I had a simple wish for Christmas this year. To see all my boys wearing matching hand-knit sweaters on Christmas morning.
Okay, so actually that wish wasn't so simple.
Dan had asked for a fisherman's sweater, and I asked him about five trillion times to clarify what that meant to him. Really I didn't need much clarification, I just tried to force him through my constant pestering to agree that what he really wanted was a casual-style wool sweater and not an intricate show-piece with owls and cabling an popcorn stitches in between. In the end he got the intersection of what he wanted and what was possible for me to do with a baby on my lap; a casual wool sweater with simple vertical stripes. One day he will have his cables and owls, but not while our children still whine and suckle.
I adapted a pattern from my favorite men's knitting book, using smaller needles and worsted weight and knitting the bottom part in the round. (Though I did end up knitting the sleeves straight and then sewing them up... I tried to pick up and knit from the shoulder down but it was too much for me to figure out on a pattern with so much fudging already.)
I started Dan's sweater in July and finished knitting by the end of November. That left me a month to do two child-sized vests. Which would be crazy any time of the year, but doubly crazy in December. When I show all the crazy shit I sewed this month, you'll understand. But out of everything I made this year, the sweaters were really a project for ME. I'm the one who wants to see my boys matching on Christmas morning, to beam with pride and parade them in front of extended family and friends so that everyone can compliment me on my work. Also, God promised me I would be able to finish the sweaters before Christmas, and I didn't want to make him a liar.
I finished the neck ribbing on the two vests the afternoon of Christmas eve. I left off the ribbing around the arm holes because I was starting to hate knitting. Maybe I'll do it some day. Maybe not.
This is the only picture I could snap of Zion because I was holding him. He looks like he's floating in a sea of gray stitches. And I guess that's the point of mama knits, really. If anything is a physical symbol of what I want for them, how much I want to wrap them all in love and warmth, squeeze them and spoil them with the work of my hands, it's these sweaters. Merry Christmas to my most loved boys. You all look darling in gray.