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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A dress for Hanna's baby

I was barely 22, just out of college and working in a newspaper bureau in Milford, Conn. I was so excited to be done with term papers and finals, so thrilled to have a reporting job in a bad economy. I took my first apartment sight-unseen, the attic of a red-brick office building near Yale, just one floor above a psychotherapy waiting room. The attic was boiling in the summer, freezing in the winter, and I couldn't fully stand up in parts of it. I slept on a mattress on the floor of a small crawl space. But it was mine, all mine.

For the first few months, I ignored the fact that I didn't know a soul in Connecticut. I would go to the gym, watch movies by myself at the York Square Cinema, wander around festivals on the numerous town greens in the area. And I attended every last Milford planning and zoning board meeting, which resulted in maybe three interesting articles.

I spent 12 weekends completely alone, not that I was counting.

Then Hanna was hired. She was 22 like me, just out of school like me, and didn't have a prayer -- I decided straight away that she was going to be my friend. Brash and tall and blonde, it's not a stretch to say she was kind of a miracle. Hanna got me out of my little attic apartment, introduced me to other young people, invited me to Thanksgiving with her family and saved me from a blind date so abysmal and disturbing that I blocked it out of my mind for several years.

We moved to a more normal apartment a few blocks away with access to a tar roof where we could drink Corona and sun ourselves. From our kitchen, with its chandelier straight out of a saloon, we could wave at our friends in the next building over. We ate dinner together most nights and sometimes did Tae Bo. (It was 1999, after all). And we walked to Anna Liffeys or Christopher Martins, where we are no longer welcome back. We had just one fight -- she didn't like that turned the water on and off while I did dishes.

Hanna is pregnant with her first baby, a little girl due on my birthday. She asked for something extremely girly and white, practicality be damned. So I made her this baby dress in Patons cotton from a Spiders yarn swap.

I'm not sure if you can see the waist gathering here, but it's kind of cute.

And I'm lying a little, since it's really crocheted by Carrie.

Hanna and a baby. This is going to take some getting used to.


Blogger WandaWoman said...

Very cute little dress. Thanks for sharing the story of your friendship too.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Very sweet. Your story brought back a bunch of memories of NEw Haven for me. I lived there in a teeny 3 room apt (if you count both the kitchen and bathroom as rooms)with my then-bf-now-husband during his last year of law school. I would go to the York Square Cinema for entire days when he was studying for tests. We lived just down the street from Modern. Oh, how I miss the pizza!

1:15 AM  
Blogger An Abundance of Lisa said...

Very cute dress, and a lovely story about your friendship with Hanna! Thanks for sharing!

7:25 AM  
Blogger SJ said...

That is a great story! I know this sweet little dress is going to mean a lot to Hanna!

7:37 AM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Aw... what a great little project and a great story. That first year out of college can be really tough. Thank god for my roommate and her fiance, or I would have so miserable.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Liz K. said...

That story brought back so much for me of my first apartment, first job, that unsure time right after college...

And wow -- cute dress! Hanna's going to love it.

9:00 AM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

'Kind of cute'? How about COMPLETELY cute!! What a precious little dress:)

9:31 AM  
Anonymous amanda said...

wow, gorgeous!

9:56 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

What a beautiful post - you did a wonderful job of expressing how important this friendship (and baby) are to you. And I loved the virtual walk around New Haven. :) The dress is just as precious as the little baby who's on the way!

10:03 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

You must be thrilled for her.

I love stories like that and always wonder if the friendships endure or fade away. Will you be the baby's "Aunt Carrie?" Do you and Hannah still live near each other?

That's an adorable dress. Good work with the crochet.

10:04 AM  
Blogger gleek said...

that is an adorably girlie dress :) i'm sure that hanna and her baby will love it for years to come!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Marlyn said...

Lovely story!
And I think the dress might end up being an heirloom.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

what a nice story! i'm sure she'll love it (and we won't tell it's really crocheted!)

5:33 PM  
Blogger a friend to knit with said...

ahhh! such a sweet story. how lucky that you found each other. and congrats to hanna. her baby girl will look so sweet in that dress!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What a sweet little dress! Congrats to your friend.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Veronique said...

What a touching story! And the dress is nice too :)

3:33 PM  
Blogger Michaela Dollar said...

What a great friend! Those are so hard to come by. And the dress is just adorable!

5:56 PM  
Blogger jenna said...

I loved your story. I'm sure I will have similar feelings when my "Hanna" has a baby someday. :)

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Mintyfresh said...

what a great gift for a great friend!

8:26 PM  
Blogger Christa Lee said...

aw, to have been there in that first year of you and hannah! you left out the time you planned to dress as hamburger and fries for halloween. . . . god, i burst out laughing just typing that. beautiful, beautiful dress. if the baby is anything like hannah, she'll burst out of it--viking style--in about a week. whee!

6:30 PM  
Anonymous marissa K said...


7:29 PM  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Interesting story!! Thanks for sharing!! And the baby dress is just adorable!!

8:35 AM  

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