It was Christmas Eve Eve. I sat at my desk in the studio, in front of me, one piece of wrapping paper, Pip’s colour of washi tape and the last piece of the Christmas knitting, finished and ready to be wrapped.
Well sort of finished. Technically finished if we define finished as ‘finished with the knitting bit’ and entirely ignore the question of whether or not it has any buttons (it doesn’t – though I have sewn all the ends in and blocked it which has to count for something).
But enough of technicalities. Let me show you the third and final piece of my Christmas knitting list this year, an Anders jumper for Pip, knit from Rowan’s Baby Merino Silk DK in Snowdrop and Bluebird.
All of my baby baby knitting has been fairly gender neutral, but by the time I was knitting for my girls at Pip’s size, if not precisely his age, well we weren’t in wall to wall pink, but the patterns are definitely feminine even if the resultant jumper is dark blue. And with the newly sorted stash just waiting to be turned into something lovely and wonderful what more excuse did I need to spend many happy hours looking through baby boy patterns on Ravelry and favouriting more knits than I could ever hope to complete before wearing something your Mum made becomes utterly unthinkable, even if I gave up on sleep entirely and either the yarn stash grew and/or I acquired sheep. Some of them might be more projects that I will dream of knitting rather than anything that I’m actually going to turn into reality, but Anders I knew I had to knit, to knit now, to knit for the most perfect Christmas jumper for my gorgeous little son.
Because it has Vikkle Braid (really easy to do and I love the way it looks), it has little fair isle bands on the sleeves, and most of all it has snow. Fair isle Christmas trees under a blanket of snow; it’s like a knitted version of what I’d really like to wake up tomorrow and find outside the windows (please little snowflakes, just wander a little further south, I promise the north won’t miss you).
As I said before, it doesn’t have buttons, that’s a couple of safety pins holding the placket closed, there should be three cute perfect little buttons up the front, but alas, my magical touch with the button jar seems to have run out; I found two that were just gorgeous, but not a third, and no one in their right mind goes into town on Christmas Eve just for buttons. Well not when the jumper’s for a baby anyway. Pip and I are going to have a great time choosing buttons in the New Year but there’s no hurry; given how little Pip is, the top button at least would just disappear into his chin so he’s probably more comfortable as it is anyway.
Based on a little bit of judicious measuring of Pip, a bit of guesswork and not a single swatch in sight I made the 6-12 month version and it fits the boy a treat; snuggly warm against the nippiest breeze and long enough that there’s a bit of room to grow before summer comes and all the knits get squished to the back of the cupboard. This is the project that I cast on in the car on the way to a family party, with yarn given to me a couple of Christmases ago by Pip’s godfather. the project that I knit in odd moments; with a baby asleep in my lap, while the girls finished their lunch and chattered about our plans for the afternoon, or at the end of the day with the family asleep upstairs. It has so many memories of our everyday knit into it, and even though I was working to a deadline and this was the last thing on the list, it never felt rushed or under pressure.
There have been years when I finished the Christmas knitting and crafting long before Christmas, but they haven’t been for a while, and even when I’ve finished the things that are for Christmas day itself there have been things for family that we’re not seeing until New Year’s Day that still needed finishing off. I sat by the lights of the tree on Christmas Eve knowing that for once everything was done; the house was clean and as tidy as it gets, the food was baked and prepped as far as possible, and there under the tree were three soft squishy parcels for my three children, and it felt wonderful, relaxed and happy in the anticipation of all the loveliness to come.
It may have taken me five years, but perhaps for the first time I’ve finally made myself a Christmas knitting list that is actually reasonable and achievable, even if I did have to be rather ruthless with my dreams in the process. And there are two things that I now know. One, the feeling of having everything done is very addictive and two, so is knitting those jumpers – Pip lovely, look away now, I think I know what you might be getting for Christmas next year.
But based on current evidence – I think you might like it!