Family Finished Handmade Handmade for Kitty Kitty Knitting Photography

In all the colours of purple {handmade for Kitty}


Space for the Butterflies - Momo in Malabrigo Rios (Purpuras)

Earlier this summer I realised a few things.  The first was that Kitty’s cardigans were all at least two inches short at the wrist, the second was that if I was going to finish knitting a new cardie by her birthday I would never get it done if I only knit it in secret, and the third was that the days of just choosing a pattern and yarn I liked have sailed.

We started with the yarn, Kitty and I went on a wool buying mission, ranking all of our options on softness, pinkness, purpleness, and washability (I’ll leave it to you to suggest who came up with which criteria) and finally choose a deep cherry red, that’s really nearly almost pink and will be perfect for Christmas and the rich variegated purple of some Purpuras Malabrigo Rios.

So as I attended to the most vital part of our travel packing (the craft supplies), I decided on the lovely Bloomsbury Kids jumper, downloaded the pattern to my phone, packed the right needles, and stitch markers and anything else I might have needed and shoved the bag under my car seat.

I pulled it back out half way between Paris and Annecy, cast on for the neck, and, an inch or so into the knitting, I held it up to show Kitty.

“Look, I’ve started your birthday jumper!”

“That’s not my birthday jumper.” came the certain reply.

“It isn’t?”

“No, my birthday jumper is a cardigan.”

I showed her the pattern and tried to explain how pretty and cozy it would be in her lovely purple wool, but no, Kitty had a vision in her head of her birthday knit, and this was not it.

And that’s how I found myself surfing Ravelry, as we drove south, south and further south, holding up tiny pictures on my phone for approval from the back seat.

The final choice, Momo, was one of the first ones we considered, and one that Kitty said yes to straight away.  It really should have been that easy but I was worried that a cardie with a feather and fan yoke would look too babyish on my little girl, and that she’d get bored of it and not want to wear it, and so I pressed on with the research until I came to my senses.

Space for the Butterflies - Momo in Malabrigo Rios (Purpuras)

I love to knit, I love to knit for my children, and I love to knit (and make) the things that they want to wear and use.  And that means I need to trust Kitty, to acknowledge that she is old enough to have a clear idea about what she likes to wear, and, except for occasions where it might be seriously inappropriate, just go with it.

So I cast on,  Kitty joined her siblings in a back seat snooze, and as H drove us on and up into the start of the mountains, I spectacularly failed to knit a simple feather and fan pattern because I was too busy peering out of tunnels for the next valley view.

I may have ripped it out a couple of times, at least three, once because I didn’t like the fabric I was getting and dropped down a needle size and the rest because of feather and fan failings (I kept forgetting to alternate pattern right side rows with knit right side rows), but eventually I got the hang of it, and moved on to the stocking stitch part at which point it became perfect car knitting.

Space for the Butterflies - Momo in Malabrigo Rios (Purpuras)

This cardie has been knit in France, Switzerland, Germany, France again, a cross channel hovercraft, and last but by no means least, home in England.

Space for the Butterflies - Momo in Malabrigo Rios (Purpuras)

The buttons are English (despite the amazing array of buttons at Lil Weasel I didn’t have the right yarn with me to compare or know how many buttons I would need), mother of pearl sewn on the wrong way round to expose that gorgeous grey-purple shell on the back, and with that it was finished, wrapped up and tucked away to await Kitty’s big day.

That she’s not modelling it in any of the photos isn’t an indication of how much she likes it, more that she didn’t fancy having her photo taken after running around all day at school.  It’s a great fit, with a little room in the arms and body for at least October’s growth spurt and looking at her I can’t imagine why I ever thought it would look like a baby cardigan.

Space for the Butterflies - Momo in Malabrigo Rios (Purpuras)

She looks tall, every inch her five years, comfy, warm and snug. Knitting success!

linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts , Frontier Dreams and Funky Kid Friday

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  • sustainablemum 25/09/2015 at 8:14 am

    It’s gorgeous. I love the pattern and yarn is wonderful. Good choice Kitty!

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:35 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Mandycharlie 25/09/2015 at 9:12 am

    When considering you were knitting feather and fan in the car with three children in the back, I!m surprised someone didn’t find a purple heap of yarn by the roadside. Well done you for persevering it looks gorgeous.

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:35 pm

      Well the three children were asleep!!

  • Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork 25/09/2015 at 11:42 am

    Success indeed! Gosh Carie, it’s gorgeous and definitely not baby-ish. I love that she had a say in it too – she has taste! I’m starting to realise that my 2.5yo has extremely strong opinions on what he wants to wear (and what he wants me to make for him!). It’ll be a while yet before his choices are completely appropriate to weather in particular, but on the whole it’s clear I ignore them at my peril.

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:35 pm

      It’s lovely to be able to say yes isn’t it – H took Elma to school dressed as Cinderella and round the supermarket as Belle this week because, as he said, “why not”! You have to enjoy the things you can only get away with when you’re two!

  • sally 25/09/2015 at 12:20 pm

    It’s beautiful, love all the colours in it, and I’m completely with Kitty on cardigan not jumper – so much easier to wear, more comfy, more versatile…

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:34 pm

      Maybe it’s because all her school jumpers are jumpers – forward planning so they can be handed down to Pip!

  • Jen 25/09/2015 at 3:25 pm

    Love the buttons and the yarn choice. Your children are lucky to have such a talented Mama.

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:33 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Angela @Little Apple Tree 25/09/2015 at 7:12 pm

    I can’t believe you knitted feather and fan in the CAR! It’s difficult enough to knit while sitting on the sofa but travelling with distracting scenery, children, and you know… being in a moving vehicle. Well, I doff my cap to you!

