We’ve had a wonderful Christmas, full of joy and laughter and time spent together as well as a little pile of new treasures under the tree. And included in that pile were a couple of small squishy parcels, wrapped in Frozen paper, and labelled in Mummy and Daddy fashion (we use a washi tape code for each of the children) for Kitty and for Elma.
The girls, already resplendent in their Frozen dressing up dresses, started pulling at the paper, and slowly but surely (because Mummy believes in a lot of washi tape for holding things together) out plopped two little hats.
When Kitty was still merely a little bump and I had time enough to think and plan and knit, I made a little hat. A little red and white hat, stripy like a candy cane and pointy like a little elf hat with a pom pom on the end. It was one of the cutest baby knits I made and I loved Kitty in it, and when she grew out of it there was Elma ready and waiting and in need of a new hat.
Elma adores it, calls it “my hattie” and carries it around with her like a talisman, but it was knit for a 6 month old baby, not a two year old little girl and it’s getting a bit on the snug and stretched out side, and while Kitty has moved on to other hats, both Mama-made and a very warm and squishy penguin hat with matching mittens, it is a universal rule of this house that you can never find a hat when you want one, although they will all later reappear at the bottom of the nursery bag.
So for the Mama-made portion of the girls’ Christmas presents I thought a pair of new hats might be in order, with I’l admit just a hint of a vision of three little ones in matching stripy hats. I raided the ripple crochet stash for Baby Cashmerino in cream and then palest pink for Elma and a darker pink for Kitty. Both are knit roughly to the original pattern from Itty Bitty Hats, I used 3.75mm needles because the yarn is a lot thinner than the aran-weight from the pattern, and then added a repeat or two to bring it up to the right sort of size for my girls and knit a few more round in the floppy bit of the hat to keep the proportions as my row gauge was a bit smaller than too. Elma’s is a little big right now but she’ll easily grow into it and Kitty’s is just perfect, warm and snug.
And as the girls are a little bigger and slightly more to be trusted not to eat their hats than when they were really tiny, they also have giant pompoms on the end for the proper elf effect.
The girls loved them; I think Elma was wearing hers for most of Christmas Day and when we headed out for our very chilly Boxing Day walk they were the first things they put on.
The problem with knitting for toddlers and pre-schoolers is that even if you’ve picked colours you know they adore, and the softest fluffiest wool you can think of, it is entirely possible that they will take one look at the thing you’ve just poured your heart, soul, and many wee small hours moments into creating, and declare it the wrong sort of pink, or they want the one their sister has and not their own, or, well, if you have toddlers and preschoolers you don’t need me to fill in the rest of that list. So to see them wearing them and not trying to casually abandon them over the wall into the water was a big relief.
And a pleasure.
It’s been so warm this last week, I think I’d rather forgotten it was actually supposed to be winter until we headed out today; with biting winds along the top of the reservoir and lowering grey skies, giving all the promise of the snow that’s forecast. We were all layered up, jumpers and coats and hats, watching the boats roll their way out to where the breeze skimmed across the water, trying to keep warm fingers while Kitty flew up and down the path on her scooter, and Elma toddled very slowly along, stopping every now and then to examine a pebble or watch a duck.
We strolled along, among other families out test driving shiny new bikes and scooters, being passed by a group of hikers in santa hats and tinsel, the runners whizzing past in a speedy blur of new neon, and the cyclists circling on the low road. And I realised that with the girls in their new hats,we were all wearing hats I made; definitely a happy moment for a knitter.
Although, as the one I was wearing was pinched from H, I think I know what I should be knitting next, though I don’t think I’ll ever quite be able to pull off a pompom like these girls.
And as for my vision of my three little ones in matching hats; well much as Elma loves her pink hat, she’s not ready to relinquish ownership of the red hat either; I think she’s trying to come up with ways to wear both at once. The original is a bit big on Pip at the moment anyway. But next year, definitely next year, even if I have to knit another one for Pip!