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A little knitting in blue


Some people nest. I knit.

Although perhaps I should add that with each additional child I knit with increasing slowness yet identical expectations about what I can realistically achieve in any given time frame.  I did say there was a reason why Natalie Lue’s statement at Blogtacular, “You will always have more ideas than time. This is OK” seemed particularly apt!  I mean right now I’ve got plans (and the fabric) for a couple of summer dresses for the girls, I’m a couple of seams away from having a quilt back to go with a quilt front that I made for Kitty, I’m embroidering panels for a quilt for Elma (lots of boats and seashells), I want to take the girls on a photo walk, I’ve a million and one different things I want to do with the blog and a gazillion and one different things I want to write about. Oh, and the small matter of my husband, family, home and that thing they call gainful employment!

But for today, lets talk about the knitting. Well some of it anyway.  I’m sure if we look hard enough around my house we’d find a bit more.  Actually, I know we would because as well as any long buried WIPs that I’m pretending not to know about I’m also knitting, or rather attempting to knit a crazy ruffle scarf to go in the girls’ dressing up box.  Think feather boa but without the shedding of feathers.  It’s going to be amazing, but “going to be” is probably the crucial phrase there!

I have finished one little project for the Little Bump, a favourite Baby Surprise Jacket (what else) in some very special yarn.  I finally managed to add the buttons in a quiet moment yesterday afternoon and it’s had a little wash and is currently blocking (in all senses of the word) on my ironing board.

The other big knit for Little Bump of course has to be an Alice Starmore blanket.  I’m never entirely sure how much knitting knowledge to assume around here but suffice to say that if you know nothing about knitting or knitting designers (hi Dad!), Alice Starmore is queen of the fairisle patterns.  She has an incredible sense of colour and pattern that somehow takes the simple fairisle rules of only two colours in a row (one in each hand) and from them creates masterpieces.  Kitty has a Point Reyes blanket, Elma an Elephants, and Little Bump is going to be the warm and toasty owner of a Widdecombe Fair.

Well at some point.  This is as far as I’ve got.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

If I pin it out you can see the legs and tail of the horse!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Hmm, yes. It needs to be cot sized with a border on it before Little Bump arrives – guess what I’m going to be doing on the first few weeks of my maternity leave!  The bit that makes it such a lovely knit, and explains the lack of progress, is that you do have to pay attention; I can’t knit just with my fingers, I have to engage brain as well – or I find that I’ve entirely abandoned the pattern in favour of knitting stitches in alternate colours, and that’s the point when even the most determined finisher puts down the wool and heads to bed.  It’s also not the smallest of projects to cart around, and I’m going to claim that’s the sole reason for the existence of this,

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

and absolutely nothing to do with a serial lack of willpower!  Well I needed a little something for the train on the way to London last week.  And that is where I knit most of it, on the train down and back, and on the train back in to London from my sister’s house on Saturday morning, to the slightly curious glances of the other passengers on the Northern Line.

It’s Ysolda’s Wee Liesl pattern, in a suitable size for Elma (18-24 months) in some very special yarn (because life is too short not to knit with very special yarn).  This is my handspun, from an Old Maiden Aunt batt called Two-Thirds Water, that I bought at the very first Knit Nation, long long ago when I was heavily pregnant with Kitty.  I spun it back in the day when I could still get to my spinning wheel, which dates it at some way pre-Elma, and in as far as I can remember it’s a merino/silk mix.  It’s squishy, soft and the blues ripple across it like water on a swimming pool.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Whether it ends up long sleeved, short sleeved, or no sleeves at all is going to entirely depend on how much yarn I’ve got.  I’m pretty sure I’ve not got enough for full on long sleeves, but I’m going to knit the body and then divide up what’s left and knit sleeves until I run out.  I just hope I finish it before Elma grows any more, because frankly it’s gorgeous!

And yes I know, I look at these pictures, I look at the pile on the end of the sofa, I think of all the ideas whizzing around in my head and it becomes clear.  I’m going to have to work out how to do the washing up in my sleep – it’s the only way!