A few years back I gave my husband the kind of Christmas present that he scoffs at: an "I owe you". I was in my knitting phase and thought it silly that I had knit numerous items for our daughter and all sorts of other relations, but not for him. Knitting an adult sweater was quite an undertaking (one I had never undertaken before). Plus, I wanted to make sure this sweater was an embodiment of his unique personality. Knowing there was no possibility of designing the perfect sweater and knitting it by Christmas, I took a risk and went the IOU route. I think I did get him something else small in addition, but all he could remember was the IOU/fake present (as he called it) I had given him. Perhaps his refusal to humor me in the slightest lent me the determination to actually make him one. And so by the next Christmas I had not only designed and knitted a sweater for him, but a matching one for our one-year-old as well. I owe you? Double check.
My husband is unique in his clothing tastes (and also incredibly picky). The inspiration for the sweater had its roots in a fuchsia t-shirt covered in iridescent butterflies that he picked up in the women's section of our local Goodwill. It was further influenced by the sweater (worn by the boy) in the movie "About a Boy". I purposefully made the sweater for our daughter too big (just in case I didn't actually finish it by that Christmas). It's about a size two, but the other day as we got ready to visit the migrating monarchs at our local state beach, she dug out the sweater and squeezed it onto her four-year-old frame. Dad donned his matching one, and, fittingly, his butterfly t-shirt as well. I count it as a success every time he wears it.