I was on my way to a birthday party for one baby (my one-year-old niece) when my phone rings. It's my best friend, and I have been waiting for this call all week.
She had a baby! On Wednesday!
I got surprisingly emotional when she told me (I cried), but I think I was kind of worried about her without admitting it to myself. She had a pregnancy once before that was problematicalistic, and I guess I was sort of holding my breath all this time.
She refused to find out the baby's gender until the birth, so there was also the added element of suspense and surprise when the baby was revealed to have been a boy all this time. Until today, I was just calling him The Bean.
But now he is Henry! Hooray for Henry the Bean!
Fortunately, I am already close to finished with the freaking adorable set of clothes I have been knitting for him the past few weeks. I had to take a quick break in knitting his hat and socks and blanket ensemble when I suddenly remembered my niece's birthday this week, but now that her party is behind me I can go back to Beanland.
A bearcub hat! And booties! For Henry! the Bean!
(All that remains is the matching striped blanket. There is no way to photograph how soft this fleece yarn is, or how fantastically perfect it will be for a brand new baby person.)
For my niece, I had all these well-laid plans. I was going to knit her a wee little teddy bear. It was/is going to be my very first project involving felting. I have all the yarn and stuffing in my bedroom, honest!
And then I guess life happened, I got super busy, and I never started the bear. So when my mother called me on Wednesday night to ask me if I was going to the birthday party, I realized I had all of THREE DAYS to produce something for her.
Mom was already going on about the pink cabled cardigan SHE had knit for the wee girlie, and since I am totally not competitive at all in the least, I muttered something like byegottagotalktoyoulatermom and frantically started searching for a quick and easy pattern THAT WOULD NONETHELESS WOW THE WHOLE FAMILY because I am totaly not competitive at all in the least.
I found this, which had the singular virtue of calling for yarn that I already had in my possession, and started knitting it up right then, even though it was already way past my bedtime at around 11 at night on a weeknight.
I stayed up way too late again knitting like mad the next two nights, and today somewhere in between doing several loads of laundry at the laundromat, paying some bills, and feeding the cats, I managed to finish the decorative collar at around 12:15 pm.
The party, needless to say, was at 1 pm. A half hour away from my house.
I had just enough time to wrap it up in tissue paper, feel inadequate as a knitter and an aunt, flirt with the idea of stopping at the bookstore to buy her a "real" present with some "educational value," stifle my feelings of inadequacy and guilt with some difficulty, overcompensate by adding more ribbons to the gift bag, and speed off to Eastham.
Before I left, I asked my boycat Satchel to model it for me.
OK so no fancy pockets and flowers like in the original pattern. I told myself it wasn't because I was lazy or god forbid pressed for time, but because I was going for a more simple look. Because I can already sense that my niece is a straightforward, earthy, zen kind of chick. Almost Shaker-like in her simplicity.
Yes, my neice is an Eileen Fisher kind of toddler, in a world of ersatz Versace babies.
So I was maybe one mile from the birthday party when my phone rang. I was maybe a little lost, trying AGAIN to figure out that back way to Eastham without taking the wrong turn and ending up in a non-negotiable left-hand turn situation that causeth me to smite mine forehead.
I had taken that wrong turn AGAIN and was just turning around in somebody's second home driveway (nice landscaping!) when I got the call. Since I was already mostly stopped, I just parked it and got the story and listened to Henry chirp and burble and cried a little and this is where I was sitting and what it looked like when I heard you were born, Henry:
And then I went to my niece's party, where she was very happy to hear about Henry, too.
And now you know why today is baby day!