gladys

my great grandmother, gladys, was a fiber queen. she crocheted sweaters, hats, and purses for me as a child and even a few for the woman that I would become though she wouldn't be there to see me wearing them. when I first discovered that I was pregnant with a daughter, though I would have been happy either way, I was over the moon with excitement knowing that I could pull those sweaters out of their storage bin and that another generation would be wearing something that was made by hand with so much love. 

during a snowstorm a decade ago in the coffee shop where I worked, when all the customers were hiding out under their covers, a coworker taught me to knit. I promptly went out and bought all the yarn. I've always loved tactile matter and was all too happy to be in a yarn shop running my hands over every skein and quickly became a fool for the hand dyed varieties of real wool. I started slow, hats mostly. I made a few scarves and cowls but was terrified of any larger projects. 

pregnant with my first child, I decided I would conquer the fear and knit her a blanket. I made Jared Flood's shale baby blanket. it was my first blanket and my first foray into lace. I loved every minute of the making of that piece for my baby. belly growing i would sit there daily and quietly knit away dreaming of who the little girl I was making it for would be. 

I'm now obsessed with the idea of clothes made by hand for my children that could become heirlooms to be passed down to another generation in the same way gladys made them for me. so I decided to knit my first sweater! I chose Madder Made's Camilla using my favorite, quince and co. yarn in a beautiful soft pink. it's not perfect but eleanor and I both love it and I cannot wait to make more. no really, I've already bought an insane amount of yarn for many more projects. 

I am so thankful to gladys for creating for me and for passing on her fiber love. I wish we could sit together drinking tea or wine and knit away, instead I will tip my cup to her before each new project. 

a baby hat for baby brother

a baby hat for baby brother

with just a couple of weeks to go i decided it was time to make something for baby brother. poor thing as the second born, he's already getting the shaft. when i was pregnant with eleanor i had nothing but time to take weekly belly photos and write her weekly letters, i knit her a blanket and loads of hats and booties. this go around i've taken only a handful of belly shots and written to him never. finally, taking advantage of nap time, i managed to knit a little hat from the softest and most beautiful yarn i've ever worked with. when i finished i thought maybe i'd try to eek out a pair of booties to match or maybe even a blanket but then i got realistic and figured i better not push it. who am i kidding that blanket would sit unfinished next to eleanor's sweater (started over a year ago). hopefully he wont be scarred for life or hold it against me.

a baby hat for baby brother

a baby hat for baby brother

in other news, i'm 38 weeks pregnant! we're spending our days trying to keep busy and just enjoying our time as a family of three before the little guy arrives. stijn and i are going on a date this weekend and next week i have little day dates planned for eleanor and i every day. after baby comes and we get settled i hope to continue weekly or biweekly dates with e.

happy weekend friends!

for gladys

for gladys

throughout my pregnancy people often asked if i wanted a boy or girl and of course i responded with the canned, "it doesn't matter as long as he/she is healthy." and this is absolutely true, i did want a healthy baby and would have been equally thrilled had e turned out to be a boy. but, i was especially excited that she was a she and for one major (albeit superficial) reason, girls are more fun to dress! ok all kidding aside i had hoped for a daughter for as long as i can remember because waiting in storage bins in my parents basement were dozens of crocheted outfits made by my great grandmother, gladys. they were mine when i was little and i couldn't wait for the day when they could be rescued and given another life. and when i say outfits i mean complete outfits. gladys made sweaters with matching hats, mittens, booties, diaper covers, and purses.

i don't remember much about gladys. she was my mother's father's mother, she was french canadian, and she was a new yorker. i've heard the infamous stories of her sitting in the window of her brooklyn brownstone in red hook yelling down (in the best of new york accents) at anyone who tried to park out front that that spot was for her joseph. one of the only memories i have that i am certain is true to me and not from a story or a photo is of her taking me to a shop where they sold doll parts which she made into dolls that she eventually crocheted outfits for. i'm fairly certain i would find any such shop creepy now.

gladys was gone before i was of the age where i appreciated the art of her craft. i learned to knit five years ago and taught myself to crochet just two years ago. the craft skipped a couple generations but i intend to pick up where gladys left off and teach my daughter how to make the sweaters her great great grandmother made and that she now wears. as i peruse the knitting and crochet patterns that i plan to make i wish that gladys could be here to sip tea and chat while we craft together.

baby sized crafting

wrapping up a few last minute craft projects before the little bird arrives...

saartje's bootees
a pair of saarjte's booties

embellished onesies
and a few embellished onesies
i can't wait to see them on her!