Almost three months after I cast on for it, and at least six weeks after I completed the knit pieces, I finally finished my first ever knitted garment. Having finally decided that Cady Gray needed to wear it on her first day of preschool, I girded up my loins and ripped out the too-long crochet straps and redid them a couple of weeks ago, right after the Secret Knitter’s visit. And last night, with only a few hours left before CG was due to appear at the Child Study Center, I wove in the last six ends and laid it out for her for her to put on when she woke up.
The excitement of her new school plus the excitement of a new dress (“Mom! You knitted it!”) had CG dancing on her toes while getting dress this morning. I confess that I quietly repatriated her chocolate milk so that she wouldn’t arrive at school with chocolate dribbles all over that brilliant orange stockingette.
I learned single crochet for the trim around the bottom, the armholes, and the straps. I improved my mattress stitch tremendously over the course of seaming the front and back pieces together. And my mistakes (miscounted decrease rows and back ribbing knitted too tight with too-small needles) don’t detract from the overall effect.
A lot of knitters don’t like to work with cotton, and at first I had a hard time with the looseness of the twist in this yarn. But I love its shine and saturated color, and I quickly learned to take proper care so I didn’t split it with my relatively blunt needles.
The reward for a lot of hard work (and a period of hibernation after my initial strap failure) was my daughter’s delight in her beautiful new dress, and the extra specialness of her wearing fabric from my hands and needles on her first real school day. She took to school with the same eagerness with which she approaches most of life. The sunshiney orange of the yarn matched her mood as she favored her teacher with a blinding smile and gave one of the student workers a spontaneous hug. I left her happily scooping pellets into a measuring cup, her dress the brightest color in the room.