarks of completed projects, feel like a continual project in and of itself. So, it's not so much letting go of an individual piece, but rather weaving a friend into your larger project. And the more pieces you give away, the more people you connect to yourself, or weave into your personal "project." So yes, this little sweater will find a good home.
I started these booties while we were still waiting for Vivian to arrive. I actually ended up with one and a half pairs, being ambitious and thinking I would make another, larger size for her to grow into. But, as it is, she'll probably never see that second, larger booty. All I had left to do on the tiny pair was attach some buttons, which seemed the perfect taking it easy kind of task. So, while she napped, I lounged beside her, adding the finishing touches. The weather is still too warm for her to really need booties, but perhaps when we finally venture on an outing she can wear them just to be fancy.
I used the Ravelry pattern for Saartje's Booties and found it pretty easy for my first non-flat knitting project (the hats don't count because they knit flat and then were stitched into a cone shape). This involved increasing and decreasing to get the rounded toe shape. Pretty advanced stuff for a beginner like me:)
I love making things for my kiddos. There's something about serving other people that makes you love them more. Of course, as moms, our lives are all about serving. But creating something in an intentional, purposeful way gives me more time to reflect on them and the act of loving and caring for them. I hope as they grow older they'll appreciate the love and reflection that is knit into their mama-made toys and clothing. Sam already seems to appreciate the things I make for him and loves to observe me as I sew for him. I'm thinking of making him some new PJs just so he can have a physical manifestation of mama's love, something I think he has being needing some reassurance about lately with the new baby and all.