When Abigail was born, I was admonished from all quarters to enjoy every moment of her babyhood because babies grow like mushrooms after a warm rain.
I thought I comprehended this fully, until I arrived for Christmas to find the sweet but mostly inert lump-in-a-blanket I'd seen in July had sprouted arms, legs, and motor skills. Here she is accompanying me in selections from Schubert's Winterreise on Christmas Day.
That was a real kick in the ass to finish the incomplete Debbie Bliss baby kimono I'd had lying around the apartment since August. I'd made it in the 9-12 month size when Abigail at 9-12 months seemed a remote possibility. Now I had minutes to sew the thing up before she'd outgrow it.
My experience with seaming is limited, but I admit (at the risk of being smacked in the head by several of you) that I actually enjoy it. The seams (in spite of my incomplete grasp of proper shoulder technique) were not the problem.
The problem was the embroidery. In My Baby Is Better Dressed Than Your Baby, Ms. Bliss covers the kimono with little daisies rendered in embroidery floss. The effect is charming and in perfect taste, but I wanted...I dunno. Something with a little more oomph. And there was no way I could finish until I'd settled upon the perfect solution.
I consulted Ravelry to see what others had done. No help there. Of the four Ravelers who list this piece as a finished object, only one has bothered with embroidery–and she notes that she hated doing it.
I wanted to push the envelope, if at all possible. Grandly disregarding that my needlework skills have been rusting in the toolshed for over a decade, I hunted down photographs of traditional Japanese, Chinese, and Arab motifs. For a long time I fancied the idea of a dragon swirling around the back, over the shoulders and down the front. Alas, a few small samplers brought home the realization that it would take me another year of work to bring my skill set and my idea into alignment.
Meanwhile, Abigail would move out of baby clothes entirely and begin asking "Does this cut me in the middle?" and "Does this make my butt look big?" and the other questions forced upon ever-younger females in our present Era of Enlightenment.
I was on the verge of giving up and sprinkling the damn piece with the damn daisies when I looked down at my breakfast and realized what I'd do.
Not a dragon. Dragonflies.
That motif, happily, was within my grasp (once I'd practiced French knots a few dozen times). I actually used the simplified insect on the plate to work out my own design.
For good luck, Abigail's kimono has a very tiny swarm of three. One on the front:
And two in the back:
Now all I have to do is ship it express to Maine before she begins work on her dissertation.
They grow up so fast.