The problem with having a parent who owns a small business is that you are often dragged along against your will and have to be patient/quiet/good for large chunks of time while your parent deals with one thing or another. Such is the case for our kids. For Clara, the first 18 months of her life she lived 5 days a week at the shop. She doesn't have a lot of the "first kid" issues because her needs often got usurped by random customers. How many times did I have to stop nursing to help a customer? Oh, lots. How often did she have to hang in her playpen and wait while I got something for someone? Oh, tons. Perfect preparation for having a kid sister!
Zoë got spoiled at the beginning, since we were home with her when she was little. But now, with the web store, I am at the shop 6 days a week packing orders for customers and 3 of those days she's with me (two more at preschool, and one more at home with daddy, just so you know).
One day, not too long after Clara started kindergarten we ended up spending the whole day at the shop. It was utterly unplanned, I went in to pack an order and noticed that there was A LOT of new yarn that had come in. I started helping out, and then Naomi came in, and we were working together, and then we ended up ordering pizza from next door, and then, it was time to pick up Clara. All Zoë had to play with were some empty cardboard boxes and a pen. She was such a trooper, occupying herself while I tried to help Naomi get a handle on the fall yarns that had arrived. At one point I see Zoë sitting at our pattern browsing station looking at the "sweaters for girls" binder. I wondered how she knew that was the one she should be looking at, but then realized it was the purple binder -- her favorite color.
She found the Playful Stripes Cardigan and called me over. "Mommy, will you make this for me?" Honestly, who can resist? I popped it out of the binder and noticed it called for Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which we happen to have TONS of. I brought Zoë over to the right shelf, and told her she needed x number of colors. She spent quite a lot of time picking out exactly what she wanted, then we went back to the store room to get the right number of skeins. Of course, she saw our "fewsies" bag of colors we only have a tiny amount of and changed her mind about a couple of the colors, luckily the stripes take remnants, so single skeins (or less) is all you need for the contrast colors.
I knit the thing in 4 days.
I was, still, not in the best head space and we had to go to the Coggeshall Farm harvest festival (on the girls' top 10 list of things that happen yearly, so attending was non-negotiable.) and I was feeling fragile and on the verge of a migraine. I walked around with a ball of yarn in my pocket and knit most of the body in one morning watching the girls climb the Jacob's Ladder over and over again. I even took a picture of the pattern with my phone so I didn't have to drag the pattern around with me:
It is such a sweet knit, and the yarn is insanely durable. It goes through the wash and the dry over and over and over again and it looks great. The sizing was/is also perfect for my kids. The 3 was perfect and still fits -- she wore it yesterday. In fact, this is how I found it, in the living room, when I was trying to track it down to take close-ups:
(blogging instead of vacuuming is definitely how I roll...) I know that I must be one of the luckiest knitters on the planet to have 2 (!) adorable girls who love and wear the things that I make them. I'm sure it helps that I will knit them whatever they want, and they do play a large part in the choosing of yarn and pattern. But it is so gratifying that they really wear what I knit for them, as you can (and will) see, it has been entirely irresistible to knit for them this year.
It really needs washing, if you look closely there is definitely marker on the front, but it will all come out. Baby Cashmerino is probably the most forgiving yarn ever. I have taken to not putting it in the dryer and instead blocking it a little bigger to get the most wear out of it. I will likely knit her another one this summer in the next size. It's possible I'll have enough of the stripe-colors to make it identical, or the Zone, being the Zone, may want me to mix it up. She usually wants to mix it up...
She picked out the buttons, (of course!) and honestly, she has such a fun sense of style:
I really think it all works perfectly!