I am waitin’ ’til I don’t know when,
Cause I’m sure it’s gonna happen then.
Time keeps creepin’ through the neighborhood,
Killing old folks, wakin’ up babies
Just like we knew it would.
-Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
Hello all! No Peanut yet, but pregnancy comments have shifted from remarks on my size to questions of when the baby is due. There also seems to be a small uptick in questions on how I am feeling. I didn’t appreciate those early on, but now it feels good to have extra opportunities to vocalize how hot, off-kilter, and generally done I am with this whole process.
At this point, the Peanut is just about fully baked and could arrive at any time. My baby to-do list has exactly one item on it. (Considering that I make a punishing to-do list, that’s quite a feat.) One of the items I was most worried about getting checked off was finishing up a batch of test knits for the lovely Heidi of Hands Occupied.
This took longer than it should have because I am so bad at waiting. To a casual observer, I might look really good at waiting, but really I’m just good at sitting with my knitting and squirreling around on the inside. I had made up my mind months ago that I would bring home Peanut in a Little Sprout Baby Hat, and so this hat bore the brunt of my anxiety at being unable to know how long I have to wait for Peanut’s arrival.
I worked it as written with sock yarn on size four needles and it was too large. I added a pattern repeat and worked it on what I thought were size two needles (they were actually size one) and it came out a) too small and b) bulletproof. I knit a DK version. I bought a whole range of small needle sizes and a detailed needle gauge and knit another sock version on 3 mm needles. That looked too large so I frogged back and went down to 2.75 mm needles. It came out the same size as the version before.
(As an aside, the Yarns of Rhichard Devreize Peppino that I was using is quite hardy and only started looking munched after the fourth frogging.)
Throughout this entire process, the fault was not with the hat, but rather with the fact that I was channeling all my frustration at having to wait for an unknown period of time into making the hat PERFECT. I have absolutely no idea how large Peanut’s head will be when he arrives. I haven’t even met that many newborns to give me some kind of a reasonable size range. But that little piece of reality was all too easy to tuck away in order to pour more nervous energy into The Perfect Newborn Hat. If the newborn hat was perfect, somehow all my other challenges and annoyances would be resolved. Or so I convinced myself.
After the fourth (fifth?) version, I finally got a grip and finished the hat (even with an extra pattern repeat it only took a day and a half). Both the DK and the sock versions are blocked and packed in Peanut’s diaper bag and my test knitting notes have been turned in.
I am very proud to say that I signed up to test four patterns and managed to complete all four in the allotted time, all using stash yarn. I will not go into great detail, but I knitted up 1,348 yards of stash yarn, and if you’re interested more info can be found on my Ravelry pages for each project
- Thunderbolt Shawl (Sixth Degree Shawl)
- Simple Basketweave Baby Blanket
- Classic Slouchy Beanie
- Little Sprout Baby Hat, DK version
- Little Sprout Baby Hat, Perfectionist version
All the patterns are available for free, and if you like Heidi’s designs, check out the full list of her free and paid patterns on the Hands Occupied Ravelry page.
Now that that’s done, I’m back to waiting and knitting. I hope Peanut comes soon, because in spite of my object lesson with the Perfect Baby Hat I’ve already found a mistake in one of my shawls and frogged back almost to the beginning to get it right.