Elma Family Finished Handmade for Elma Knitting Photography

Berry Purple {handmade for Elma}


Tiny fingers peeled back the corner of the raspberry pink wrapping paper,

“It’s my birthday cardigan!” squealed Elma, “It’s amazing!”

The rest of the paper was pulled away and thrown somewhere, anywhere, and in her lap was a beautiful soft warm purple cardigan. Would she like to try it on? Yes, yes, yes please, and on it went over purple Room on the Broom pyjamas, and there it stayed.

It didn’t matter to her that it wasn’t blocked, or that it didn’t have buttons, it was her cardigan and it was perfect.

Space for the Butterflies - Berry Purple Cardigan

I had planned to finish it in time, we always plan to finish things in time, it’s just a question of whether the planning bears any resemblance to reality, but long days, a clingy little boy who missed his Mama as much as she misses him, and the mysterious disappearance of seven small purple buttons meant that I only got as far as finishing the knitting and darning in the ends before the big day.

H and I popped out for replacement buttons on the morning of her birthday leaving the children with their uncle and aunt which I’m pretty sure counts as a date (as does going to see the school nativity play, right?) and I waited for Elma to take her cardigan off so I could sew them on.

And waited, and waited.  She wore it over all her outfits, she wore it to bed over her pyjamas, and it wasn’t until Sunday night that I got the chance to add buttons and Tuesday night (after she’d worn it to playgroup on Monday to show it off to everyone) that I got the chance to wash and block it.

I think we can safely say that it was a hit.

Space for the Butterflies - Berry Purple Cardigan

The pattern is the Berry Season cardigan, which is an adorable fitted little cardie with enough interest in the knitting to keep me awake and enough nice simple stocking stitch bits to make speedy progress and to make for a nice warm winter jumper despite the lace.

Space for the Butterflies - Berry Purple Cardigan

The yarn is part of my Parisian haul from the summer (if I knit it I don’t have to work out where in the stash it can live long terms!). It’s called Soyeuse and it’s a wool silk blend, smooth and smooshy in a very Elma sort of dusky purple.  I’d shopped without a pattern in the summer, just seeing a colour that I knew she’d love and guessing the rough amount of yardage that I’d need for a cardie.  It turned out to be a good guess because I finished the age 3 size with just a smidgen of the fourth ball of five so she might even get a hat to match.

Space for the Butterflies - Berry Purple Cardigan

To lengthen the sleeves I worked two more sets of underarm decreases after the original pattern would have you switch to the ribbing, then I worked straight until it looked about the right length, which for Elma was 28 rounds of stocking stitch, and then I worked the ribbing as the pattern suggests.  It’s a really easy adjustment to make and long sleeves are just a bit more practical for our incredibly mild English winter.

Space for the Butterflies - Berry Purple Cardigan

I love the way it’s turned out; the pattern is so very sweet and so very Elma, especially the buttons.  The original ones were just purple plastic, and then I toyed with the idea of little round wooden ones that would have looked adorable and very 1940’s sort of vintage which is a look I adore in children’s knitwear but as soon as I saw the flowers I knew that Elma would love them.  They were glittery and silver and because they’re clear they pick up the colour of the knitting behind them which practically makes them purple.  I sewed them on overnight and I’d already gone to work by the time she saw them but I’m reliably informed that the smile on her face couldn’t have got any broader.

Space for the Butterflies - Berry Purple Cardigan

Well maybe just a little!

joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday, Frontier Dreams for Keep Crafting On and Make Do and Push for Funky Kid Friday 

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  • Mandycharlie 18/12/2015 at 11:08 am

    It’s lovely Carie, and very Elma.

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:33 pm

      thank you lovely 🙂

  • Shivie P 18/12/2015 at 1:40 pm

    What a stunning piece if knitting! And the buttons really do it justice.

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you – they’re so very pretty and sparkly!

  • Kim 18/12/2015 at 2:40 pm

    It is beautiful Carie, and looks adorable on Elma 🙂

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:34 pm

      thank you my dear 🙂

  • Jenny Benton 18/12/2015 at 9:17 pm

    I love to read about the delightful things you make for your little family.

    Merry Christmas to you all from New Zealand.

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:36 pm

      Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too 🙂

  • Susan 18/12/2015 at 9:34 pm

    The sweater is remarkable, you did a beautiful job!

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:37 pm

      Thank you very much 🙂

  • Gill Crawshaw 19/12/2015 at 7:21 am

    Oh wow, you made this?! It’s so lovely! Of course she wasn’t going to take it off. Do you make one for each of them every birthday? x

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:40 pm

      Generally yes, I try to make them something Mama-made for each birthday or Christmas – depending on how much time we’ve got depends on what it is!!

  • Gretchen 19/12/2015 at 6:36 pm

    That is so lovely!

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:40 pm

      Thank you very much 🙂

  • Jenni @ Chilling With Lucas 19/12/2015 at 10:19 pm

    This is beautiful, I love the detailing on the back. I can see why she is so happy with it x #FKF

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you – it’s pretty isn’t it 🙂

  • Izzy 20/12/2015 at 1:09 pm

    This is absolutely stunning! The lace on the back is just gorgeous. I just found your blog through Crazy Mom Quilts and I am really, really impressed. Your work and your writing are just amazing.

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:41 pm

      Aww well thank you very much and welcome to this little corner of the internet 🙂

  • karen 20/12/2015 at 10:06 pm

    That is so lovely, you are so clever x

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:42 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • Judy 21/12/2015 at 2:36 am

    Your knitting is amazing, so pretty!

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:28 pm

      Thank you very much 🙂

  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 23/12/2015 at 3:34 am

    What a gorgeous little cardi! Miss Elma has a very talented Mummy!x

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:24 pm

      Thank you lovely 🙂

  • Lauren 23/12/2015 at 1:49 pm

    I love that color and it looks so soft and warm!

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:19 pm

      Thank you – it’s a really lovely purple isn’t it

  • Evelyn 23/12/2015 at 7:16 pm

    Wow gorgeous cardigan. Thanks for linking to the pattern, that’s going straight in my ravelry queue, I’ve got a certain 4 year old who would be delighted with one. Elma looks super pleased with hers <3

    • Carie 23/12/2015 at 8:18 pm

      You’re welcome – it’s a lovely pattern and lots of attention to details like the tubular rib cast on

  • sally 05/01/2016 at 12:55 pm

    It’s beautiful, and clearly those first buttons were meant to be lost, the replacement ones are perfect. No wonder Elma loves it so much.

    • Carie 05/01/2016 at 8:52 pm

      It must have been early Christmas elves!