Birthdays Family Finished Handmade for Pip Knitting Pip

A birthday Livingston (handmade for Pip)


The yarn pulled through the hole on the button, round two turns around the base and was fastened off.  And with that, somewhere near Bussy Raputin in the middle of France, Pip’s birthday jumper was finished.  Even with all of my traditionally ridiculous levels of optimisim I’d known it wasn’t going to be finished before we went, no matter how many times I snuck in a couple of rounds on car trips for camping stuff, so I packed all the wool, two choices of buttons, and a couple of other knitting projects for when it was finished.

Space for the Butterflies - Livingston

And while my dreams of sitting outside the tent sharing a cider with H and watching the sun set while the children slumbered peacefully behind us very rarely came to fruition, I often found I was the first up in the mornings and there’s something very special about sitting in the cool of an early morning watching the world come to life with a little yarn for company.  And when you add in the long transfer days (five hours of driving down a very long very straight very flat road to get from Paris to Annecy) I probably knit more than I do when I’m at home.

Space for the Butterflies - Livingston

So by the time it was finished it had been knit in Normandy, knit on the way to Monet’s Garden at Giverny, knit by the banks of the Seine outside Paris, and knit heading south.  It was washed and blocked in the Black Forest in Germany, and I realised when we got home that the pattern designer is Swiss, so it has ties to all the countries of our adventure.

Space for the Butterflies - Livingston

The pattern is Livingston, after Jonathan Livingston Seagull (awesome book) knit up in one of my go to yarns for little ones; Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Mist.  It’s soft, it rarely pills or breaks, it comes in some lovely colours and most importantly, it machine washes.  Space for the Butterflies - Livingston

And yes, it is technically grey, albeit a steely blue sort of a grey.  But I think it works.   I love to dress the children colourfully and I love to knit with beautiful colours, which usually means vibrant rainbows.  But red didn’t seem quite right, and none of the yellows were quite golden sunshine, and little boys already wear quite a lot of blue and I kept coming back to the grey, holding the ball up to Pip, squinting at him a bit and holding it away again until finally I gave in to gut instinct and just bought it.

Apparently I could have saved myself several minutes because I love how it’s turned out.  It’s such a great colour on Pip, and, and I am turning into everyone’s mother when I say this, it goes well with everything.  I can’t believe I just said that, but it’s true, and with a wee boy who grows an inch every time you take your eyes off him for a second, it’s a very good thing as unfortunately I don’t have quite enough time to knit a jumper to match every pair of stripy trousers.  Not that that in any way shape or form happned with his eldest sister or was handed down to his middle sister.  Poor third baby.

Space for the Butterflies - Livingston

Space for the Butterflies - Livingston

But best of all, better than the colour, or the fact that it fits despite my not swatching, or Pip’s superb jumper modelling poses, he is just so so snuggly when he’s wearing it, you just don’t want to put him down.

Space for the Butterflies - Livingston

Roll on the autumn and even more baby cuddles.


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  • claire 28/08/2015 at 1:28 pm

    What a lovely jumper. It does sound rather idyllic knitting outside a tent in the morning.

    • Carie 28/08/2015 at 10:13 pm

      Oh it was so lovely – I miss it! Somehow there isn’t the same motivation to go outside of your house really early!

  • Shivie P 28/08/2015 at 2:51 pm

    Gorgeous jumper & baby!

    • Carie 28/08/2015 at 10:16 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • karisma 28/08/2015 at 5:54 pm

    What a lovely sweater! And what a cute little boy! I found your space via soulemama comments. I look forward to spending more time here and getting to know you! =) Aloha!

    • Carie 28/08/2015 at 10:17 pm

      thank you and welcome 🙂

  • eleanor 28/08/2015 at 7:21 pm

    He is quite the model! Must be that sweater 🙂

    • Carie 28/08/2015 at 10:18 pm

      he’s so funny isn’t he – there’s some real poses in there!

  • Ann 28/08/2015 at 9:28 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! The sweater AND the baby!

    • Carie 28/08/2015 at 10:18 pm

      thank you very much 🙂

  • Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely 28/08/2015 at 11:11 pm

    It’s a gorgeous knit, Carie, and Pip’s looking so grown up. How do you have a one year old?! It doesn’t seem like a whole year since he was born. Crikey, time is flying.

    • Carie 29/08/2015 at 11:09 pm

      I don’t know but I’m not sure I’m ready for it yet!!

  • dear olive 29/08/2015 at 4:26 am

    That is the CUTEST jumper! On a very adorable little babe too! Kellie xx

    • Carie 29/08/2015 at 11:08 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • sally 29/08/2015 at 11:15 am

    Early morning making is the only way round here in the Summer hols, sounds lovely to do it outside your tent in sunshine. I’m also envious of your ability to knit in the car, I would love to be able to sew a few hexies in the passenger seat but anything like that makes me feel sick within seconds. And what a great jumper to come out of all the multi national making. And as well as being lovely and practical in so many ways, I’m sure it will remind you of your adventures whenever you put it on Pip.

    • Carie 29/08/2015 at 10:59 pm

      I don’t think I could sew in the car and I think I’ve tried crochet and found that doesn’t work for me but I can knit without looking so as long as the pattern is fairly simple I just knit away and look out the window!

  • Jasmine 29/08/2015 at 3:53 pm

    This is a darling sweater – but not as cute as the model. Loved hearing about the making of it.

    • Carie 29/08/2015 at 10:57 pm

      He is rather adorable isn’t he!

  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 30/08/2015 at 7:57 pm

    I want to pick him up and snuggle him too… There is something about babies in homemade knits, sent there?!

    • Carie 30/08/2015 at 9:28 pm

      It’s one of the many excellent reasons for knitting!

  • Evelyn 01/09/2015 at 7:45 pm

    Such a gorgeous sweater and beautifully modelled too. What a cutie!

    • Carie 02/09/2015 at 11:24 pm

      thank you, he is rather adorable!

  • Deborah 02/09/2015 at 2:36 pm

    The sweater is gorgeous and your baby is darling!

    And what a fun geography knit into the garment!

    • Carie 02/09/2015 at 11:22 pm

      Thank you and yes, I love how it’s a souvenir of all the places we visited!

  • Grace 02/09/2015 at 9:56 pm

    What a cute little sweater and a beautiful color!

    • Carie 02/09/2015 at 11:20 pm

      thank you very much 🙂

  • Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork 08/09/2015 at 1:37 pm

    Both the jumper and the story behind it are beautiful, and the little model is just perfect! It really does suit him. I crochet in the car, though I can’t quite do it without looking away so I do a bit, look out of the window, do a bit more… It makes journeys so much nicer 🙂

    • Carie 08/09/2015 at 8:53 pm

      Do you think it’s ever possible to crochet without looking at it? I love to knit and read and I think I don’t crochet as much because I can’t see myself ever being able to do that.