Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Development of Communication in the Human Niece

They warn you about this day in Uncle School. They tell you there's no way to avoid it, but not to fear it. Just be prepared, they say. It comes to all uncles, sooner or later.

Yet you believe in your secret heart that your niece–who is exceptional in so many other respects–will be different.

But human nature will out.

Chart

The day does come. And though you swore you would not suffer it gladly, after the briefest hesitation you straighten your back, pull out your sketch book, marshall your knitting needles, and start swatching with the excruciatingly pink 220 Sport that has suddenly, as though by magic, arrived in the mail from Cascade.

How did they know? Because everyone knows. Even you knew, though you tried to deny it.

Oh, well. Amor vincit omnia.

More to come.

108 comments:

Lise said...

ooooh, purple flowers on pink. Every girl's fave. You are one good unkie.

Susan said...

It's a stage; she'll outgrow it just as she'll outgrow My Little Pony and fruit loops.

Nancy said...

With my niece, step 12 was learning to say, "whatever".

joeyshouse said...

AW, has she reached the pinkandpurple milestone already? How cute! Don't forget the sparkles!
(insert evil cackle here)

MollyBeees said...

And it better come with a princess tiara and a pony, Mister!

Sally Comes Unraveled said...

That doesn't sound so bad. It'd be bad if *you* had to wear it.

JelliDonut said...

At least she hasn't asked for the matching leg warmers. Yet.

Anonymous said...

How cute! She knows how to get what she wants.

And, what a contrast in topics between this post and the last one! The juxtaposition is priceless!

Lori said...

Have you experienced the full brunt of her fashion sense? The refusal to wear things that because she doesn't like how they look? My oldest fashion diva was there before she could talk. When you held up clothes in the store she would nod yes or no and shove the stuff she didn't like away from her if you ignored her. And the absolute worst was her declaration at about age 4 that all handknit wear itched.

christina said...

As a non-pink loving mother to a pink loving daughter, you are my hero.

Abigail is sure lucky to have you. :) Can't wait to see her PINK! and PURPLE! FO.

Bonnita said...

It happens to us aunties as well Franklin. I've also been called upon to make hats and scarves too. Just relax and enjoy it! You know you will. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Had to get my son to translate that Latin for me...

Bliss said...

I can relate... my niece asked me for an entrelac blanket in 3 shades of pink! (She got it, too.)

woolandchocolate said...

I say you got off easy. Those little kiddos can have amazing...um, taste? :)

Sherilyn said...

aaawwww

you know that if she asked for Barbie in a pink cape riding a sparkly unicorn, you'd figure out a way to knit it...because you're that uncle.

lori said...

my 26-year old weight-lifting hairy-legged daughter who graduated from Smith, and who just completed the Chicago triathlon today....yeah. she asked for pink socks earlier this year.

she swears she wears them "ironically." :)

A Bitter Knitter said...

Oh, see, mine asks for "ha-pink" (Translation: Hot pink)

Too bad for her...

I'm knitting her Christmas present in red.

Tracy Hoover said...

It's a phase and you will survive it. I knitted the pink poncho also, and now DD (age 11) won't even look at pink.

Jody said...

you are a good man and a better uncle, Franklin. My daughter wore purple for three years .. spandex, no less.

Aunt Ruth said...

It's really best that they get through it before puberty .
Be strong!

Sara in WI said...

Its a sing-along: "Its Only Just Begun..."

Ruby said...

Purple and Pink, the favorite of little girls. Maybe she will grow out of it? Good luck.

Heather said...

It could be worse.....she could have asked for Fun Fur! "SHUDDER"! Or even worse than that....SPARKLY FUN FUR!!!

HL said...

Awww...I wish I'd had an uncle like you :)

Sioux B said...

Can't wait to see the poncho-in-progress! Pink with purple flowers is so-o-o princess. If you can figure out how to insert a pony or a unicorn you will be a mega-cool-uncle.

Not being good uncle material, do they tell you in Uncle School about the possibility of Gothic Backlash in a later developmental stage? This is where pink and purple is replaced by BLACK. And maybe some purple, but mostly BLACK.

Misstea said...

