Baby Baby Knitting Crafty Ideas Elma Embroidery Handmade Handmade for Elma Handmade for Kitty Kitty Knitting

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!




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  • Pennie Y 17/05/2014 at 8:39 am

    Ignore the housework, it will always be there but children don’t stay small…they will remember what you do for them, they won’t remember the cleaning…

    (admittedly I do have to keep reminding myself when I cast on for J that knitting for children has to happen in a faster time zone before they grow too big for whats on the needles !)

    • Carie 17/05/2014 at 12:25 pm

      When I was expecting Elma I asked a friend who’d just had her second for her top tips on managing with two and she told might I might have to let the ironing go for a while – given that I can count on one hand the number of things that get regularly ironed around here that rather worried me!! But knitting wins out over housework every time!

  • One-oh-four 17/05/2014 at 10:13 am

    Paper plates….that will save on the washing up! I know a house full of students who did this for a year, cutlery too. They just bought a huge stack from the cash and carry at the start of the year!

    Those fair isle blanket are adorable – I am in awe of how neat your stitches are. The new one is going to be gorgeous 🙂

    • Carie 17/05/2014 at 12:27 pm

      Well that would be one solution – but I think I love our crockery too much! And thank you – the blankets are definitely the high point of my knitting abilities!

  • Mandycharlie 17/05/2014 at 11:15 am

    Dishwasher! It saves an enormous amount of time – you don’t need All of those kitchen cupboards!

    Your knitting more than I am at the moment, unfortunately this baby is not going to be gifted with any handmade items from me, knitted or otherwise for at least the next two years… Crazy busy.

    And, very brave to knit on the Northern Line, I normally sit on the tube in a state of extreme tiredness and knitting is simply not on the agenda. I’ve often wondered what the passengers reactions would be like though, it must have been fun.

    • Carie 17/05/2014 at 12:31 pm

      But have you seen my collection of cake tins! I contemplate a dishwasher from time to time but it would be too big an overhaul of the kitchen for the current available budget! And yes you are insanely busy at the moment – I don’t think the baby is going to be (a) cold or (b) in any doubt that you love him or her anyway 🙂 When you’ve got so little time you have to knit for yourself. x

  • Katie 19/05/2014 at 7:57 pm

    I would love to knit Carie but i cannot. My mum is an amazing knitter and she has tried to teach me but its just one of those things my brain can’t seem to compute. Luckily my mum does the job for me and we have lots of lovely blankets and jumpers for the boys.
    Looking forward to seeing the finished product and i’m not sure how you cope without a dishwasher ;)) x

    • Carie 19/05/2014 at 10:13 pm

      I don’t find knitting that hard but I suspect it’s long practice as much as anything! And as for the dishwasher it’s simple – I’ve never had one, or lived in a house that had one so I don’t know what I’m missing – and I have a level of chaos acceptance that can deal with dishes piled in the kitchen for a day if I’m busy 🙂