"Yep. A quilt, like that!" she says, pointing at my knitting.
"Honey, quilts are made of fabric and are sewn. Afghans are blankets that are knit or crocheted."
"No, they're not. That's a quilt."
Note to self: don't try to argue with a headstrong 5 (almost 6) year old. You'll lose....or get so flustered that you just give up.
"When do you want your afghan?"
Hysterical laughter. I really tried to hold it in. Honest! But a whole afghan in a couple days? And her birthday is only a month after Christmas, so that was also a pretty tight deadline.
"Maybe next Christmas dear. Afghans take a LONG time!"
I expected a hissy fit, and got none. Just okay. Maybe she watches me knit enough to know how long these things take. Maybe her own knitting lessons have taught her how long they can take. Either way, that was a very mature answer, and I appreciated it.
I was also excited though that she wanted me to make her something. I think we knitters, especially those without family that gets enthusiastic about our knit goods, get just plain giddy when someone expresses an interest in a handmade gift! Eureka! We've scored!
I showed Miss May some patterns and we agreed on a wavy ripple. I considered, briefly, crocheting it....since crochet is inherently faster....but I really love the feather and fan pattern, so nixed that idea. Knit it would be.
I then researched possible yarns. I wanted something thick (thus faster), but wool would be too hot in a worsted or heavier. I wanted her to be able to use it throughout the year. Cotton? Cotton blend? Bamboo? Soy? Price would certainly have to be a consideration with a project so large. Even cheap yarns would make this a pricey project.
I settled on Bernat Cottontots. Locally available, comes in several colors, relatively inexpensive, 100% cotton, and generally soft. I asked Miss May to help pick out colors and she only wanted me to use blue and purple in alternating stripes. Ugh! I knew that would bore me to tears! Plus, it would make it difficult to match the afghan to her decor over the next few years. Besides, I've been longing to make something stripey with multiple colors. No idea why. Maybe it's just a knitter/crocheter rite of passage....the scrap-ghan. Granted, these aren't scraps, but maybe it would fulfill some sort of scrap-ghan-inpired need. Anyway, after a few days I broke her down. Multiple colors would be just lovely! Yay!
This was Miss May yesterday...insisting that because she was in her Chef coat and hat that she was destined to help me fix dinner. ;) She's persistent when she gets an idea!
And this is her afghan so far. The cotton is rough on my hands, so it's slow-going. I can't really do more than 3-4 stripes per week, if that. Cotton in general isn't very elastic, making it strenuous to knit with. Especially if you knit tightly like I do.
Here are the first 12 stripes (8 rows per stripe, 290 stitches per row), making it just wide enough to fit across the top of a queen bed. Granted she's only in a twin bed now, but I have high hopes that she'll use it through college and beyond. ;) It must be able to grow with her. It won't be too big to drape a twin bed nicely, but will also look nice folded at the bottom of a full or queen bed. It's an heirloom in the making....if it ever gets done!