When we got to Iowa, the day before we gathered with family at my grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, we celebrated my sister’s 30th birthday. I know how much it meant to me to have a joint party with my friend, and then go to Colorado and have my mom, sister, and grandma make me feel so loved when I turned thirty. My mom and I talked about what to do for my sister’s 30th birthday this year to make it special, and we ended up meeting in Iowa, which worked great to be there for Thanksgiving too. My sister wore the 30 crown I had made for my 30th, while she opened presents and we sang Happy Birthday to her. (Bracken, Jeff, and I recently discovered these scratch art pads, by the way, and have been having quite a bit of fun with them! Bracken did that sweet picture of a fairy for her.) We had a group dinner that night and I hope she felt as loved as she is.
My sister has such a strong spirit and it’s something I’ve always admired about her. I may have shared this here before, but as a small child she stood up to some bullies (much older than her at the time) who were picking on a younger boy at the playground. It’s one of my favorite stories about her because it speaks of her fearless character so well. I’ve known her to say things that other people were too scared to say, and to stand up for what she thought was right, morality was always of the utmost importance to her. She’s an adventurous one, has traveled the world, and her courage in so many areas has always inspired me. (Here’s a post I wrote for her birthday a few years ago.) I could go on and on about how awesome she is, but she already knows how much I love her, so I’ll leave it at that and share what I made for her birthday.
The wheels had been turning in my mind for awhile, wondering what to make my sister for her birthday this year. (You already know knitting is one of my favorite ways to express my love for those around me.) I didn’t want it to be another hat (though I know I love to have a handful to choose from!), I wanted it to be a bigger project that felt really special. It all started with finding the perfect yarn for her. I picked the yarn out for her project at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, from the Black Wolf Ranch & Fiber booth. I thought my sister would love the color and the yarn was so soft (50% alpaca, 30% merino, and 20% silk.)
I wanted to make her an infinity scarf and while searching through patterns, I came across one that made me stop in my tracks. There was something about it that struck me as her, I thought it was something she would like to wear, and I knew it was the one. The pattern was called Cocoon Me Cowl & Shawlette by Rose Beck. I thought I would get it done in time, but the pattern really challenged me in the beginning. I didn’t figure out the techniques at first and had to rip my project out and start all over again twice. When I told my mom that over the phone she asked if I really wanted to knit that pattern, or if I’d rather choose something easier, but I told her I was determined to knit it.
Watching youtube videos was essential for me to figure things out, and once I figured out how to do all the techniques for the pattern correctly, I didn’t have any problem after that. I linked to those videos in my Ravelry notes, in case you’d like to knit the pattern, you might find those videos as helpful as I did. I would recommend the pattern, the results were really lovely. I was delighted to knit the cocoon stitch for the first time, isn’t it just beautiful in the pictures above? I like being challenged when it comes to knitting projects because that’s how I learn new things and grow my skills. It’s good to stretch ourselves and try something new, and I was so happy I stuck with this project. What a good feeling when I bound off those last stitches, wove in the ends, and finally handed it over to my sister! It took longer to knit than I’d expected, and I didn’t have it done in time for my sister’s birthday, but I worked on it during the trip and gave it to her only a few days late, while we were still together.
When the infinity scarf was worn it looked much different than when it was laying flat in the first picture. The garter stitch borders would roll under, tucked away. (My mom modeled it above for me to snap a picture, when we all agreed her outfit went really well with it that day.) My sister had seen me working on it, so it wasn’t a total surprise when I gave it to her, but that way she was able to witness some of the love that went into making it. Sometimes you give a handknit to someone who doesn’t really appreciate the time and energy that went into making it, but that’s not the case with my sister, I know how much it means to her and that means so much to me. Again, Happy Birthday my dear sister. I love you! And now the celebration continues while my sister is down in Florida with my mom. They’re having a blast, last night they called and their day had included kayaking, fresh seafood, yoga on the beach, and watching the sunset over the ocean. I’d say my sister’s 30th turned out pretty special!