Baby Afghan for…

well, I can’t really share the name of the lucky baby yet, but suffice it to say that he will have two of the awesomest parents ever, and he’s going to be born very soon.  Very.

I bought the yarn for his afghan at a shop called Alamitos Bay Yarn Company.  My aunt, Jane, introduced me to this store.  To our delight, she took Drew and I there over a quick weekend visit.  Jane is very smart — she knows that I love yarn shops, and Drew loves to look at sailboats.  So the perfect solution?  Visit a yarn shop in a marina.  Kudos to Jane…Now we return there for at least a quick visit every time we are in California.  It can’t be missed.

Anyway, this particular yarn had to be something special.  I spent my afternoon picking out one skein from the rainbow of shelves, then another, then another, all the time wishing I could get Drew’s aesthetic opinion.  But, while I browsed, he and Patrick were on a journey up and down the docks, looking at Hans Christians and Catalinas, and marveling in the salt air and creaking walkways.  There was little hope of tempting Drew away from a 44 foot ketch to be the token male in an overheated room full of fiber and females. The dilemma that lay before me was that this particular little baby’s gender had yet to be known — classified information.  So no blues…no pinks…green was a possibility, but it’s so hard to find the right green.

Eventually, after soliciting the advice of the owner, who has a greying pageboy haircut, wire glasses, but a Santa Claus smile, she and I decided on a variegated pastel rainbow shade of Comfort yarn by Berrocco.  It fit the bill, and they had plenty in stock, so I paid up and met my two boys on one of the docks, to travel up and down together for awhile.

At Alamitos Bay Marina...yarn mission complete.

I had planned to make my standard Heart afghan.  It’s a beautiful pattern, where you use simple increases, decreases, knit and purl stitches to create a row of hearts.  But, by the time I began work on this project, baby had revealed HIS secret to the world — a boy!  My yarn was still a perfect color, but hearts?  So — new plan.  I would make the afghan Jane had made for Patrick.  I’ve heard that this pattern has been in the family for a long time — it used to be my Grandma’s favorite, the one she would make for the new babies in her life.  But I had never made it.  A new baby, a new family…why not a new pattern?

My two "babies" with Aunt Jane's creation of this pattern.

My favorite part about making something for a baby is that they are usually larger projects, but the patterns tend towards repetitive and calming.  This afghan was no exception, which gave me ample time to think while creating.  I loved thinking about the two new parents this afghan was going to while I worked.  They had been my friends since high school, people I had known for so long, through all kinds of changes and craziness.  Band, theater, then on to weddings, then homes — I still remember how strange it felt to visit them in their new home for the first time.  No parents around, no “adults.”  The realization that we WERE the adults is still strange.  But my favorite part of our friendship (besides all the usual amazing stuff — support, love, you know) is that even though we’re all older now, it still feels like high school when we hang out.  Houses didn’t change that, age didn’t change that, and babies haven’t made a dent yet either.  It’s nice to be able to be yourself around people, even if you don’t get to see them that often.

The pattern breezed by.  Row by row, thought by thought, and suddenly, it was finished three days ago.  Now it’s ready to send, and just in time, because baby is due this week! Obviously, since it’s not sent yet, I can’t post a picture of it just yet — top secret for now — but as soon as it’s received and baby is cozy inside, I’ll post my picture of it.

I’m not a huge baby person, but I do love to see new families being born.  Especially to two such wonderful people.  And baby afghans may be one of my favorite projects.  They are so mellow, so reflective…I think they bring out the best in me as a knitter.  My feline babies keep hoping I’ll knit them their own afghans so they don’t have to share with Patrick.  They’ll just have to make do for now.

P.S.  Update!  The beautiful baby has hopefully received his afghan by now, so here’s a picture of it!  I really enjoyed working with this yarn…so soft.

Baby Afghan for Ethan

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