Ooh, apparently I'm lucky. My nieces just run around screaming, "More socks, Auntie!" And since my favourite colours are pink and purple, this is not a hardship.

sarahmeowmeow said...

My daughter, who is also named Abigail, has been in the pink (and purple) stage for about 3 years now. I pray every day that she grows out of it. You're a good uncle to cater to her little girl whims.

Megan said...

You missed one step:

Beginning whining.

It's a sad day in every parent's life.

mwknitter said...

Could be worse. She could look at your socks (knit from Opal that was discontinued before her birth) & say, "You know the yarn in those socks has all my favorite colors in it." This shortly after you've promised to knit her socks & asked her what color. Fortunately, I was able to find a couple of lonely balls in an online shop on Vancouver Island. Hopefully, she will be as happy with her birthday socks as I expect. I've found my grands to be the most appreciative recipients of my hand knits of anyone I've ever knit for.

PICAdrienne said...

Pink and purple I can handle, it is the poncho part I am having issue with. Although I suppose a little turtleneck, with some cabling. She can probably pull it off.

I made my middle child a poncho, pink and green with fun fur held in for some rows. She wore it a few times, then said it was too warm.

Knit for Joy said...

At least she didn't ask for fun fur!

Cadi said...

You'll like it so much that you're gonna make a matching one for yourself!

KarenJ said...

Memories! All there. The pink. The black (and gray and navy years)the twenties when it was "Mom, I don't DO pink." Now it's the early thirties when some pink has finally entered the wardrobe along with bright red (incl. a great pair of red w/ white polka dot HIGH heels). There's even a pink and gray tweed suit in her professional wardrobe! Hang on! It's a bumpy ride!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the world of Little Girls!! If said poncho had a hood on it OR a matching hat, your niece will be over the moon.

Libby

One More Stitch said...

Just wait until she asks for Flip-Flop Socks - oh, those 5 year old tiny big toes! In pink, of course! With reinforcement on the inside of the toe areas. Set aside a lot of time for that project.

Rachel said...

I apologise for using 'lol' in your comments. But that is what I did. Yes, nieces are like that aren't they. Our family has issues with pink so I'm sending this to my daughter who will feel for you too.

Diana said...

It happens to mother's too. Just when i had fully embraced her pink fetish and even sewed on heart and star shaped buttons, she decided actually her favorite color was blue. Thank god.

Wool Free and Lovin' Knit said...

my poncho was Purple with long fringe that flew in the air when I twirled around and my mother knit it -- I still love her for that. You'll be a HERO!

RagdollDesigns said...

I'd give anything! I have 2 nephews who - except for the Harry Potter scarves (which were a HUGE hit) have no interest in knitted garments. Pout!

I did teach the older one to knit, to his father's horror (see if he ever says well one could stay with your sister for the week, again).

joolz said...

Fairy Tale Knits - there's a pattern for a princess crown you could make to match!

kathleenm said...

Yup. Which is why I sewed and hand-quilted two horse-themed quilts in purple, pink, turquoise, and ... wait for it ... orange. I call them the Girly Horse quilts. Happily, my nieces love them so much the quilts are bound to wear out some day when their tastes might be more, well, tasteful.

LeighB said...

I know we can all rest easily knowing that if an elegant, stylish pink poncho can possibly be knit, you are the man for the job.

And if it cannot be elegant and stylish, at least it won't be acrylic.

Ann said...

My own Amazing Abigail, the Wonder Neice, has thankfully passed thru this stage already. Her poncho was crocheted, in a variegated pink-lavender-lilac from *gasp* Red Heart. She still wears it! But would very much like a pirate hat for Talk Like A Pirate Day, with a big purple plume, thank you.

Lisa said...

What is it with little girls and pink? It must be genetic. My twin niece and nephew just turned 6, and she is all about the pink and purple and ponies. He's into trucks and Spiderman, even though they were raised sharing toys. I just don't get it.

Seanna Lea said...

It isn't inevitable. I liked blue (and still do) growing up and there are virtually no pictures of me in pink.

I'm also with Sally. You aren't wearing it, which makes it 100% better, right?

Miss Sandra said...

