Saturday, February 19, 2011

Celebrating the Boy

I wasn’t planning to celebrate the boy this year. For five long years, I’ve done nothing but celebrate the boy! I’ve been reading Made by Rae and Made for a few years and when they launched Celebrate the Boy last year, I was so excited to finally find crafty people who were enthusiastic about their boys. But that was last year. I was newly pregnant with what I had to assume was boy number three. I was preparing to throw my whole heart into a lifetime of being a mom of boys. When we got a little princess, I planned nothing but an entire year of celebrating the girl!  After all, I had waited a very long time for this.

Yesterday, I got a rare hour to myself. The sitter stayed a little late and I got to wander to a cafe, sit with a coffee and a magazine to watch the people and the city traffic. Suddenly, a fire truck roared by with sirens blaring and I thought, “wow, that really is shiny and fast and so very, very red!” There it was. I felt - even if it was only a little - excited. About a fire engine. How differently I see the world now!

At our baby playgroup earlier that morning, we had talked about birth order and favorites. They know how happy I am to have a girl and didn't believe she isn't the favorite. Though she is undoubtedly special because she is a daughter, I find myself much better able to appreciate the boys now that I have some balance, now that I’m not as overwhelmed with the testosterone in the house. So I guess I really do still celebrate the boys in my life. 

Still, sewing for boys is not as much fun for me. They’re hard on their clothes and I don’t like to spend my time making them things they will destroy. Also, it’s very difficult to find good quality apparel fabrics. Now that mine are no longer babies, the cute or loud quilting cottons simply don’t suit them. I like boys in traditional things like stripes, plaids, tartans, herringbone, camo, shirtings, or graphic tees.  What I think comes more easily for boys is knitting. And so for Celebrate the Boy month, I would like to share my very best boy project of all time.

Knitting is a time consuming process, and one that doesn’t always work out the way you intended. Fixing mistakes is more difficult and more costly in terms of precious hours. This sweater was a special request by my oldest and to fulfill it, I had to design it nearly from scratch. Pip had asked for a Ferrari sweater. And for my dear oldest child, it couldn’t be just any Ferrari. I searched the internet for the very best of Ferraris and decided on the Ascari Ferrari 500 that won Silverstone in 1952 and considered by many to be the finest Ferrari of all time. Next, with a little help from hubby, we turned that picture into a knitting chart. Then, I learned how to do colorwork. I decided on a stylish zip neck and a flattering set-in sleeve and used Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns to work out the details for my gauge. 

My notes on Ravelry indicate that I started this in the spring, worked on it all summer and finally finished in late fall. But it’s a beautiful sweater, one of the finest in my eight years of knitting. If this isn’t a tribute to just how special my guys are to me, I don’t know what is.


  1. I just found your blog through your photo on Made's Flickr and I'm looking forward to reading more!

  2. What a sweet, honest post. I can relate to your troubles with fabric, in a way, even though I have a girl, because I have always been more attracted to more masculine suiting and shirting types of fabrics. I think they can still be combined in whimsical ways, though, and if you're willing to research Ferraris and learn colorwork, you will definitely find ways to make boyish fabrics as fun for you to sew as for them to wear.