The Best Container for Love

March 12, 2013

“Knitting is still the best container for love” — Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot

I can’t remember what I used to give as baby gifts before knitting. As soon as I learn that a friend, colleague, neighbor, or family member is expecting, I immediately begin to think of what I can knit for the wee one.

A hat is lovely and relatively quick to make. Blankets have a longer useful “life” since it takes years for a baby to outgrow a blanket. All three of my children had special blankets (none handknit) that they fondled, carried, draped, and loved for years and years. My youngest still has remnants of his lovely soft woven blanket on the bookshelf near his bed – a childhood version of the Shroud of Turin!

Sweaters are somewhere in between. Depending on the size, they fit the baby for longer than a hat. And they almost knit up faster than a blanket.

close-up of buttons on baby sweater

When I learned that a coworker was expecting her first child, after several years of trying, I just had to make a sweater. Every time I knit — whether at a hockey rink, basketball court, medical office, or curled up in the rocking chair keeping company with a late-night homework doer — I thought of this child-to-be. “You are so lucky to be born to such loving parents who’ve waited so long just for you,” I’d silently whisper into each stitch, imagining the finished garment as a talisman of sorts, something that could gird this tiny person in those first weeks of life with a special strength that might last for years, long after she’d outgrown the garment.

IMG_1629

It’s my second Puerperium Sweater (by Kelly Brooker), named for the period immediately after a baby’s birth. I made a striped one last year, and this time chose a solid dusty grape — my description, since I can’t find the yarn label — and some delightful buttons that remind me of sprinkles on frosted donuts.

Tessa arrived last week and is as perfect as perfect can be. I was delighted to see that she was sporting a handknit hat in her first day of life.

babynap

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One Response to “The Best Container for Love”


  1. Love your buttons. A very pretty sweater. I might make one of these.

    Like


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