I made the Auntie version. Two of them, one for the niece, one for the hairstylist's daughter. Niece wouldn't wear it because it "didn't have sleeves". The hairstylist couldn't get the poncho off of her daughter. That's what happens when you don't wait for the request.

knit happens said...

Yeah, I had a hand-crocheted purple poncho with fringe on it in 1970. So my niece wanted one and I obliged - and yes it was made from variegated Fun Fur, had fringe, and contained, as my brother put it, "all the Barbie colors." What a hit!

Emily said...

Oh, yes, the pink & purple phase! My older granddaughter (5) has moved past to loving "aqua", I suspect because she enjoys saying the word. Younger granddaughter is still very pink. My own daughter insisted on pink...dresses. This at a time when she was always falling & scraping her knees, & I desperately wanted her in overalls.

Boys have a similar "thing", by the way: fascination with guns. My son at 18 months of age, never having seen a gun anywhere at all in his short life, came out of his first hour of gun-free daycare pointing his first 2 fingers and shouting, "Pow!"

You are a terrific uncle. She is a lucky girl!

Eileen said...

When my nephew P was 8 he asked for something made of fun fur. (That never came up in Aunt School.) Funny. I never came up with the right pattern...

Then he and his brother asked me for Nascar socks (I sang opera and bake a lot of cookies). They got their socks. I had to write patterns for two very different sizes. And it had to be a mix of intarsia and FI. Good thing I love them.


Now, at almost 13, he's only interested in the mathematic properties of knitting. :-(

Samina said...

Oof, the things you do for love!

jdknitter said...

funny! btw, didn't know cascade now does 220 wool in sport weight. =D My friend's daughter (only "baby" in my life at the moment) is just learning to imitate talking sound. =)

chemgrrl said...

Oh, been there. Except for me, it was multicolored Lion Jiffy with hot pink Fun Fur trim. *shudders* Totally worth it in the end though, because my then 5 yo niece loved it so much. She wanted to sleep in the thing. And now she's older and has much better taste, and loves every single thing I make her (that's not hideous!). So, totally worth it in the end.

Gerri in St Paul said...

What is sad about the passing of my youngest niece's pink/purple stage is that it also ended the "will you make me.." phase.

As for the fun fur, she'd love it, especially the sparkly kind, and then really love the uncle even more. Just sayin. If you are in need, I believe I have some in stash from the neighbor girl's pink stage.

Remember: what doesn't kill you...

Tangle said...

My niece wanted a purple chenille with beaded fringe poncho. At least it didn't have flowers and went pretty quickly. As compensation I had the pleasure of teaching her to knit.

Rox said...

For my niece, I made an Icelandic wool cardigan in pink and purple (who knew Icelandic sheep came in those colors?).

My 13-year-old daughter just started high school this morning. She still loves pink, although the purple accessorizing of the pink items has long since ceased. It's more that pink is used to accessorize otherwise boring items. For example, her graphing calculator has a pink clip-on casing and she decorated her laptop case with green and pink duct tape. Yes, duct tape.

KnitNana said...

You will supply the pattern when you're done, right? Because I've got a new little granddaughter who is going to want one of those, eventually.
(sigh)
You're a good uncle....

LisaB said...

As the mother of four sons, the thought of getting to knit something pink fills me with awe and envy.

Anonymous said...

All little girls, it seems, will at some point want to wear only pink or only lavender/purple. The good news about about your niece choosing pink is that it is a more stable color to photograph (but of course, this is probably not so much of an issue for you...)

Sue J said...

yeah, you are gonna be in a purple and pink stage for a while! HA! HA!

Sara M said...

I cackling wildly because almost the exact same thing happened to me recently (only she chose an insipid carnation pink). Time to put on our Big Knitter pants make it work ;)

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

You're a great uncle and your niece will love you forever for this.

evalyn said...

I'm happy to see you are able to Uncle Up. Just be happy this isn't the "HOMEMADE! ewww" stage.

Flavaknits said...

That is what Debbie Bliss yarn and patterns are for - another tip for Uncles! MX

NC Knitter said...

Can't wait to see what you consider "excruciating" pink!

Brenda said...

Double that yarn, knit it on size 15 needles and get it the heck outta there! Pink is just ew.

