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Family Garden

In the Pocket Handkerchief Garden: 28 May 2015


Gardening it seems is turning out to be quite a lot like parenting.  Partly in the plant it and hope and pray something good germinates analogy but mostly that it only grows when you’re not looking.

I find this to be very true of the children, they definitely only grow at night when I’m sleeping or wishing I was sleeping, and suddenly the pretty skirt and top that Kitty wore last week is looking a bit on the snug and short side. It’s only when wake up in the morning that I can see that’s she’s had another growth spurt, and only now that I look at these pictures having just flicked back to last week to remind myself that I can see that anything has grown at all.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Yes, this is a week of not much change in the Pocket Handkerchief Garden.  If we were a book, these would be the foreshadowing chapters, building the suspense for the moment when the garlic is going to leap out from behind the strawberries and shoot for the sky, preferably with a lot of ominous organ chords and a thunderclap in the background.

Things are growing.  I can’t actually see any change in the strawberry/onion/garlic bed, save that a few more petals have fallen from the strawberry blooms and the tulip is starting to fade and can now be pulled up to prevent it being mistaken for anything more edible come July (though it’s not in a row and everything else is so I think we’re safe).

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life


And in the other bed, well to be honest, it looks a bit of a mess.  I want to clear it up a bit but I’m not terribly good at telling seedlings from weeds (or anything from weeds for that matter, I once very efficiently weeded my father in law’s primulas) and I’m also a little worried that if I sweep up some of those catkins I’ll take half the seedlings with me.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

So we’re just letting it be.  We now have a nice cover of spinach seedlings and a few good patches of rainbow chard, and I think that just possibly there might be something in the sweetcorn section.  Well there are three new somethings that could be sweetcorn, and a couple of other somethings that could be grass or sweetcorn.  I’m going to leave them all alone for a bit and hopefully I’ll eventually weed the right one.  That or doe anyone know a village show with a giant weed competition?

Joining in again with Soulemama

Finished Handmade Knitting

A Well Stacked Staghorn


If you know me in real life and you are planning on having a baby any time in the rest of this year you may wish to look away right now.  Because I am actually being rather organised. I know, the shock is overwhelming.

I love knitting for babies, but after  (quick check on Ravelry) fourteen Baby Surprise Jackets, I think I need a good break before I knit another one.  The last babies I knit for, the two that arrived just after Pip, one I knit for in pink, because I didn’t start until after she’d arrived and I knew she was a girl, and the other in white and later added pink buttons to celebrate the arrival of a first daughter for our friends.  But this time I don’t know what variety of babies we are expecting, nor exactly when they will arrive.  All I do know is that given the knitting time I have available, it would be much better for me to be prepared, than waiting for them to make an appearance before casting on.

So I am building myself up a little stash of baby knits, of all colours of the rainbow, and then when I hear the glad tidings of great joy I can simply choose which one best suits, wrap it up and send it off.  It’s also the perfect excuse to knit some very very cute teeny tiny little cardies and jumpers without worrying about whether it would look too girly on a boy.

Because we’ve never found out the variety of our babies until we met them in person, everything I’ve knit beforehand has been gender neutral, both in colour and pattern.  There have been reds and blues and rainbows, cream and the perfect pearly grey, and soft cosy patterns, with lots of nice squishy garter stitch and not too much frilly lace.  And while I knit I’d stash away patterns for if it was a boy or if it was a girl and promise myself that the first thing on the needles would be something delicate in shell pink or lots of sturdy boats with red sails against a deep blue sky.  I know I could have knitted them anyway but to be honest I was usually racing their baby blankets to the finish with only tine to dream of anything but fairisle and steeks.

And of course once I was holding my babies the knitting rather took a side seat while we wallowed in all things new baby, and the dreamed of patterns sat in an electronic pile in the corner, only a few every making it into existence.

It’s high time to let some more of them see the light of day.  Starting with the Stacked Staghorn Baby Sweater.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

Oh it’s just so cute.  I knit the larger 6-12 month size because I think you need a baby that’s sitting up and wriggling around for an over the head jumper, and a baby that’s wriggling needs and over the head jumper to actually keep them warm.  Technically by age alone this should fit Pip, and as I was knitting along I kept looking at it, thinking how big it was and wondering whether I was accidentally knitting something for my wee baby.

Well that was right until I held it up against Pip.  It fits over his head, but on the rest of him, it’s a little bit ‘well fitted’, so on an ordinary sized 6-12 month old it’s going to be perfect.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

And it was a lot of fun to knit too, it’s simple enough that for the most part I just memorised the next few steps in the pattern and then I could pick up and knit the occasional stitch whenever I got a moment, which makes it much more doable with my small assistants around.

The yarn is Rowan’s Baby Merino Silk DK, it’s a great yarn for baby knits, as it doesn’t contain any synthetic fibres but can go in the washing machine, and it comes in some gorgeous colours.  This is Bluebird the same as the bottom half of Pip’s Christmas jumper, and as that has withstood my young man’s determined efforts to add some extra decoration I have no doubt that this jumper will prove equally sturdy.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade life

I think I’ve chosen my next pattern, the Maile cardigan out of something lovely from the sock stash for a baby girl but I’m always open to suggestions for the list so if you have a favourite baby knit please do let me know.