Friday 28 November 2008

Am I A Genius?

Or is this the worst idea I've ever had?

Let me explain. We were babysitting for friends on Tuesday night (yes! The same friends from last episode!) and I was torturing myself by reading their baby knitting patterns book. I haven't really knitted since I was a teenager, but for some reason I can't walk past a knitting pattern book without picking it up. So anyway, I was looking at pictures of tiny hats and booties and feeling a bit depressed (quelle surprise) and wishing that I had a real baby rather than a Hypothetical Future Baby. (I'm not going to re-hash all the reasons for that because you've all already heard me say it once this week, and have been startlingly kind and sympathetic in your responses, for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Number one on my thanksgiving list, if I had one, would be the internet, as it has connected me to all of YOU, helped me lose nearly a stone by tracking weightwatchers points and enabled me to find my cat. Thank you internet, and thank you wonderful bloggers. But I digress).

So anyway, I was getting a bit teary over the baby clothes and thinking 'waaaah, there's no point me knitting anything for a newborn because I'm never going to have one' when I came across a section on baby blankets. Surely these are the ultimate one-size-fits-all baby accessory? Whether our baby is teeeny tiny or hulkingly huge, they will still need a blanket, right? Add to this the fact that a blanket could easily be transported to the foster centre when we travel out and left with there with HFB until we get through court? And then it could take on the role of familiar item when we get home, as recommended by attachment experts? This is the stage at which I thought 'I'm a genius! Finally, something constructive I can do while I wait, rather than complaining on my blog, that will produce a treasured item in future years!' Of course, I then realised:

1) It might not be a great idea to start knitting before we actually get through panel, but this is going to be the biggest block of time I would have to do it (and it's NOW that i'm really struggling with the the whole grief thing, which I'm hoping this might take my mind off);

2) Baby knitting books make me cry (see above);

3) I'm not actually very good at knitting.

I'm also a bit worried that Hypothetical Future Baby is going to be thinking 'I've lost my birth mother, and I've already been moved from orphanage to foster centre - and now some woman is trying to make it up to me by giving me a BLANKET? I don't think so, crazy lady. Excuse me while I vomit up some formula on it. Oh, you made it out of cashmere and it can't be washed? Moron'. If I do make this, it's going to have to be out of something that can literally be boiled in a big pot to sterilise it.

So give me your opinions. Is this going to be a constructive, useful way to use this frustrating time of waiting for approval, or is a book full of chubby tots really not going to help my peace of mind? Help me out here. Has anyone done anything similar?


  1. I think it sounds like a wonderful idea. It is something constructive to do with your time and is something that you can put down or pick up again depending on your mood.

    Having such a wonderful keepsake and finding a way to prepare for your baby sounds great!!

  2. I think you're a smart lady. If you want to avoid baby-knitting-book agony, you could either get a pattern from the internet (I recommend joining the site Ravelry - they have stacks of free patterns)) or you could stamp all the baby pictures with a big red "UGLY" stamp on their foreheads.

    Have you thought of making a toy? I've found that my kids don't get attached to blankets until they're a bit older (although some babies do I think) but toys can be good because babies like looking at faces / playing with loopy bits or tails. Toys are a bit easier to carry around with the baby too (although you could always make a small blanket). You could of course put loopy bits and faces on a small blanket and kill 2 birds with one stone!

    In terms of washability etc you'd probably need to use cotton because it can be boiled - I'd suggest getting pure cotton in at least 8 ply / DK weight yarn or you'll be knitting forever! If you made a toy you could stuff it with cotton batting.

    I think you're really onto something!

    While I'm on the subject of yarn (am I ever not?) I don't think I told you I have a batch of beautiful wool dyed and ready to make a special hat for your baby... if it's a boy that is! Still working out what colours would be best for a girl. Every time I look at it I want to get started, but have to wait till I know what size to make .. and what sex (will it be wierd if I make you measure your child's head and text me from the orphanage?!).

  3. DO IT!

    A friend of mine purchased a blanket we'll be sending to our little one once we find out who him/her is. Currently it's camped out in a bag, but once we get the referral it'll be going in our bed to gather some sleep smells (how gross does that sound?) prior to making it's way to Addis.

  4. We adopted two children from Guatemala. I knitted blankets for each of them (they were the first things that I ever knitted) while we were waiting. It made me feel better to be doing something constructive, making something that they would be able to keep and know that I made it just for them while I waited for them to come home. You need to do whatever helps you feel better while you wait. The wait is a terrible thing, but it is worth it in the end. Good luck on your journey.

  5. I have a lot to catch up on! This made me laugh out loud - "...Oh, you made it out of cashmere and it can't be washed? Moron'" - Caroline, take solace in the fact that you have a wonderful sense of humor. I can't wait for you to share it with your Ethiopian child, which I am confident you will have. I think the blanket is a genius idea!


  6. You are a genius!

    Great idea, great project...and if you have some maternal hormonal burning passion to knit wee small items, make them and then donate them to an infant crisis center or will feel just as good...and you get great practice for your own kids...

  7. I think knitting is a wonderful way to pass the time! I knit a sweater for Jacob while waiting for our court date! I love it. And another secret? I sent a blanket to Jacob that I had slept with for a week so it would smell like me and I would smell familiar to him. I know, I know, I am INSANE! But I am harmless:o) I say DO IT!

  8. I think it's brilliant! (coming from the girl that just learned to knit about a month ago and is still working on her first blanket... certainly it'll be finished before Baby D arrives in february... right?) ;)


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