Some very close friends of mine just had a child. In response, as the knitter I am, I am responding in the only appropriate way: knitting a baby blanket.
I want to create something soft and usable, which will be loved for years to come. I want to be able to protect and comfort a child entering into a world which is often threatening. I want to knit the closeness of my relationships with the infants parents into the blanket. I recognize I’m loading an awful lot onto this little blanket. I know it is very possible that the blanket may be deeply appreciated by the parents, and completely snubbed by the child, and that’s okay. What’s important is that I make the effort.
Eva is also participating (the blanket is being worked in strips, so Eva is doing some, and I am doing some), which is an experiment, in that I’ve never worked collaboratively on a knitting project before. It adds an additional layer of complexity to the feelings. How do I know what she is kniting into the blanket (I know the sentiments will be positive, and appropriate, but they aren’t quite mine in the same way)? But I want Eva also to be able to take part, and so I’m sharing. Also, I’d like it to get done soonish, and having Eva also work on it helps in that effort. But it is a bit of an exercise in letting go–which is probably healthy for me.
As I knit this blanket, I’m wondering who the child will be. I’m wondering what our relationship will be. It’s a conversation Eva and I have had with the parents, and while we’ve discussed our ideas and hopes, obviously the infant has not yet been consulted, much less the adolescent the infant will someday become. We set a plan in place, and wonder what it will become.
In the meantime, strips of a baby blanket slowly materialize off my needles.