I spent this last week in Chicago for managerial training for work. It’s nice because not only do I learn valuable job skills that I can apply in my everyday management tasks (are you buying that?), I get the opportunity to take a break from the stress of the lab, network with the company muckety-mucks, and see some places other than California. Going to Chicago is great because it lets me meet up with some of my friends that live in the city and it’s close enough that I can meet up with my family in Southeastern Michigan. I arrived at Midway around 3pm, got my rental car (a Chevy Aveo – not bad, but I made the right choice in buying my Yaris), and started driving east on I-94. Meanwhile, my family crammed into the minivan and started driving west on I-94. A couple hours later I was at a restaurant in Paw Paw, Michigan, eating depressingly bland food, sipping on Bell’s Oberon, talking with my family. Yes, I know I’ll see them in a few weeks when we all meet up in Las Vegas, but when you live 2352 miles from the people that you love you take every opportunity that you can to see them.
The one I miss the most (sorry Mom and Dad) is my youngest sister, Tess, who very recently turned 6 years old. A conversation that I had with the little Beast sometime in early April:
Me: Beastieface it’s almost your birthday, what do you want?
Beast: Will you knit me a dress?
Me: A dress? That’s a lot of knitting! What kind of dress do you want?
Beast: A summer one. That’s green.
Me: Green? What happened to pink? I thought that was your favorite color.
Beast: Well, now it’s green. Do you know who else’s favorite color is green?
Beast: No, Joe Jonas.
So she wants a dress. I can do that, right? I have to… have to keep up my reputation as the Magic Sister That Can Make Anything. By “anything” she mostly means knit clothes, amigurumi, paper dolls, and pipe cleaner flowers, which definitely includes knit dresses. I decided that I couldn’t really start the dress until I knew what size she was; I needed precise measurements. I thought about asking my mom to take the measurements for me, but then I imagined the phone conversation where I ask her to measure The Beast’s raglan length then spend 10 minutes trying to explain what a raglan length is. I decided to just wait until the next time I saw her to take the measurements myself. So last Monday at dinner I measured her and wrote down all the specifics in my yarn journal, then handed the book over to her and asked her to draw me a picture of the dress she wants me to make. Here is what she came up with:
We have a green sleeveless dress, a purple and black striped heart, black triangles with white stripes on the skirt, and black ruffles. Or, as she informed me, “a cool dress to wear to a rock concert.” It seems she has some pretty big plans for this dress, mainly the plan to make it as difficult for me as possible. But how could I say no, I mean, look at what I’m up against here:
And so I am knitting this dress. I’m drawing the line at the elbow length black gloves that she requested to go with it, but I am knitting the dress and making it up as I go along. My plan so far: raglan cap sleeve, stockinette body, black waistband maybe in moss stitch, then bind off. Knit the skirt separately from side to side, using short rows to make the black triangles with white stripes and give the skirt shape, then graft the ends together and stitch the skirt to the body. Pick up stitches along the hem and the sleeves and knit a ruffle. Figure out something for the heart later. I can do that, right?