Something happens to me when the end of a pregnancy draws close: I go from reluctantly-busy-but-would-far-rather-be-sitting-and-knitting-woman (or preferably asleep), to crazy-nesting-woman, overnight. Suddenly every corner has to be vacuumed, furniture has to be rearranged immediately, I cannot possibly countenance going to bed until every cushion is in its place and every pile of goodness-knows-what has been gone through and dealt with and returned to its rightful station. And I’m not even that big of a tidier normally. I like order, but mainly so that we can be creative in our home. I just feel that no-one really functions at their best without a feeling of space around them and some light coming through the windows.
But in those final days of pregnancy my brain, already quite full enough with mothering and homemaking and homeschooling and all those yarn and fabric plans that make life extra fun, goes into overdrive. This is productive, for sure, but it is also a little scary. My husband gives me funny looks and mentally adds up how many hours of sleep he is likely to get if the baby comes tonight. Children leap onto beds and sofas as the hoover sweeps beneath their feet, and miraculously find the impetus to finally put away that pile of lego heads before it gets sucked into oblivion. Just one more baby cardigan speeds onto the needles and a hat is simultaneously begun. Honestly, not all of this activity actually results in finished products. And it’s not that I believe that newborn babies expect all that much – quite the contrary (thank goodness!). But I think what it represents is a little bit of control in the face of what is, let’s face it, one of the most out-of-our-control events the human mind can contemplate.
Here are some finished crafty pieces from the past weeks:
A new cushion, and a gentle reminder for me (words borrowed from ‘Root Cellar’ by Kate Franzmann).
I scrapped R’s stocking completely (it was still unfinished and, I realised, was just going nowhere as it was), and stitched him a new one. Inspired by his love of birds, and feeding my increasing love of hand embroidery with its peaceful meditative rhythm (perfect for those days when it gets dark at 4pm and the rain is beating against the windows), this one will – I hope – stand up to many Christmas mornings to come (it survived its first, so I’m hopeful):
It makes me smile to see how my taste has changed over the years. E’s stocking, the first I made eleven years ago (how is that possible? Oh, time …), is second from the left, and it’s been years since I made anything purple, knitted, sewn or otherwise. As I look around my house now there isn’t a hint of purple to be found. But back then, that was what I chose for my girl. The second stocking, on the far right, is so crazy busy it makes my eyes hurt now! And I hadn’t yet figured out how to attached the quilted front and back pieces together without either: binding (used in the first one), or overstitching (as featured in the second). By the time my third child was born I had that down, and all the colour was making way for a more vintage, gingham look (far left). But if you look closely (don’t!) you can see puckering around the foot because I hadn’t had much experience with clipping out v’s for shaping. It will be interesting to see where I am in just under a year’s time as I think about a stocking for this fifth baby.
I’ll get back here soon to share with you some finished baby things. Or a finished baby. Whichever comes first. x