Looking back

Nine or ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a professional and felt I had no time in my life for crafting. Then life took its turns, and when I became pregnant, maternal hormones came rushing in along with knitting needles and yarn, embroidery hoops and thread, later followed by dyes of many hues, sewing machines, sergers and piles of gorgeous fabrics.

My first knitting project ever was a knitted pony for the baby in my burgeoning belly. I checked KNITTING FOR KIDS! out of the library with mild to moderate embarrassment and set to creating this lovely, soft toy, handmade with love.

No, not that one. That's the second knit pony I ever made. The first one is this one, here:

It doesn't make sense to me now, but somehow the definition of "row' confused me, and I wound up with balloon-animal stubs instead of lean and coltish pony legs. Then when it came time to cast on additional stitches to make the pony's head, I didn't realize it made such a lot of difference if you were on an odd row or even row at the time. I was nearly done with the head when I realized it was backward. My husband laughed and suggested I leave it that way. In an uncharacteristic moment of putting aside perfectionism, I kept knitting along, creating Retro, the Wrongway Pony.

He's a family favorite now, having lasted through that first baby's teething and the second baby's tossing about. As he awaits our third child, he lives at the foot of my son's bed, along with the well-proportioned, forward-looking second pony, who no one ever loved enough to give a name.

Retro came to mind as I pieced together the quilt top of my first quilt (sew along here) and realized to my dismay that a single pinwheel square is turning the wrong way. It would require a lot of stitch ripping at this point to fix it, and so I decided to leave it. As it gets handed down, the children can play "find the wonky pinwheel" and it will probably be the best-loved quilt in the house.

Maybe, I think, Retro is not so much looking the wrong way, as he is simply looking behind him to learn from the past, much as I am today.