Oh look, it’s August. You know what that means? It means that it is Knit a Sweater for Your Kid To Never Wear season, that’s what it means.
Now, I have some fabulous yarns to knit up. Let’s start with this one. It comes from Lisa Souza Knitwear. Digression alert: I used to work with Lisa’s husband in my Life Before Staying At Homeness. He’s good people. And Lisa is also good people, which is convenient seeing as how they’re married and all. She spins and dyes her yarn by hand, and I haven’t bought anything from her that wasn’t gorgeous and sexy and fun to work with.
Which brings me to the problem: this yarn is half Merino wool and half silk.
It feels like butter. It is soft and warm and lovely. The colors are playful – I don’t know how they’re going to come across on a computer monitor, but in real life it looks like a ball of mixed up cotton candy – the pink, the blue, the white, with a little pale lime thrown in. Feels a little like cotton candy, too – not the stinky part, but the soft as a cloud part. The girls have each spent a few moments rubbing it on their little faces making ooh and aah noises.
It is hand-wash only. Handle with care. Use Woolite. No bleach, no OxyClean, no harsh anythings, no agitation, no machine wash, no tumble dry. Don’t even think about rough-housing in this spun gold.
I have just enough, just barely enough, to make a sweater for Eldest. Barely, and only because she’s a tiny little skinny thing. Don’t believe me? Check it out. This is Eldest, in her flower girl dress for her cousin’s wedding. Which dress, by the way, was rather expensive (considering that I get 99% of her clothes at the thrift store) and which I also clucked and fussed over until the wedding and the picture taking was safely over.
See what I mean? Tiny, and skinny.
But I digress. I was talking about the yarn. This is some deliciously delicate stuff. And part of me, having just thrown not one but two of her dresses into the “hopeless” pile due to stains of unimaginable stubbornness, is cringing at the very idea of spending all that time, all that effort, all that money (all $33.50 of it – Lisa’s stuff is also remarkably affordable) into creating something that is very likely to come home the very first day it is worn covered in asphalt-grease, chocolate, and whatever red sauce they put over the Mystery Meat in the cafeteria that day.
The other part of me can’t wait. Up until now, all the things I’ve made for the kids have been made out of synthetics – dirt cheap and machine wash and dry, if you please. Things you could soak in Clorox if need be, and agitate the dickens out of to get the nacho-cheezy-twist stains out. This is such a delicious yarn, and she will look so beautiful in it. It will be a marvelous feeling to knit this for my precious Eldest.
So I’m going to wind it into balls today. I’m going to knit the gauge swatch, I’m going to put together a very basic pattern, I’m going to cast it on and start working it up. Every afternoon for goodness knows how many weeks (could be one, could be seven – it all depends on how much screaming and crying there is from the Denizens), I’ll sit in my rocking chair after the floors have been swept and the market has closed for the day, knitting up a warm Merino/silk hug for her to wear all day long on those frosty cold Autumn days that are coming all too soon.
It’s just what I want to give her. Warmth and softness, resilience and strength, a homey elegance. Something to put on like armor when the world is cold and cruel, something to remind her when she’s off among the Philistines at school that whatever they may throw at her, her mother thinks she is special and marvelous and worth any amount of effort.
When it’s done, I’ll put it on her and immediately snap a picture so I can remember how it used to look.
And then, whatever happens to it, happens. Whether it lasts a year or a day, I’ll have said my piece.