Pink Alpaca

Monday, July 31, 2006

Baby Kimono

My friends Tom and Melissa welcomed their daughter into the world on Thursday. Also on Thursday, I finished the little one's welcome gift, a baby kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Thanks for waiting, baby! I thought I'd be late finishing this.

I knit it in Sugar 'N Cream cotton and used a little more than two skeins' worth. The pattern was really interesting because the whole thing is knit as one piece. When finished, you fold it in half (the top edge of the sleeves is the fold) and sew up the side seams. For those of you who don't knit, sewing isn't done with needle and thread or a sewing machine. You thread your yarn through an oversized tapestry needle, then use what's called a mattress stitch to seam the edges together. The ribbons, however, are sewn on with needle and thread.

The pattern called for 1/2" wide grosgrain ribbon. I really liked the colors in this 3/4" wide ribbon, especially since the baby's room is decorated in green, so I went with it. Next time I'll probably search harder for the appropriate size.

Now if I can just find a cute way to wrap it and get it into the mail...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A short tale of a ballband washcloth

I recently traveled to Atlanta to serve for one week at a homeless shelter. Before anyone worries about me, it was a nice shelter. Really cool in an urban warehouse/loft apartment sort of way. Exposed brick, cool paintings and lights hanging from the rafters. No air conditioning, but it rained for half of the week so it wasn't entirely bad.

On the first night, the noise of the storm prevented me from going to sleep. So I started working on a kelly green/bright pink ballband washcloth from the Mason-Dixon book. Throughout the week I would work on it whenever I couldn't sleep. The streetlights outside were bright enough for me to read by, so it wasn't difficult. And all week I searched for the person to give it to.

On the last day I decided to give it to the woman who is in charge of the shelter. I never had a chance to speak to her, because she was so busy, but I felt compelled to give it to her because I saw how humbly she lived. Sheetrock had been erected into a makeshift apartment for her so that she could have some privacy in this open-floor plan shelter. For the most part it was a peaceful week. But, on our last night, two old men got into a fistfight. She emerged from her apartment in her bathrobe, broke it up, and led the guys away to settle the matter. Such a tough woman.

And so I just had to give her the washcloth as a small thank-you for the work she does. She deserves some me-time, even if it's just to wash her face with something cute.