It was early May when I first had the ridiculous idea of knitting something I’d never before attempted.
A friend and I were browsing in Spotlight, looking for the fabric she needed to complete a quilt for her sister’s expected baby, when I strolled into the knitting section and came across a book of Paton’s (trusted since 1923) Ombré Baby patterns.
As the baby wasn’t due until the end of August, it struck me that I’d have heaps of time to create something small and cute for him.
And I had runs on the board in the craft-y area. Why only two years ago, I’d completed a very, very long winter scarf during the height of lockdown. Easy peasy.
Oh, the arrogance of ignorance.
#111 Knit The Impossible
But there were a few important facts I’d overlooked. Sure, the booties were small but it then became apparent that
- The wool had a ply only a tad thicker than gossamer
- The needles were the width of toothpicks
- Four of these tiny double pointed toothpick needles had to be wrangled simultaneously, and
- I seem to have grown farmer’s hands during lockdown
The task suddenly took on gargantuan proportions.
A few weeks of pixie-knitting later, I arrived at the first truly challenging stage of sock creation: turning the heel. What on earth did people do before YouTube videos? Thanks to a knitter who posted this excellent demonstration on how to create a flap before turning it into a heel, the manoeuvre worked out tolerably well—
But then things went awry, and the little bootie took on a life of its own as I tried to follow the obscure instructions (trusted since 1923) on how to knit up stitches at the sides to bring it together before completing the foot section.
Sadly, the final product ended up totally skewed.
Back to the drawing board for a second attempt. Only this time, while trying to neaten up the opening, I narrowed it way too far:
By now, it was mid July and although I’d knitted two booties, knew how to turn a heel and could seamlessly combine the toe section, neither item was good enough to present to a brand new mother. I was ready to admit defeat.
Fortunately, my friend was having none of it. Her gorgeous quilt was almost finished, so she urged me on, believing two tiny matching booties would one day be possible.
And so, several weeks later, spurred by her encouragement and just two days before the baby arrived, I staggered over the finishing line:
On reflection, it took almost as long to knit these little presents as it did for the parents to create, nurture and grow to full birth size an entire human being.
Isn’t nature wonderful?