The weekend before last, we went to a friend’s baby shower. (The same friend who had my baby shower years back. It feels like forever ago.) Our friends know they are having a baby boy, and after picking out some organic cotton yarn from Blue Sky Fibers, I decided to knit a small Milo vest. (My fourth time knitting that pattern, if I remember correctly.) I looked at other adorable (and more elaborate) patterns, but decided with our schedule being so busy that it would be more realistic for me to make an easier project I could bring with me places. That ended up being a really good decision because I brought it along to lots of activities, knitting a row here and there, and was able to finish it in time.
I knit until I was nearly out of yarn, then finished it up. I had visualized it a tad longer, but wanted to make the vest with one skein (and didn’t have time to grab another one, nor did I want to just to make it a tiny bit longer.) Looking at it later, I think the length is just fine. It felt different to knit with cotton, since I knit with wool all the time. The cotton felt a little slower to knit with and not quite as smooth to glide off the needles (that’s the best way I could think to describe how it felt different), but I was happy with my yarn choice for that project because I knew it would be so easy for them to wash and care for. (I didn’t take the time to knit a gauge swatch. My excuse was that I was in a hurry to cast on and get it made. I wasn’t too picky about the size, but it did turn out bigger than I’d expected. I told my friend I’m sure the cotton could be shrunk a little to wear sooner.)
I paired the vest with one of my very favorite go-to baby gifts: a handmade maple wood rattle by our friends at Earnest Efforts. (We did the market with them for many years, and they’ve been my longest sponsor on the blog, bless their hearts.) Isn’t it beautiful? I love their wooden baby teething rattles, Bracken had one as a baby, and they make wonderful gifts. I also included a pair of baby moccasins that Bracken wore. Those were also made by a friend, and brought back so many memories as I held them and wrapped them up.
I’m grateful when I have the time to make a handmade gift. With our schedule the way it was, I wasn’t sure if that would happen. The weekend of the baby shower alone we had Bracken’s dress rehearsal, science fair with his end of the year project for the science class he took, and a play (his very first he was in- exciting!) Last week was another performance, amidst errands and activities, and this last weekend found us down at Grandpa and Grandma’s place with lots of family visiting. Plus, did I mention we’ve been busy getting ready for our next fiber festival? Whew! So many good things, but I have to admit that my battery was running a bit low, with the constant going there wasn’t much home time to catch up, or catch my breath, or recharge for a bit.
I’ve noticed that times when I’ve felt overwhelmed (even when life is full of so many things I love and want to do, but a lot of things happening all at once), I gravitate towards three things: cleaning, knitting, and writing. Cleaning and organizing my physical space helps clear my mental clutter as well, and makes everything in my world feel more manageable. I feel calmer and more relaxed when there is more order in my space, and I feel calmer and more relaxed when I knit too. Knitting helps quiet my mind when it’s overactive, and even with the first few stitches I can feel my muscles relax more, and my breathing deepen. Writing helps me process what I’ve been feeling, experiencing, and thinking when it feels like there is so much all at once. There hasn’t been much time to come here to write (staying up late is not something I can get away with as well as I used to), so vacuuming out the car, cleaning the house in spare moments, and having some easy knitting projects to grab on the go and bring along have helped me feel more grounded. And where would I be without my planner? I love that thing. I’m curious, what do you gravitate towards when there is a lot happening in your world all at once?