I wrote in this entry that I'd begun working the 9–12 months version when it seemed impossible that the exceptional baby in question–Abigail, my niece–could ever be so large as to fill it out. Each flat piece was a square acre of stockinette; Abigail could have fit into a shoebox. Not that we tried it, but she could have.
But she did grow. She grew at such an alarming rate that I accused my sister of feeding her on a diet of breast milk and
small cakes inscribed EAT ME.
I finished the kimono in what I figured was the nick of time, so that Abby could cuddle up in it for a month or two before it would be relegated to the chest of outgrown knits. It fit her like a mid-length spa robe (simple, but chic) and became a go-to woolen garment for chilly weather.
A year later, when the frost returned to the pumpkins, it still fit. But it had become a short jacket.
A year after that (two days ago, in fact), a freak spell of mild weather in southern Maine caused my sister to reach for it again. It is now a little shirt with three-quarter sleeves.
For those of you who knit, crochet, sew or otherwise fashion handmade clothing for children, I need not explain to you why this series of photographs fills me with matchless gratification.
For those who do not, let me walk you through it:
- I made it for her to wear, and she wore it.
- Her mother made sure I got to see her wearing it.
- There's honorable evidence of heavy use (note the pilling on the sleeves) but also of proper care (and it isn't machine-washable).
You make a baby garment hoping it'll fit for an entire season. Three seasons? A small miracle. And sometimes I think the small ones are the best.