Tuesday, October 4, 2011


When I first started knitting, I--like so many other fledgling fiber enthusiasts--was sure that my creations would make perfect gifts for the people I loved. I would take great care in picking the softest yarn, the most appropriate patterns. Unfortunately, I quickly learned--as all knitters eventually learn--some people don't understand the value of a hand knit.

There are tons of biases that inhibit people from understanding the love, effort, and (not to put too fine a point on it) sometimes massive amounts of cash that are invested in a hand good. A lot of these biases stem from the knitting stereotypes that are perpetuated in the media: doddering old lady who create itchy, ill fitting sweaters in garish colors. Even worse, in my opinion, are the people who decide that those who give craft work out as gifts do so because some how it's cheap. (Yup, that $60 of yarn was totally easier for me to find in my budget than a $20 gift card--and that's not even factoring in what my work would have cost.)

Now don't get me wrong--I know some of my early projects weren't exactly the stuff of dreams. I've made my fair share of wonky scarves and lopsided sweaters. They were all made out of love, though--and there were certainly a few people who recognized that. (That these people overlap with the group of people who now receive my more refined products is not a coincidence.)

Every time I give someone a hand knit, though, I still get a little nervous. I think it's natural--each scarf, hat, or blanket represents not only a lot of my hard work, but my good will. It's scary to think that might be rejected. I find giving knits to children especially daunting since they are both capricious in their tastes and vocal about what they don't like.

So, it was with no undue trepidation that I presented my fiance's niece, Emma Claire, with the blanket I had made her for her Baptism.

I held the blanket out for her to touch and she immediately grabbed it in a vice grip and brought it to her mouth to taste. After processing this initial data, she removed the blanket from her mouth just long enough to give me a big grin. I think that sounds like resounding baby approval.

Her mother helped me snap a picture later in the day--though her smile is an "isn't Mommy silly?" smile, not a "man this blanket makes for good gumming, Aunt Alex!" smile. Isn't she gorgeous?

The blanket is a Bookman Blanket, using Comfy Sport in Peony.

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