So you know that friend*? The one who you remember how you met, and when you fought, and who, if there was any justice in the world, you'd be freaking related to already?
In my case, her name's Melanie.
Mel and I met in junior year of high school, my second semester in Florida. We worked on a project in history class together, schemed about boys, and had more G-rated fun than should be really allowed in high school. For real - the stories. Driving in her mom's mail truck with the hole in the floor and no passenger seatbelt, or, erm, seat. Staying up late doing Calculus homework and hallucinating sigmas. Trying to drop hints to the boy I liked, or parsing her latest conversation with her boyfriend. (What up, Tony?) As for the fights, we had a couple during college, but thankfully they weren't terminal.
Well, Melanie is having a baby next spring, and I am over the moon. By a cruel twist of fate, we've both married Navy men yet we can't seem to get stationed together, so she and her tiny belly are thousands of miles away, growing together COMPLETELY REGARDLESS of the fact that I can't be there. Since I couldn't manage to send myself there for a hug, I had to make a hug to send in my place. Ladies and gentlemen, the secret project - my first handmade sweater.
Wait, that's kind of a bland picture of an inert object. Let's see how it looks in action.
Isn't she lovely, folks? And Melanie too? :)
Remember back in September, when I got all that yarn? Here it is, at long last. I bought the blue for Mel, the orange for me. More on the latter, later.
Seven hours later, it looked like this. Note the beautiful Navy Lodge bed covering.
and I wanted it to look, someday, like this, the Oblique sweater from Knitty. There were times when I thought it would never get there, but after about two months of work, it looked like this!
This was a labor of love, a five-piece raglan sweater with short-rows, W&T, reverse cuffs, three different lace patterns, and about a MILLION ends to weave in. The pattern is flawless, and I LOVE the way it turned out. It was even fun to make - notice in those pictures the beautiful stitch markers?! Those come courtesy of my amazing mom, and they are made of real gemstones. I love it! (Email redearthdesign AT mac DOT com for more info or ordering.)
When I told Mom about this project, she offered to help - we wanted the sweater to grow with Mel's belly, so I didn't add any buttons. Instead, Mom found some really cool kilt pins and decorated them herself. Check this out.
Mel can move the pins outward as that teensy belly grows! It was so cool to do this, to make something that would keep Mel warm in the cold Monterey wind, and to do this with help from Mom from afar.
So my girl is having a baby, in about five months. She and Tony (what up, Tony?) are going to be incredible parents, and I hope I'll get to be there occasionally, along the way. Congratulations Mel - I love you.
*(Some of us are lucky beyond belief and have more than one of these friends. I love you guys.)