Knitting for Baby Jabberwocky’s Mum

Mantra: A good gift is something that  takes into account the needs and tastes of the recipient. Not necessarily something you would like for yourself.

I have to keep repeating this mantra to myself, because I keep forgetting.

Case in point: The knitted shawl I’ve been planning to make for M.

M is having her second baby next fall and, when I heard, I immediately thought, “this is my chance to make her a mommy shawl.” Knitting has always been an on-again, off-again hobby for me. When she had her first baby, I was in an off-again phase and never thought of it. But this time. Oh, this time…

I fantasized about the shawl I would make:

  • Not too warm (They almost never get hard freezes where she lives.)
  • Not too froofy (She’s a practical gal who has always preferred plain lines to, well, froofs.)
  • Not too long (I don’t want it to become a tripping hazard. Headline: Texas mom trips on shawl, fumbles stroller. Footage of the high-speed stroller chase on Hwy 10, tonight at 6.)
  • Washable (The inevitable baby drool must not become a permanent feature.)
  • A fun, wearable color; maybe yellow.
  • No delicate lace (I imagine  baby Jabberwocky tearing it to shreds. Then I imagine baby Jabberwocky tearing it to shreds while having a hunger fit. It looks something like this, all squashed together:)
From Hyperbole and a Half , God of Cake. A child to be feared.
J is for Jabberwocky. From Em Dashes and Ice Cream.

I emailed M about my project idea. So glad I did. We talked on the phone a few days later and she let me down gently. “I’m just not a shawl person,” she said. “Years ago, my friend L made me a huge, pretty shawl that I’ve never worn. She told me that, even if I didn’t like it and didn’t wear it, I was not allowed to get rid of it or give it away.”

Get rid of it? Shudder.

Give it away? Wail. 

Maybe my loyalties are a little faulty, but as a knitter, I’m on L’s side on this matter. Imagine the hours invested in that shawl she made. Maybe 50-100 hours of her free time. Toss that puppy and I might implode with grief and frustration. Or at least my vocal chords would. I might not be able to talk to you until they healed.

So, no shawl for M. I’ll make her something else. Something she can use.

I’m so glad I asked.

And considering the image of baby Jabberwocky I can’t seem to get out of my head….maybe I’ll go with something solid and practical that’s hard to shred. Like socks.

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