The baby's grandmother is a pretty amazing knitter herself and her great grandmother had been the most amazing tapestry artist.
These might seem like incidental details, but to me they are most important. You see due to the fact that I am still quite a slow knitter and I don't have a huge amount of time in my life to knit, this little vest probably took me a couple of nights to finish.
The fact that this baby has wool in her blood (ha!), means her family will appreciate and understand it. They will know that it was knitted especially for them, with love.
A few months ago I knitted a similar vest for a baby and when I hadn't heard back, I asked the Mother if the baby had worn it. She replied that it'll be a great addition to her wardrobe if they ever bring her to visit us in chilly old Daylesford.
Isn't it cold in Melbourne in winter too?
I knitted her the six month size so if they don't come and visit us in the next few weeks, there's no way it'll still fit when we get home from our trip.
This baby does not come from a crafty family and it made me think that they would have liked a vest bought from a baby shop just as much. I probably could have bought a lovely one for the same amount of money that I spent on the wool.
To me, a handmade gift is the ultimate gift. Because it is my world, I understand the care that is taken in choosing a suitable pattern for the recipient, selecting and purchasing the appropriate supplies and then the time it takes to actually make the present.
I guess we often have the same issue on our market stalls when people ask why our free range, organic eggs cost more than those from the super market.
I've been thinking about this for a while and asking around and it seems that many crafters have unhappy handmade present giving stories of their own. A pair of hand knitted socks that are too good to wear, a quilt that is packed away in case the kids spill something on it, a beanie that was chucked in the wash and felted.
And then there are the happy ending stories, the dolly that was carted around until her arm fell off, this Milo that was worn by that precious little baby on her way home to Norway, the dress that has been worn by every girl in the family.
It's a risk this handmade present giving business. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
Do you give handmade?
Do you choose carefully who is lucky enough to receive your handmade goodies?
Have you got a handmade prezzie success story/disaster?
The Norwegian's Milo Ravelled here.
Have a wonderful day. x