knitting up hope

Five winters ago I visited Kit and Kevin in their 420 sq. ft. apartment. I was heavy with unborn Mary and in a full-blown knitting frenzy.

The nesting instincts of pregnancy flew straight to my fingers where I spent several months knitting up hats, cardigans and light-as-air baby sweaters. The repetitive movement soothed my queasy stomach and the intricate patterns fed my need for creativity in a time where everything else felt out of control(I’m not a good pregnant woman–I’m sure I’ve mentioned this.) More obsession than hobby, my needles followed me to the doctor’s office, book group and I really, really wanted to knit in church.

Delivery cures me of the compulsion, leaving half finished projects strewn about the house and a sweet little bundle in my arms.

Observing my progress on a little red & white cardigan, Kit begged me to teach her the wonders of knitting. I hesitated. Kit was in her 6th year of infertility, and inspiring her to knit baby sweaters seemed a bit cruel. Besides, I’m a lefty and a klutz at teaching.

But Kit is patient and clever. Following my inept instructions she began to cast on and cast off, to knit and to purl. I left her with a skein of red yarn and a set of good metal needles.

Alone with her new hobby, Kit visited a fragrant huddled yarn store in France where she purchased THE MOST COMPLICATED knitting patterns in creation and a dozen skeins of yarn to create a baby outfit. No one told her that beginning knitters usually stick with scarves and hot pads, no one told her that multi-color projects and cables and fancy stitching were reserved for hobbyists with years of experience. She didn’t know that most people end up with one sleeve 4″ longer than the other and pants two sizes larger than the top. She didn’t know it was impossibly hard.

Kit carried her projects to doctor’s appointments and failed in-vitro attempts and of course, dozens and dozens of Kevin’s basketball games. Within months, her skills surpassed life-long knitters.

And then, two years later, a baby came to Kit and Kevin’s arms. And with 17 months more, another. Ryn grew too fast and I never got to see her in THE outfit, but petite little Elle has been wearing it comfortably for months.

the farm theme simply begged for a tractor photo
little lamb

I asked Kit, “How did you make this, how did you even begin, when you’d had so many disappointments?

Kit laughed, “But I always knew we’d have a baby. Birth or adoption, boy or girl. I knew I’d be a mother; it was just a matter of time. I’d be silly if I didn’t prepare.”

And so, on this New Year’s Day when goals paralyzed me and I saw only limitations and impossibilities and age creeping on; I thought of Kit and her knitting needles, of dreams stitched into reality.

See that blue bump in the center? That’s baby girl number 3.

December 31, 2008



  1. Ken

    January 4, 2009

    They are beautiful miracles and you have shared us a great message which we know as “Faith Precedes The Miracle” to start this year. With gratitude,

  2. Blue

    January 4, 2009

    that’s bloomin’ amazing! i can’t believe she made that sweater! wow.

    maybe i should have you teach me how to knit. or is that crocheting? i’m no kit, and it’s a marvelous work and a wonder to me whenever i see other people’s hands flying with the needles in them (and they’re everywhere now!), but it’s an art i’ve literally never dabbled in at all. i know nothing about it. but the fact that you know about it doesn’t surprise me in the least. nor do these gorgeous photos you snapped.

    welcome back to the states to kit and crew!

  3. Jodie

    January 4, 2009

    Stunning knitting. My sister taught me to knit, lets just say I’ll stick to my photography! Beautiful photos Michelle!

  4. the merriest

    January 4, 2009

    i can crochet, but try as i might, knitting has always eluded me.

    bloggerville is so small. i’m pretty sure he served in my ex’s mission.

    amazing sweaters. wow!

  5. the merriest

    January 4, 2009

    wait. i’m confused. or maybe i read over this in a fit of a.d.d.

    she didn’t knit the sweaters in the pics did she?

  6. Michelle

    January 5, 2009

    Merriest– yes, she knit the lamby outfit. The bright pink one is compliments of GAP and not nearly as intricate.

    The lamby outfit is truly a wonder. I’ve been knitting for 15 years and couldn’t replicate it.

  7. Kira

    January 5, 2009

    I am impressed. I also love a infertility sucess story. Congrats to Kit and Kevin!

  8. Annie

    January 5, 2009

    That is the sweetest story…and I’m beyond impressed with that beautiful sweater outfit!

  9. StubbyDog

    January 5, 2009

    Holy crow she KNITTED that?? It’s amazing!

    And perfect. Great photos Michelle.

  10. Linn

    January 5, 2009

    Absolutely incredible sweater. Absolutely incredible story. Happy, happy, happy for them.

  11. Linkous

    January 5, 2009

    Thanks for sharing this hobby, and so many other things, with me. You were one of my greatest sources of hope during that time of waiting. Love you.

  12. Jeanelle

    January 5, 2009

    wow!! What a miracle – thanks for sharing. And as a fellow lefty, I would someday love a knitting lesson, no matter how awkward. I can’t imagine ever knitting something as beautiful as that sweater though.

  13. martha corinna

    January 5, 2009

    I loved that story Michelle, how beautiful.

  14. Jan Russell

    January 6, 2009

    What an amazing attitude and amazing talent Kit has! Love these sweet pictures!

  15. Heather

    January 6, 2009

    I love how you always write such positive things about such remarkable women. It is really uplifting and inspiring to visit your blog.

  16. Denise

    January 6, 2009

    So beautiful — the children. The outfit is cute too, but ohhh those girls. They’re heavenly.

  17. Melissa

    January 6, 2009

    Now I want to learn how to knit AND take beautiful pictures. What a lovel post.

  18. Zina

    January 7, 2009

    I just loved this post. How inspiring.

    When I was going to learn to knit as a teen the project was some ugly slippers. I never learned how. When I wanted to learn to smock as a young mom, I did a dress that was HAND-pleated (most smockers use a pleater,) then hand-smocked, front and back of each smocked panel, full-bodice, front and back. And boy did I learn. (I haven’t done much since, though. But I do now own a pleater.)

  19. Anwaar Awan

    October 14, 2012

    Agar ap ko orignall girls kay numbers chaiyein to yeh website hai…..

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