Saturday, June 16, 2007

Butterfly Bog Jacket

The good news is that Baby M's bog jacket is finished! Months after I finished the lion's share of the work, leaving only the piddly little detail stuff to complete, I dug the jacket out of my work bag and just did it. I love how it looks. I love the frilly crocheted "butterfly wings" I added to the ends of the sleeves when I decided I didn't like how they looked plain. I love how the funky buttons add an unexpected splash of bold fuschia to the more earth-toned jacked itself. I love just about every darn thing about this jacket, in fact.

Which brings me to the not-so-good news: I think all those times my mother wished I would have a daughter just like me (and never because I'd done something good, mind you) have finally taken effect.

Baby M absolutely, positively refuses to wear her jacket. She won't even try it on.

DH tried to get me to see reason. "It's summer. It's hot out. Of course she doesn't want to wear a heavy wool jacket." But I know better.

When I was a kid, my mom sewed most of my clothes herself. I had cute little handmade pinafores, which she even took the time to get me to draw on in crayon and then iron the drawings in permanently -- a real mother/daughter project if ever there was one. I had handmade pants, handmade tops, even -- I kid you not -- a hand-crocheted bikini.

Mom made my clothes for many reasons. She was a trained seamstress. She loved playing dress-up with her sole little girl (when she was pregnant with me, she prayed for a girl because the clothes were so much cuter than for boys). Coming from a sewing family, she already had a large supply of fabric in the house. I'm sure it was cheaper to make my clothes (considering she only used fabric she already had) than to buy them new in the stores. But, underneath all of that, I'm sure she also made my clothes as a tangible expression of her love. What more loving thing is there than to clothe your child in a garment of your own making?

It was the zebra pants that did it.

I must have been in the fourth grade. I had worn the cute pinafores and crocheted bikini, but I had also worn the weird, 70's-era bell-bottoms made from gold flowered fabric that must have started its life as some sort of bizarre upholstery. The clothes that fit perfectly and never wore out but always stood out wherever I was and whatever I did. No one else in school wore clothes like I did. No. One. And when one day my mother produced a white pair of pants with great, big zebras printed all over them, I finally blurted out, "Can't I just wear jeans like everybody else?"

And that was how I got my first pair of jeans. And, I'm sure, broke my mother's heart, although I don't remember her showing any upset when I rebelled against the black-and-white bizarro-pants she'd made in all good faith and with all the good intentions in the world.

And now at age two -- two! -- my daughter is making my mother's fondest wish come true. She's refusing to wear the clothing I lovingly made for her with my own two hands.

She didn't even wait for the zebra pants.


Procrastiknitter said...

That is GREAT! I love the Butterfly Bog sweater. The colors are simply divine! Ok, where do I find that pattern?

Splindarella said...

Thanks! The directions for the basic bog jacket are from Elizabeth Zimmermann -- I believe they're in her Knitting Workshop book. The butterfly sleeves are something I added myself. You could probably do the same thing in knitting, but I crocheted them because I found it easier and faster. After you finish the basic jacket and sew up the sleeves, sc 1 round around the cuff in a contrasting color -- try to make sure you have an even number of sc stitches as it will be important later). Change to your main color and sc one round. Now dc in every other sc (this is why you wanted to start with an even number of stitches) to make the openwork part. You'll need to put 1-2 chain stitches between each dc to keep the sleeve from pulling in -- the more stitches you insert, the more bell shaped the sleeve should become. When you get to the sleeve length you want, finish off with a scalloped border. If this doesn't make much sense (it probably doesn't!), just let me know and I'll send you more detailed directions privately. :)