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04 June 2008

The Fable of the Baby Sweater (Or: Me and Hubris, Once Again)

Once upon a time, I had some sock yarn, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it.

Cateling suggested I use it to make the famous Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. What a great idea! My cousin was pregnant, and she had knit some baby things for my girls when they were little, so I knew she would appreciate the time and effort in knitting a baby garment.


Her baby was due in May. Not an ideal time to wear a knitted sweater!

"That's OK," I thought.. "I'll just make a larger size, for him to wear next winter. There are so many beautiful examples of BSJs for bigger babies!"

"But I won't make it blue, because I don't like to play into silly cultural expectations. I'll make it in shades of brown and eggplant, doesn't that sound nice?"


I wanted to make it in a washable wool (this is for a baby, after all; and for a new mother, who won't have time to handwash her baby's clothing). The yarn store didn't have my chosen colors in washable wool of the correct weight. In fact, the store owner mocked me a little bit (yes, it was that chi-chi poo-poo store, I admit -- I happened to be in that part of town when the urge to get the yarn struck me). The teasing flustered me. Also, the only colors that fit my wool specifications were girly colors, and blue.

*Sigh*. "Fine. I'll make it in blues" ...

... "but I will not" ...

... "finish it with" ...

... "traditional and completely overdone nautical-themed buttons."


That's really the only kind of button that went well with the sweater colors.