I've got a granddaughter with a pink and purple bedroom. It nauseates me. I can only hope for some sort of paint-related accident ...perhaps in blues....

Sahar said...

Wait a minute. I've worked hard to shelter her from ponchos and fringe. What's going on here? (The pink and the purple I can do nothing about. That stuff is everywhere--outside of our house!)

Debbie said...

Little girls and the colors of purple and pink, why is that I wonder. Most little girls seem to go thru that state though, you can see them on the streets somedays, all purple and pink - sometimes with sunglasses.

izzyb said...

sweet

My daughter loved purple when she was little as well, must be programmed, she also did nt like the boys toys I bought for her either!

Anonymous said...

My Granddaughter is now 12 and it's all about HOT pink and black. Her room is still Hot pink and purple " not lavendar, Grandma, purple. The real color..." Congratulations on letting her be who she is!

Ma7sha

Diane said...

I made a pink poncho for the small one next door, no fringe, no flowers, but a variegated yarn from a grab bag. She loved it and it was very easy for her parents to stuff it over her head on the way out the door. I can look up the pattern for you if you want.

anne marie in philly said...

and you will love knitting it for your ENA because inside unka fwank is another exceptional child who might also love pink and purple!

pix please when finished so we can see how big ENA has gotten in the past year!

Caroline said...

Oh yes, all my thoughts of not doing pink with the daughter were dashed the minute she was born - she seems to dream, live and exist only in pink and purple :) 4 year olds - you have to love them!

bcat said...

Ahh the things we do for love:) Purple and pink are the universal colors for little girls of a certain age. Horses and unicorns are next---look out.

Jenn said...

Love it!!!

The Queen said...

Yeah, that sounds about right. Except that mine has jumped the 'make me a...' stage and gone right to the 'show me how to make...' stage. She's 3 1/2.

Needlewoman said...

You have justs started. Here is another progression:

1.I want a pink and purple poncho, please make me one
2.I will wear anything as long as it is green
3. I will not wear beads, ribbons, ruffles, lace, sequins, or any other decoration, it has to be pretty and black and not like anything anyone else will be wearing but I won't try on the size 0 on the clearance rack at Banana Republic because the dressing rooms scare me
4. It has to be pink and strapless and have a crinoline, did I say bright pink? really bright, and sparkly.
5. Two teachers asked me where I got my outfit and one stopped me in the hall and measured the skirt length twice, do you think I should wear this outfit to school again?
6. When are you going to start knitting my hat? The purple yarn in your sewing room is really cool and the things you make are warmer and better looking than anything in the store.

Marushka C. said...

One of my regrets in life is that I did not keep the poncho my mother made me when I was about 7. It was red, white, and blue -- granny squares -- and yes, it did indeed have fringe. Just think of the pink and purple poncho as making memories, it'll ease the pain of the bright pink yarn.

Teresa in Virginia said...

Franklin, enjoy this stage while it lasts. Most of my nieces and nephews are young adults and it seems they grew up just TOO fast.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, nieces (and nephews) have a way of making knitters eat their words. Only love makes it bearable. :)

Anonymous said...

I believe psychologists call this stage of female child development "barbie-itis", characterised by a life over populated by all things pink and girly!
But,as it is a developmental stage, it will pass...then you get lilac, then the joys of teenage nihilism...enjoy the pink!

Kristen said...

I'm currently working on a small quilt for my niece in lime green and purple. The purple will be a peace sign. She just turned 10. See what you have to look forward to? ;)

Su1282 said...

Yup - my daughter held out until it could be pink and turquoise striped. Think miters...

Jan E said...

Maybe Delores can offer up a few design suggestions? I'd trust her take on this.

Patti said...

My grandaughter lives in a world of pink. There is no point in me even trying to knit something is some color other than Pink. Although I'm dreading the day she wants everything in Black even more than I dread the acrylic pink with sparkles.

Tactless Wonder said...

I've been making pink hats for my niece for years now...I just can't wait (or maybe it's hoping in vain) that she goes all goth when she hits the double digits (she's 7 now...).

Lynne said...

