But she was five then, and I got to do the picking. Now she's coming on eleven. She has her own opinions and desires, so she designed what she wanted me to make. Which meant I had to invent the pattern. It sort of worked. At least I made it big enough that she won't outgrow it too fast.
I actually began this project about a year ago, and although I finished it awhile back as well, I'm only now writing about it. The thing is, the story behind this jacket makes me see how amazing it is how a little detail in your life can lead to something so much bigger.
But I'll get to that in a minute.
The first thing my daughter did was pick the light blue and lavender colors. She didn't care what the yarn was made of; she just cared about the colors. Then she informed me that it would need a big S on the back (her first initial). The letter didn't turn out as great as I had hoped (and it took me forever to figure out how to invent a pattern for it--and it ended up lopsided), but at least it's recognizable as a letter.
She also asked for pockets on the front (and picked out darling little heart buttons for them). The one thing I added to her design (with her approval, of course) was cables on the sleeves (those braided looking things going down each one. I love doing cables).
The next thing she insisted her jacket have is a hood. This posed a slight problem, seeing as I had never made a hood and didn't own a single knitting magazine or book that had a hood pattern in it.
So I did what all good modern mommies do: I turned to the Internet in search of a pattern. I found a couple, but not quite what I was looking for, including one that had such convoluted instructions I panicked and moved on.
It was during my search that I discovered Knitty Magazine. I trolled through their web site and after reading a few pieces, thought that hey, I could write something for them. I wouldn't send them a pattern (I'm not THAT good . . .), but they also publish fun essays.
So I wrote a humous piece about how I got started knitting, and they bought it. (You can read it here.)
A short time later, I got a bunch of e-mails from readers who had found the article and clicked on my contact information. They came from all over the U.S. and even a few European countries.
All but one of the messages fell into two categories:
1) My, your daughters have gorgeous red hair (Yes. Yes, they do, I'd reply. Aren't my girls cute?) and
2) How can I get the pattern for the pink sweater? (I'd tell them what book I got it from.)
But one e-mail came from a reader who, I'm assuming, went to my web site and deduced rather quickly that I'm LDS. (Not tough to do, really, when I have book covers with temples on them.)
She contacted me saying that she lived in New York and was also:
2) A writer
3) A knitter
What are the chances of someone being all three of those and reading my article?
The reader was none other than Luisa of Novembrance.
We soon began a cyber friendship, and I got lucky enough to meet her in person last summer when she visited Utah (and enjoy lunch . . . and a sundae . . .) We soon discovered that we have a lot in common besides those three things.
Through her, I've met several other awesome blogger friends like this one and this one and many others. In turn, she found a bunch of bloggers through me, such as many of the LDStorymakers.
Over the last year, I've found a great friendship and source of support through Luisa.
Oh, and my daughter got herself a jacket she loves.
Who knew that a simple search for a hood pattern would lead to all this?
Post script to finish the jacket story:
I never did find a suitable hood pattern. I ended up inventing my own, using a hood from a jacket we had around the house as a model.