I am completely erratic and totally inconsistent when it comes to making baby gifts for friends. Some friends have received intricate, large blankets and some friends have gotten perfectly serviceable hats. One friend in particular was the first to have a baby shower after I learned to knit and she hit the motherload (no pun intended): A cardigan with matching hat, half a dozen bibs & washcloths, plus a knitted bear. Other friends have gotten a nice present for the first child and subsequent children have not been so lucky.
Quite honestly, the gifts that people receive are a reflection of our friendship, but moreso a reflection of what projects I’m already working on when I hear their announcement. In the past few years, the friends who have received larger blankets have all gotten them rather far past the arrival date of their child. The “worst” was when I gave a blanket to an 18 month old, which I believe I started while she was still in her mom’s belly! Most of the others have been given somewhere between the time the baby turned 6 months and 12 months old. So I suppose at least the baby was still a “baby”, right?
There is really nothing more fun that knitting (or crocheting) up an adorable baby gift, wrapping it up and listening to all of the oooohs and aaaaaahs at a baby shower, when mom holds it up in front of the crowd. I’ve enjoyed many a festive shower that way. I suppose that my inconsistency now comes when friends have 2nd or 3rd children, and the new parenthood of school friends who live too far away for me to attend their showers. As soon as I know that I’m not going to the baby shower, the procrastination begins.
Well, not really procrastination. I generally start the project with great enthusiasm and get a reasonable amount done. But then I respond to a design call for submissions, or I plan a new class, or I’m hit with a new design idea, or I’m offered yarn support or my own kids put in a request for a new winter accessory…and then putting the project down “for just a few days” turns into weeks…and well, you get the picture.
This blog post is an effort to keep myself on task. I started a baby blanket this week. The baby is already 4 months old. And in addition to wanting to give the present before the year is out, I’m using it to prevent myself from starting a new design. I have a number of projects in the midsts of pattern writing that I want to clear from my plate before I start new things. So the blanket gives me something to crochet when I can’t be writing patterns.
And when the baby blanket is done, maybe I will finally finish Babette…