Giving this sweater to her for her birthday was such a big deal for me. It's funny, by the time I was actually able to slip this gift in, it was the end of a very big day for her. There had already been so much excitement that my gift of hours and hours of labor was nearly brushed aside. She was polite and thanked me, but there was no exclamation of joy on her part. She was exhausted, and frankly, so was I. It was the next day that she found it again. She smoothed it with her hand, held it, and then told me how much she loved it. We talked about how many times she had watched me work on it, and pestered me to hurry up and finish. We also talked about how much she had changed in the past year while this sweater was being made. She insisted on wearing it to school the very next day. It made every stitch and blessed bobble on that sweater worth it.
So here's the pattern should you ever like to give it a try. It was well written, but plenty of work. Maybe it was a little much for this "less-than-expert" knitter to take on. When I bought the pattern, the woman at the shop said that when she chooses new patterns she always likes to challenge herself to learn one new thing. I learned several with this one; at times I felt very stretched by the enormity of my knitting ignorance. Still, I'm proud that I finished it so that she has plenty of room to wear it for a while. One last important little detail is that my mom was the elf that sewed up the seams for me. It wouldn't have been done on time otherwise. (Thanks so much, mom!) Such a special gift in so many ways, and my six year old has begun another year of amazing discoveries, accomplishments, and growth.