This week was my week for baby showers - hosting one on Friday and attending another on Saturday. It's enough to make you think wistful thoughts. The Mom's are glowing, the idea of a new life so exciting... And the packages of diapers stacking up keep it all grounded just enough.
One shower was for my childhood friend and demanded a handknit item. Except that I lost track of time and as of Tuesday hadn't picked a project yet. Fortunately, I have a pattern that is fast becoming my Baby Shower Sweater. It's from Hip Knits - the only pattern from the book that I've made, but I've now made it three times. The pattern calls for size 11 needles. I get gauge with 13s. Needless to say, it knits up fast. For this sweater, I cast on Tuesday night and had it wrapped up and gifted Saturday morning.If I hadn't waited to the last minute, I might actually have tossed this one and made it again with different yarn. The pattern calls for a Lion Brand yarn that has mohair in it. It looks pretty, but I find it a bit scratchy. When I made it for the first two showers, the baby was due in warm weather and I was making a 6 months size. I decided the mohair was okay at that age, especially for outer wear. But, this time the baby is due in October and I was knitting the newborn size, so I decided to use Homespun.
It turns out I'm not happy with variegated Homespun, the color changed dramatically from bright primary colors to muted blue/green at points. (It doesn't show up nearly as much in the photo as it did in real life.) I also reached a point in the skein where the yarn hadn't been spun correctly; I had just stringy threads... I don't know exactly how to describe it, but it looked awful. I had to cut the yarn and reattach further down in the skein, and this isn't a good pattern for weaving ends in. And the yarn stretched more in the hood than I anticipated. I actually told the Mom that I'd take that down for her, after seeing it grow at the shower.
On the other hand, all of that seems to be a knitter's pickiness. The Mom loved it, the other women oohed and aahed far more than politeness dictated, asking me questions about it later in the shower. And if the baby never wears it, I'll never know.
I was also surprised by the reaction I got at Saturday's shower for bringing leftovers from an activity I created for Friday's shower. A stack of onesies ranging from newborn to large, a handful of fabric markers, and just a little encouragement resulted in a great activity and a pile of hand decorated onesies for the baby.
I can't decide whether it was more fun at Saturday's shower, where there were kids to participate or at work on Friday, where we had a competition that resulted in onesies with bikinis and highly detailed pictures. All in all, it turned out to be a great activity for any informal shower. (I'm sure I saw it somewhere, and I wish I could remember where to give credit.)