It's not so bad. Remember that class you took with Brandon Mably? Channel your inner Brandon (or your inner Kaffe), and make pink, purple, and white sophisticated and gorgeous. If anyone can do it, you can.
And on a purely technical note, check out the "knotted cast on" in the back of Alice Starmore's Fisherman's Knits. It makes a firm edge with built-in openings PERFECT for adding great, substantial fringe, without distorting the edge of the fabric.
Give Abigail another heirloom!

Anonymous said...

somehwere down the line in the development time line: "Rolls eyes at anyone older than 25 when said person speaks."

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, you will look back on this as the "good times". Before you know it, she will be wearing nothing but black and wanting to pierce her eyebrow.

Anonymous said...

Mine got the poncho in stitch 'n bitch by Debbie Stoller, but in three shades of pink. Check out the pink angora scarf I designed and made for the same niece, but kept for myself, in Stitch 'n Bitch Nation!!!! It happens to all aunts and uncles. I'm guessing, though, that you won't be deciding to keep the poncho for yourself....

Anonymous said...

There is so much they don't mention in Uncle School...

MMario

Jen said...

At least she didn't ask for anything in "fun fur"! You are an incredible Uncle!

G. Knerd said...

Well, she's still small, right? So hopefully it'll be over quickly?

Deborah said...

I have no nieces or nephews so please excuse my envy over the request.

revl said...

sparkles. glitter. jewels (I wish I could begin to spell the reverent intonation with which my 5 yr old breathes that word). Throw in a row of metallic yarn...maybe a leetle eyelash. she'll be the envy of the PreK crowd.

Karen said...

Dude. It gets worse. Wait until she is 16 and starts talking about her boyfriend (and I mean talking, ahem).

P.S. I knit a cape in 3 days for a niece that wanted to be Christine from Phantom of the Opera of Halloween. It was epic.

Lisa R-R said...

The poncho I recently finished is red, orange, pink and purple .... plus some black and white thrown in.
I hope my niece doesn't hear about the flower option.
Lisa in Toronto

Linda said...

You are being a good uncle in the face of extreme provocation not to be.

Mindy said...

you mean she didn't specify a Latin text to be knitted in around the edges? :-o

Anne O'Nymous said...

When she's seven, she'll want a pink tutu. We all did. I think it was required by law.

Start drawing cartoons now explaining how knitted tutus defy laws of physics---at 7, she won't be able to grasp the laws of taste. Or start explaining the color wheel, and make a tutu in colors that coordinate with pink and purple but do NOT make you want to gouge your eyes out.

beadntat said...

The pink stage will most likely pass all too soon. My niece, now all grown up at 11 recently declared she no longer wants pink. blue and green are the thing! BTW, they don't teach you much in the Old Maid's guide to being and Aunt either... like what in the heck do you get nephews for birthdays, holidays, etc.??? By the 4th one I started to figure it out :-J

Tiggywinkle Knits said...

Welcome to the club; the Club of Softies Who Will Knit Damn Near Anything For a Neice Club, that is. My neice loved the fraternal frankenknit socks I used to make for her from leftovers. She lives in Tucson and wore them with her sandals. When she started school, I was told she hated having to wear closed-toe shoes (school rules) because "they really cramp my style". Yes, even at age 5, she had a "style".

Anita said...

You are a beautiful uncle!

Auntie Stitchy said...

I'm a little further along into Aunthood than you are into Unclehood, but let me tell you, all the pink ponchos are worth it when you discover that your sweet niece has a dark side.

Mine, who is 4, loves to discuss what would happen to one's person were it to fall out of, say, your window on the third floor.

I've made her a number of cutesy-pie things, but no amount of pink will mask a true goth-girl.

Anonymous said...

I wanna see a picture!
margieinmaryland

Cindy said...

At the age of 50, my sister, who totally terroized me into believe I would be a little ninny all my days if I ever had anything to do with that color, recently told me that she had "come to terms with the color pink". What is it about pink that makes everyone so crazy?

Beth said...

It happens to aunties, too! Ask me how I know.

Hugs,
Beth
IDontKnit-TilNow

Ritika said...

LOL! Wonderful post. I am about to have a niece soon (or a nephew, we have not found out yet). I cannot wait for human nature to catch up!

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