Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bustin' my Buttons!

When I show extreme pleasure over a meal cooked by saying, 'Oh my gosh, is this good or what?', or something I made, 'Wow, didn't that turn out great?' Don always, always says, 'Isn't that bragging?' (He's joking) and I always, always tell him, 'nope - it's just pure pleasure!' When my daughter, Sarah taught me to knit two years ago I really doubted I could ever figure it out. All that motion of fingers and needles and yarn going in and out and around and under - it seemed so awkward and I H.A.T.E.D. it.

Then I fell in love with it just a little, but was still terrible at it. Then I got a little bit better. I'm still a beginner, but maybe an advanced beginner since I can knit and purl, increase and decrease, and I've figured out cabling (it's easy!). The most important determining factor as to my level of accomplishment is that I've spent far enough money on this art to move from beginner to advanced. From the starting gate my big goal was to make a sweater, something I really, really, really thought was impossible.

I decided, when we found out our son and his sweet wife were expecting their first baby that it was the perfect opportunity for my own first attempt at a sweater. Not only is a sweater for an 8 lb baby let intimidating than one for say, my husband, DIL Janae doesn't knit which helps. She won't see the boo-boos, and she's long on intent of the heart, so she'll love it just because I made it for her. (I used a pattern from Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss.)

Ta-Da! Here it is.
Just kidding - it's still pretty boring here - I started with yellow yarn that Sarah gave me. When we found out the sex of the baby, I added hot pink sleeves, but it still looked dull and weird and not put together. So I went to the yarn store, asked them to help me find a yarn that would draw it all together, and used that to add a ruffle at the bottom. I took a class at the store on how to finish a garment, knitting together all the seams so it turns out nice. Well worth the $25 I paid because I'll use that skill over and over again. Finishing (using the mattress stitch) was easier than I expected, but then I'm not a perfectionist either.

Then I spied a sweater at Goodwill that had these adorable beaded dragonflies all over it, and for $3.99 brought it home, dissected it, and sewed them on. They were perfect for adding some 'over the top girliness' to it.

Next I added a paci clip (from Susan Anderson's book, Itty Bitty Nursery). It's still missing the flower's center here. I had to go back to the yarn shop for help knitting that. I did learn how to make an I-cord knitting this up. Another skill I'll use over and over, tucked into my pocket.
and then finally threw in a little baby cap. It was so easy and fast to knit up I couldn't resist.
If I can do it, you can too. It's not perfect, but it doesn't need to be. It's a baby hat, not a wedding gown. (Baby hat was 'Children's Cotton Hats' in Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.)

Three items, from three different knitting books, but they go together okay I think.

I had these tags made up awhile ago, and think it's the perfect last touch to the project.

Trust me and give it a try. You just might fall in love, and then be able to knit up baby gifts for brand new babies, and glow with pleasure from the sheer wonder of it all! I gave Dan and Janae this at their baby shower this past Sunday and cannot wait to see baby Jae wearing it. Thanks again, Sarah, for teaching me to knit. I L.O.V.E. L.O.V.E. it!


Becky said...

Before I came over here today I was looking online at baby sweater patterns. I am so intimidated, but you have given me the courage to try it. My best friend's daughter is expecting my friend's first grandson in January. Just the thing!

Gretchen said...

So, so, so, very cute!!!! And handmade by grandma. Can't beat that. I still have the sweater and the blankey that my mom knitted for David for my shower.

I'm trying my very uncoordinated hand at knitting a pair of mittens. So far, I have completed most of the wrist and the thumb of the left mitten. They may fit the likes of Goliath, but at least I'm having fun trying, and learning a lot. So very clever of you to dissect that sweater for the dragonflies. Lurved your shower pics on FB, too. very sweet.

Robin said...

Beautiful Bev! Just beautiful! Brag away - that is just a darling set. I love knitting too - I was just thinking how sore my right arm is feeling because of all the knitting lately!

Anonymous said...

So cute. My little girl is 7 and wants to learn to knit. I told her when she turns 10 we would go and learn together. Thanks for more inspiration!
Blessings on the new little granddaughter.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Looks great to me. Adorable, in fact! ;o)

I'm a little jealous because I can't knit for beans. I can crochet anything, but knitting has so far escaped me. :-/

When is Janae due anyway??? Just curious....


Lynne said...

You have every right to brag - the sweater set is adorable! I'm sure little Jae will look so cute in it.

Linda said...

I have been knitting since I was a little girl and my Aunt Fannie taught me. I love it! It brings me such peace and contentment when those needles are clicking away.
You did an absolutlely wonderful job.

Kelly said...


Every child needs something hand made by their Nana.

Barb said...

Truly, this will be something she puts in Jae's keepsakes. It's just adorable. I can't get over how cute that ruffle is. You are so creative, I think it makes me sick. YOU got the creative genes in our family! xoxo