Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Little Boy Brown

(Reclaimed from Blogjob.)

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Several years ago, about this time of year, Gena Greene and I had set up a display of hand knits in the Montgomery County Farm Women's Cooperative Market in Bethesda, Maryland. A woman looked at the selection of baby and toddler things on the display and said, "Do you have anything for a little boy?"
I did the usual warble about how most sweaters are unisex and we add snap fasteners so the jackets button to whichever side you prefer, for a small extra charge, with purchase. (In the U.S. the only gender difference in many garments is that women's things button right over left and men's things button left over right.)
Since babies and toddlers spend a lot of time lying down, and much of the rest of the time tugging on things and trying to eat them, we don't recommend adding buttons to babies' things, ever. In the U.S. the traditional gender difference for baby things is supposed to be that boy babies are dressed in blue and girl babies are dressed in pink. Of course a lot of baby things are meant to be unisex too; you can tell because they're either both blue and pink, or neither blue nor pink.
Well, this shopper might have been shopping with one specific child in mind, or she might have been one of those people who ask for whatever they don't see on a display in order to end a conversation without buying anything. She said, "I want something that's definitely for a boy, in brown, and he's just starting to walk."
We hadn't thought of knitting any baby things in brown, but why not? We had enough of some thick brown and tan yarns to make a snowsuit for a toddler. We had a book, e-friend Jil Eaton's Minnow Knits, that contained patterns for knitted snowsuits for children just starting to walk; we'd made one for a slightly bigger toddler in green.
That's a thumbnail picture of Jil Eaton's original "Coco Chenille" chunky suit.
That's a thumbnail picture of the lighter-weight "Yikes, Stripes" suit. Full-sized photos and complete instructions are in Minnow Knits, copyrighted; knitters can enlarge the pictures (free) and download individual patterns (possibly cheaper) at https://www.ravelry.com/designers/jil-eaton/patterns?page=4 .
So Gena made the chunky suit, cocoa-colored but not chenille, and called it "Little Boy Brown." We took it back to that market, but that woman didn't buy it.
If you'd like to support this site by buying it, here's the BlogJobStore link you can use to pay online:
Or mail $25 for the (one and only) suit, + $5 for shipping, via U.S. postal order, to P.O. Box 322...btw, I could probably squeeze a few books into the same package.
(Purchasing update: If the BlogJobStore link turns out not actually to work, like so many sites that initially accepted an "i-frame" and then bogged down in the local Internet service, you can always send the money to the address at the very bottom of this screen. Regretfully, I now have to add a $1 surcharge per online payment; I don't add a surcharge for U.S. postal orders, because the post office does that. Wordpress tags: Greensleeves Handknits,hand knittinghandmade acrylic caphandmade acrylic snow pants,handmade acrylic sweater,machine washable hand knitssnow suit for one-year-old child.)