A Wee Bitty Sweater

How are you? I’m doing well, figuring out this new medication thing and still mostly staying home with my family. Lots of knitting has been done, but I really wanted to tell you about this sweater.

My sweet baby nephew, Ian, was born in August of this year. He and his family live 1,300 miles away, and we had plans to go visit them about 3 weeks after he was born. Of course, this meant I had to cast on a sweater for him. I have a thing about babies being cold, it gets my anxiety going and makes me sad. (Though, of course, he wouldn’t actually be cold because he has wonderful parents who take very good care of him. But, still…) 

I couldn’t just choose any sweater for him. I imagined a beautiful fair isle sweater that would allow me to use the techniques I learned from Franklin Habit’s Snips and Zips class. In other words, I wanted to steek the snot out of something. It just had to be something nice and small (so I wouldn’t lose focus on the knitting) and it had to be useful (see above comments about cold babies.) I chose the DROPS pattern B13-5, a lovely pattern that includes a cardigan, hat, mittens, pants, and booties. It’s incredibly adorable.

The cardigan pattern itself is written to knit back and forth instead of in the round. This sounded absolutely terrible, and I wouldn’t be able to steek, making it even more terrible. So, for the first time, I drastically changed a pattern. I figured out my stitch counts to include 5 steeks: 2 on the front (one for the button band, one for the collar), 1 on each side (sleeves), and 1 in the back (remainder of the collar). I had to call on many friends for help and suggestions, including the lovely and amazing Vicki from the Heartland Knits podcast. (She also informed me that this sweater is, in fact, a Norwegian sweater, not Fair Isle.) 

I also decided to use a zipper instead of buttons. There were two reasons for this: 1) buttons scream choking hazard to me (until I find another baby pattern that just HAS to have buttons) and 2) I know how much easier a zipper is to use instead of buttons on a baby. My mental image includes this sweater as an everyday jacket over what ever long sleeve shirt Ian is wearing. It is also knit out of Brown Sheep Company Nature Spun Fingering. It’s not the softest of yarns, nor superwash, so a jacket-type item would be a good use for this hard-wearing yarn.

It was so great to use that much of Franklin’s class! I cut all 5 steeks without so much as a bead of sweat, and I was even able to hand sew the zipper in relatively nicely. It’s definitely my first project like this, and I’m sure 10 years from now I will look back and cringe a little at my stitches. For now, though I know it went to a loving home and will be well used. I can’t wait to see my little man again 🙂

Project Information:

Ravelry Project Page

Original Pattern

Yarn: Brown Sheep Company Nature Spun Fingering

Franklin Habit’s Website

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An Update For You

Good evening, friends! I thought I would stop by and check in with you. Life over the last few weeks has brought a lot of change to my home.

We traveled to Omaha to see my wonderful friends, the Prairie Girls, and then on to Michigan to visit my lovely inlaws. Maybe I’ll come back and write a post about the trip itself, it has many yarnie stories for you. Just not tonight. 

After we came back we prepared for me to have surgery. On October 1st I had my thyroid completely removed. I stayed overnight in the hospital and returned home on Friday to rest and begin recuperating. As of 20 minutes from when I write this, it has been two whole weeks since the surgery happened. It feels like a lifetime away.

I’ll spare you the details of the actual reasons why we decided to remove my thyroid, but it was a long time coming. The big news is that the results came back from pathology as benign; we mostly expected this result but it was a huge sigh of relief anyway. I can definitely already tell, though, that this was the right move for my health and my family. 

Medically speaking, the recovery is going well. I am only in a little pain now, my voice is almost back to a normal level and I have resumed my responsibilities as a full time mom again. We have been so blessed with childcare help and meals, blessings that have made all of the difference in recovering so well. I am still taking it easy and listening to my body’s request for rest. As a result, I am getting a lot of knitting done, which of course is great. 

Psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually I am also recovering though not quite in the way I expected. Life right now feels like it’s moving in slow motion. I feel like a completely different person. Part of it I’m sure is the change in hormones, and the other part is the break from work and podcasting and volunteering and all of the other “stuff” I have put on hold until after Christmas. There are definite changes, though. My mind processes things differently, in a slower, more direct fashion. I have typed out example after example for you, only to go back and delete it because it doesn’t really make sense in print. It’s hard to verbalize, but trust me, it’s there.

The biggest thing I have right now is a sense of peace in the direction I am going. I sometimes feel like I have been replaced with an imposter version of myself, sometimes I wonder if this is truly who I was meant to be. I worry (not “worry,” really, more like “happen to wonder”?) If my friends and family recognize this person, and still like her? I don’t doubt they will still love her, I feel very fortunate to have a very accepting and loving family. But will they still see me the same way? In some ways I hope so, in other ways I don’t. Like I said, it’s hard to explain. I’m sure after I go back to a lot of my “stuff” some of that other version of myself will come back, as well as when my hormones level out. But I can already tell not all of it will return. In the meantime, I plan on doing a lot of knitting and resting and spending a good fall season with my family. I hope you are well. Please feel free to comment below or shoot me a message. As an extrovert with a love language of quality time, messages from you make my days all the more joyful, which helps me get better every day. Blessings!