Knitting For A Special Girl: About Delaney’s Blanket

Sometimes, our knitting is a love letter to someone special in our lives. This is who I am knitting for this week–who are you knitting for this week, this month, this season? Tell me about it in the comments and maybe your story will end up in my post so it can inspire and delight all of us. And thank you to everyone who has shared a bit of their knitting story with me in the comments; you help me to knit with my heart as well as my fingers. May your heart find its way into your stitches this week.  – Sandi

To My Niece Delaney, The Birthday Girl:

Two days ago, you turned one whole year old! I still have your birth announcement on our refrigerator so the year has gone by really quickly. You are growing up to be such a smart, curious, and clever girl. I am so proud of you.

I promised that I would have your starry blanket done in time to give it to you on your first birthday, but sadly, no matter how fast I knit, the blanket was not done in time. There were just too many stitches, and I am not a super-fast knitter. I'm really sorry I had to break my promise to you. (There's a few photos of it in progress here and here, if you want to look at it. See the stars? That's because YOU are a star!)

Maybe you think that not getting the blanket done in time means that I am not thinking of you. In fact, I am thinking of you every single day as I work on the blanket; you are in my thoughts during the knitting and the purling and the yarnovering and the ssking (and even the ripping back).

Even though I have knit a little bit every day on your blanket, I've been working on other things, too. It's not good for a knitter's hands and wrists to knit hours and hours only on a single project; it's healthier to take breaks and knit on other projects, you see. So, during the past week, I have knitted a swatch in purple yarn and I've started a bright pink sock. I started the sock because I needed a knitting project I could carry around with me in my purse, so I would have something to do while I wait at the doctor's. (You know how your mom brings a bag of toys when you go on errands so you can play when it gets boring? Same idea.)

The swatch will help me find the right needles to use to knit a summer top I can wear when it gets hot, or when I come to visit you. It took me a long time to decide which pattern I wanted to use, because there are so many cute ones to choose from! In the end, I decided on the Tattoo Tank by Marlaina Bird, from the Winter/Spring 2010 issue of Knitscene. (I really like that there's a secret heart design on the back.) When I told Marly I was going to be knitting her tank, she was very happy. I'm going to knit the tank in a shiny purple yarn I've had since before you were born! I am very excited to get started. I think the Tattoo Tank will look very cute on me. (The pink socks, too.)

Even as I am knitting the swatch and the socks, I am thinking of you, especially during this, your special birthday week. We live far away, so maybe you think I forget about you, but that's not true. Knitting gives me lots of time to think, time to think of the ones I love, time to think of what's really important to me in this life. And what's important is not having this blanket ready on the exact date of your birthday, especially not if I wreck my hands and arms in the process. What is important is that you have an aunt with strong, able hands, ready to catch you should you fall, ready to reach out to you should you be in trouble, ready to enfold you should you need comfort, ready to applaud you when you dazzle the world with your successes.

I'm taking good care of my hands, then, and taking the time to knit your blanket with love and prayers. All three, my hands, my love, and my prayers, will thus be strong and ready for you any time you need them, whether the blanket itself is ready or not.

All my love and big hugs, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dear Delaney!

– Auntie Sandi

Sandi Wiseheart
is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily every Thursday. Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, follow her tweets under her new twitter name: sandiwiseheart.



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8 thoughts on “Knitting For A Special Girl: About Delaney’s Blanket

  1. Sandi, it seems to me that you spend a great deal of time reminding us of things we ‘know’ we should do, and yet don’t. Yes, a hand crafted something holds an immense amount of love from the maker for the recipient, and yes, a proper recipient knows this, but having a ‘love letter’ accompanying the gift , well, that’s simply a stroke of genius (not that we’re surprised that you are demonstrating yet another s.o.g.). Thank you for the reminder that even if the love is known to be there, a gentle explanation/expansion is even more glorious! Cheers, Molly

  2. You’re exactly right. I am currently working on the honeybee sweater from the new Stranded Knitting book, for my grand-daughter Hazel’s fifth birthday in July. THere are prayers, lover, and memories (already!) in every stitch. I too need to have other projects going as a rest from this complex one. It amy or may not be ready for the birthday day, but su rely in time for wool sweater weather. Keep posting photos. Robin

  3. knitting for someone is a great way to keep them on your mind! i just started two projects for my new nephew- who I haven’t met yet! but, when i do, i’ll have two lovingly made items to hand over to him, and more importantly, his parents- who will appreciate the time and love put into them! thanks for sharing your letter- that is a really sweet idea for a loved one to have later in life!

  4. I’m currently working on a sweater for my husband. He helped me design it so that it could work for all the various activities in his life. I made swatches of different stitch patterns so he could feel the weight and texture of each and then added a horizontal cable in a contrasting color to make me happy while working on it. Someday, it will have oilskin shoulder patches so he can throw stuff over his shoulder to carry it without ruining the sweater. I’ve been working on it for two years, working out the neckline and the sleeve shaping and taking breaks from it here and there to knit smaller projects for myself or one of my kids. I’m almost done with the second sleeve now, so it’s feeling almost finished at last! There is so much of me wrapped up in this project, it is truly amazing and definitely knitted with my heart as well as my fingers, too.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I’m currently working on a reversible afghan for my father. He has lived through 4 bouts of cancer, and every stitch I complete on this is done with love and well wishes. He has always been there for me, and this is something special I can do for him. Your love letter to your niece has inspired me to write one to him when I give him this blanket. Thank you so much for all your words of encouragement and wisdom.

  6. you have a beatiful neice there…absoulutely adorable..

    right now I’m knitting for my grandson..a sweater for christmas, and for my mom a table runner for christmas…and getting ready to start. the KAL for my daughter in law….

    trying to get things made up for christmas..starting early