I've got a very special friend who is about to get one of the best gifts God gives women - her first grandchild.
So I did something today that I haven't done in two years. I bought gorgeous baby yarn. I happen to believe that every new baby should be wrapped up in or covered up with or at least laid down upon a soft, cuddly blanket crocheted by someone who still does that. It doesn't matter if the blanket was made for that baby or his/her big brother/sister. Or grandmother. You just can't buy a baby blanket that feels like one someone crocheted.
Admittedly, I'm biased because I'm good at crochet and I love making baby blankets
I bought quality baby yarn made by Bernat, one of my favorite yarn companies. It's a yarn I've never used before because although I haven't bought yarn for two years, life goes on and yarn companies continue to come up with new creations.
I have to say, it's very sweet and the blanket is going to be adorable.
I'm sitting in my mama bear chair this afternoon, with my twenty year old favorite baby blanket pattern and my still shiny size K crochet hook, going to town on the beginnings of this beautiful blanket. And I smell something funny.
I mean funny. Like maybe there's a gasoline leak in the house. Gasoline like in the pump at the gas station. That can't be right.
Then I realize the yarn isn't slipping through my fingers like smooth silk as it usually does when I get up a good head of crocheting steam.
My fingers feel sticky.
Sticky fingers don't work when you're working with yarn and hooks.
When I'm in creative crochet mode, I go days and days without using hand lotion because hand lotion wreaks havoc on crochet speed.
It's not that hard to repair shriveled and dried up hands. All it involves is sleeping with foot cream slathered on your hands, inside disgusting cloth gloves, every night for two weeks.
Back to the smell. I suddenly realized the only new thing in my mama bear chair, which is normally just me, Chelsea and a book was that yarn.
The yarn reeks!
I mean, it really, really smells horrible and I'm making this thing for a fragile little newborn BABY!
I even took a skein to Rob and said, "Smell this!" He looked at me like I'd just landed on planet Earth and said, "So?"
He did jerk his head back though so I knew he agreed with me that this yarn has a pretty powerful chemical smell.
Then he said, "You know, Barb, there are laws about dry goods entering this country. Where was your yarn made?"
I love that. Dry goods. As opposed to what? Wet goods?
So I grab the label. China. Made in China and packaged in Canada.
Obviously, this yarn has been treated with some kind of chemical. Gasoline? Please tell me no. This would totally screw up the whole "flame retardant" thing that our country requires for any cloth product that might ever land on a baby.
The yarn I'm working with smells like it could go up in flames if I let the temperature in our house go beyond 70 degrees.
So my question is this. Why? Seriously, I don't get it. Why does yarn produced in China have to be treated with strong chemicals like this before it can enter our country?
A bug is a bug. Is there a bug in China that we can't deal with in America? Is there a disease in China we can't deal with here in America?
I truly don't get it. Why would we be so paranoid that we'd totally screw up something like gorgeous baby yarn?
I don't look forward to working for hours and hours with yarn that makes me sneeze and gag and makes my hands sticky.
I'll do it for the baby. And then I'll run that sucker through the washer at least six times before I mail this gift.
On a happier note, I just checked another thing off my whiney baby list. I ordered a new battery for my camera. It only took me two years. I mean, why rush into something like a battery that costs $8.76 plus $3.00 shipping/handling, right?
Before you can even say, "Gee. I wonder what Cameron and Avery and baby Jayden and Chelsea look like these days because it's been two and a half years since Barb shared a photo," you're going to see for yourself.
I think you're going to be surprised.