    It’s a gorgeous cardigan and I hope Kitty enjoys it for a very long time.

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:33 pm

      It’s practice makes perfect – I started knitting on trains and then socks in the car and then just whatever I’m working on – but not crochet yet, that I need my nice comfy sofa!

  • Muv aka Lizzie Lenard 25/09/2015 at 7:14 pm

    Carie, it’s a beautiful cardie! The colours look like every delicious shade of blackberries, raspberries and cherries imaginable. Full marks to Kitty, cardies rule. I have always preferred them to jumpers… easier to get on and off, less likely to overheat, you can show off a pretty blouse or dress underneath… I take my hat off to you knitting in the car. I guarantee I would end up being s..k.

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:31 pm

      I’m all right in the car as long as the knitting isn’t to complex – then I can sit and knit and look out the window. It helps if we’re on motorways too, I knit a lot less winding through the alps!

  • Kim 25/09/2015 at 7:44 pm

    It’s beautiful!

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:30 pm

      thank you lovely 🙂

  • Preeti 25/09/2015 at 8:03 pm

    What a pretty little cardigan, love the color! The lace yoke is perfect!!

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:29 pm

      thank you – it’s a great pattern for showing off variegated yarn isn’t it!

  • Julia @ Rainbeaubelle 25/09/2015 at 9:55 pm

    This is beautiful! I am very envious that you are able to make something as gorgeous as this! I bet she loves wearing it x

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:28 pm

      So far so good – thank you 🙂

  • Mammasaurus 25/09/2015 at 11:27 pm

    It’s so pretty Carie!
    Great work – I’ve total respect for anyone who can knit, the patience and ability to read patterns is totally beyond me – and I’ve tried!

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:28 pm

      I suspect it’s one of those things that’s easy when you know how – it’s my favourite way to wind down and make something at the same time!

  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure 26/09/2015 at 12:25 am

    It is beautiful Carie and I love the colour – just the right amount of purpleness. I think this js quite an ageless pattern, perfect for a nearly 5 year old

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you – I’m so pleased and slightly relived with how it turned out!

  • Lee Cockrum 26/09/2015 at 1:02 am

    Totally gorgeous!!!

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:21 pm

      thank you lovely 🙂

  • Julie Stocker 26/09/2015 at 6:15 pm

    How beautiful is that?! I didn’t think babyish at all. I was so intrigued by the gorgeous pattern knit into it, wishing I had one of my own all along. I think you should definitely have a photo shoot with an adorable model!

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:19 pm

      It’s all down to the adorable model if she feels like it – but I just finished the sort of matching hat so I think I might catch her wearing both!

  • sylvia 26/09/2015 at 6:52 pm

    Lovely sweater! Love the color!

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:18 pm

      thank you, it’s a gorgeous squished blackberries sort of colour isn’t it!

  • Wave to Mummy 26/09/2015 at 8:09 pm

    Wow, this is such a beautiful knit – it would be great to see her model it too! It seems funny in a way that she, at that age, would have so many ideas in her head about what her birthday knit would look like, but absolutely right just to go with it, it is for her anyway 🙂 And I think she has done a fab choice! #funkykidfriday

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you – I think she’s made a really great choice and I’m definitely getting her to choose her Christmas pattern (with a hefty push towards a tiny tea leaves!!)

  • Jenny Benton 27/09/2015 at 12:42 am

    So pretty – Kitty loves it and I love it too!

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 3:04 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Snowcatcher 27/09/2015 at 3:45 am

    What a great cardie! (We call them sweaters here, but cardigan is so much more dignified, sometimes!) You did make a great choice, and it turned out beautifully!

    • Carie 27/09/2015 at 2:58 pm

      thank you – I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out 🙂

  • Kim Goodling 29/09/2015 at 1:46 pm

    What a beautiful cardigan! The lace work is so lovely. I have a purple loving daughter who would like to own your cardigan!

    • Carie 29/09/2015 at 10:03 pm

      It’s a good colour isn’t it – I think Elma might be lining up her next request knit as we speak!!

  • Caffeine Girl 29/09/2015 at 11:43 pm

    It is definitely not babyish at all. Learning when and how to trust our children is no easy task, but you have a good feel for it.

    • Carie 02/10/2015 at 11:14 pm

      Aww thank you 🙂

  • Zena 30/09/2015 at 12:29 am

    Oh it’s stunning! The colour and fan detailing. I think it’s important to make sure the little one’s like it. There’s nothing worse than spending money on good yarn and putting all the time in to create something they won’t wear:)

    • Carie 02/10/2015 at 11:15 pm

      Oh definitely – I’d so much rather they wore it than it was just what I wanted to knit!

  • Vickie 30/09/2015 at 4:26 pm

    Perfectly perfect in every single way. I love the colour (purple is my favourite) and the feather and fan is a pretty touch. I still marvel at the fact that you can knit in the car. I’ve knit on buses and trains but I cannot knit in the car without feeling dreadfully car sick.

    • Carie 02/10/2015 at 11:28 pm

      Aww thank you lovely 🙂

  • Evelyn 01/10/2015 at 9:40 am

    What a gorgeous cardigan, I love that pattern, thanks for linking to it. The semi solid coloured yarn really works well for the pattern, good choice 🙂

    • Carie 02/10/2015 at 11:33 pm

      it’s pretty isn’t it 🙂

  • Hannah | MakeDo&Push 01/10/2015 at 11:32 am

    Oh Carie – it’s absolutely beautiful! You’re so clever! I wish I had the patience and motivation to learn how to knit.

    Thanks for linking up to #FunkyKidFriday xxx

    • Carie 02/10/2015 at 11:34 pm

      You’re welcome, I love kids clothes, especially the handmade ones!!