Baby Baby Knitting Family Finished Knitting Pip

Autumn Hoot {handmade for Pip}


The things you make for the baby in your tummy will always be incredibly precious and special.  They are the physical manifestation of time spent thinking about the soon to arrive member of the family.  I knit as I wonder whether those kicks are from a boy or a girl, or double and triple check that I like the names that we’ve chosen and that I can imagine shouting them across a play park.  I knit as I wait, to calm the fears that sneak into the corners of my mind, and to give me patience as that arbitrary 40 week marker comes and goes yet again.  I knit because I want to give the very best of my skill to this new person, and I knit because I know my hands are going to be very full for a little while.

And all of that comes together in blankets and cardigans and hats; a magnum opus and a handful of little somethings to welcome my baby with love.

But that person you hoped for and dreamed of, was in some ways a baby in abstract.  Yes, I knew my bump babies, I learnt their wiggles and kicks, their seeming attachment to a 5am dance party and their determination to run away from all midwives and obstetricians wielding dopplers, but it wasn’t the same as the knowing I got from the very first minute each of them was put into my arms, when I could finally see them, hold them, cuddle them close, and call them by name.

Nothing can take away the sentimental value of the things I knitted while I was pregnant, but I think there might be equal sentimental value in the first thing made for each of the children that was actually made for them as Kitty, Elma or Pip, not just baby.

Kitty’s was a set of hat and mittens as she rapidly grew out of her newborn hat, Elma’s was a snuggly gold cardigan that was definitely worth the wait, and Pip’s is this:

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

A soft warm cardigan for a little boy who is doing his very best to grow out of all of my newborn/gender neutral baby knits as soon as possible.

It’s a lovely result of the recent stash excavation; a skein simply marked Pure Wool, approx DK, in all the colours floating past my windows, bought not just before any of the children made an appearance but way back in (cough) 2008 (you can just see it at the bottom of this post here).  I shall neither confirm nor deny rumours circulating the household that this was not the oldest yarn in the stash either.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Proof if ever it were needed that it really is OK to buy yarn without any plan whatsoever and just because you love the colours because eventually, eventually it will find its true purpose in life and become a baby cardigan for the third child you couldn’t even imagine having right then.

Despite it saying DK on the label it looked a lot more like an aran weight to me.  It’s Silkwood Yarns’ Pure Wool and knit on 4.5mm needles it doesn’t feel overly loose so I think I might be nearer the mark than the label.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

The pattern is Hoot, it’s a great free pattern, and I loved the I-cord cast on (something I’ve never tried before), but as with a couple of other baby patterns I’ve knit recently I found you do need either a baby or a good sense of their size to get the length and sleeves right.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

For what it’s worth, I knit the 6 month size and did three owl repeats with only one line of garter stitch in between each before the bottom garter stitch border and it looks about right both off and on the small model.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

For the sleeves I deviated from the pattern a little; I knit 25 rounds straight then decreased to 36 stitches in the next round (k5 k2tog repeated around) before working the garter stitch border.  It just pulls the sleeve ends in a little as my garter stitch is a little looser than my stocking stitch and stops them looking massive and floppy around tiny hands while still being big enough to get your fingers up the sleeve to pull the aforementioned tiny hand through.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And to finish it all off I actually had to go shopping, but it was worth it for six tiny little wooden buttons that seemed the perfect compliment to a cardigan so full of autumn leaves and hidden owls.

I love it, even if the owls do get a little bit lost in the variegation, but the final verdict must be with the small recipient:

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life


I’m pretty sure his expression says “I’m so cosy and snug I’ve happily fallen asleep nestled up in this gorgeous cardigan” but there is just a smidge of a possibility that he’s really thinking “it’s a good job you’ve taken my hat off because it’s a bit warm today Mummy, otherwise there’s a serious risk I’d be mistaken for that boy in the postcard Grandma bought you!”

But you’d never be thinking that would you Pip?!



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  • Malinda 01/11/2014 at 1:54 pm

    Your little sweater is just beautiful, but your little guy is even cuter. Good job on both!

    • Carie 01/11/2014 at 10:54 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Brandi 01/11/2014 at 2:08 pm

    What an incredible skill you have. Just beautiful. And I always imagined how names would fit when yelling them out after children 🙂

    • Carie 01/11/2014 at 10:54 pm

      I think that’s always got to be the name test – can you yell for them from across the play park without feeling silly or self conscious? If yes, then you’ve got a winner!

  • Shivani 01/11/2014 at 5:01 pm

    Beautiful autumnal cardigan for a gorgeous baby boy.Well done you-on both counts!

    • Carie 01/11/2014 at 10:52 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Sarah Goer 01/11/2014 at 7:38 pm

    The cardigan is beautiful and the sleeping baby pic is adorable. What a cutie!

    • Carie 01/11/2014 at 10:52 pm

      thank you – he is rather sweet it’s true 🙂

  • Em Wild 01/11/2014 at 8:22 pm

    My goodness that is beautiful, he is very lucky to have such a talented mummy! and the colours are just perfect!

    • Carie 01/11/2014 at 10:51 pm

      thank you – it’s definitely been a case of matching the knitting to the season!!

  • Sara 01/11/2014 at 8:39 pm

    Wow, just Wow! This is one of the loveliest, dreamiest things I’ve seen. Ever. I will probably never know how to make something so lovely (not being negative, just truthful!) so thank-you for sharing your beautiful gift of a talent and hard work with us! 🙂

    • Carie 01/11/2014 at 10:51 pm

      Well thank you very much – and now I’m definitely blushing!!

  • Louise 01/11/2014 at 10:11 pm

    Oh wow this cardigan is just gorgeous. Beautiful colours and I love the owls. He looks so snuggly and warm in it too. Beautiful 🙂

    • Carie 01/11/2014 at 10:50 pm

      thank you – it’s definitely keeping him toasty warm!

  • Katie 02/11/2014 at 10:42 pm

    Love love love! Gorgeous colours – very reflective of the season. Gosh you are clever! I am very confused how you find to make stuff and blog so with three children though! Please let me know your secret 😉 x

    • Carie 02/11/2014 at 10:45 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I think the answer may be not enough sleep!

  • Lucy Blossom 03/11/2014 at 9:56 am

    He looks so cosy and contented in his jacket, and I wouldn’t worry about having ‘older’ stuff – I’ve just been using something I have had for about 13 years!!

    • Carie 05/11/2014 at 8:46 pm

      Well clearly it just took 13 years to tell you what it wanted to be!!

  • Ginny 03/11/2014 at 8:50 pm

    What a cutie. He looks really cosy in his cardigan.

    • Carie 05/11/2014 at 8:44 pm

      thank you – I think he really is 🙂

  • Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork 04/11/2014 at 11:29 am

    What a gorgeous cardie, and it suits him so well. I’ve got all sorts of yarn and metres upon metres of fabric that I once fell in love with but have yet to use. The feeling when you do eventually find the perfect project for all these bits is just wonderful. You really did this yarn justice here – perfect for autumn.

    • Carie 05/11/2014 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you – it’s been really nice to rediscover some old friends!!

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry 04/11/2014 at 8:11 pm

    This is gorgeous, love the colours, you are so clever! x

    • Carie 05/11/2014 at 8:34 pm

      Aww thank you 🙂

  • sally 05/11/2014 at 9:26 pm

    I love those colours and the pattern looks great too, it just all seems a perfect, serendipitous combination for Pip at this particular time of year. And such a lovely one to keep for future babies and/or generations!