Aria’s Tiny Tea Leaves is done and I must say, I definitely see what all the fuss is about. A relatively quick knit, it’s also easily customizable and the result is a pretty little cardigan at once an everyday staple and a slightly dressier number. I’ve already got Ani’s started and hope to make one for myself sooner than later.
Aria loves her sweater, knitted up in an Aria-chosen colorway aptly named “Big Girl Pink” (Ravelry notes here), promptly declaring that she would “wear it for the rest of the day!” when I told her it was ready. She gladly posed for pictures (!) and I was able to get lots of rare shots of my growing girl.
As I took photo after photo of Aria, I realized how long it had been since I captured her in film (or, er, flashcard). So often she is the one running around while the slower Ani becomes the subject of my camera. Or, even more commonly, things are just too busy when both girls are around and the pics only get taken when Ani and I are alone, if then. Looking back through the pictures taken today, I can’t believe how big both my girls are getting. Aria, in particular, seems so grown up, and though the little girl is definitely still there, I feel like a glimmer of the young lady she will grow into is present now.
Came up with that pose all on her own, she did. This is the kid that used to freeze in front of a camera.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the changes happening in front of us until we step back and look at a photo or through someone else’s eyes. Big changes have been happening lately in this girl of mine and not until a heart to heart with another mama did I realize that in some ways, my big girl needs me now more than ever. At a stage where she’s understanding more about this world we live in, but still so small in it, she can sometimes get lost in the enormity of it all, no matter how much her precocious nature and strong will say otherwise. To ground her and our relationship a bit more, we’ve been having more Mama/Aria time – a couple hours, usually on a weekend, when we spend time together doing something fun, running errands or whatever. The time alone affords us uninterrupted conversations, hand-holding and bonding (all much harder to do when also chasing a toddler!).
Recently, we spent our time together on a mission to find the perfect buttons for her nearly complete (at that point) Tiny Tea. We went to three different fabric stores looking for buttons and Aria rejected nearly all of them (I wasn’t wild about them either). So, we decided to hit the local thrift shops to see what we could see. At the last stop, we found a bag of already rummaged-through vintage buttons. After convincing staff we would take them anyway, we found these three little gems inside. Aria fell in love and immediately said she wanted them for her sweater. They look perfect.
Now for the tough part: letting my tree-climbing, dirt-loving girl wear this mama-knit piece out into the world. She’s begged to wear it to school, to show it off to her teachers and friends, and I’m not usually one for saving special items – I believe in using the things we love – but this girl is tough on her clothes. The last handknit item – legwarmers – came home with a gaping hole torn into them that I still haven’t figured out how to fix and we have come to frequent the kids jeans aisle of our favorite thrift store as knee after knee gets torn to shreds. So, I am definitely hesitant to send her off to her outdoorsy school with this lovely knit wrapped around her, no matter how much love is in each stitch. Plus, this sweater feels a little dainty to me, like it could be easily stretched out or…something. I don’t think it’s going to fall apart, but it’s lightweight and breathable, not ruggedly designed for hard play. Still, how do I resist the pleadings of a girl that desperately wants to show off the sweater that Mama lovingly knit just for her? What would you do?