The yarn pulled through the hole on the button, round two turns around the base and was fastened off. And with that, somewhere near Bussy Raputin in the middle of France, Pip’s birthday jumper was finished. Even with all of my traditionally ridiculous levels of optimisim I’d known it wasn’t going to be finished before we went, no matter how many times I snuck in a couple of rounds on car trips for camping stuff, so I packed all the wool, two choices of buttons, and a couple of other knitting projects for when it was finished.
And while my dreams of sitting outside the tent sharing a cider with H and watching the sun set while the children slumbered peacefully behind us very rarely came to fruition, I often found I was the first up in the mornings and there’s something very special about sitting in the cool of an early morning watching the world come to life with a little yarn for company. And when you add in the long transfer days (five hours of driving down a very long very straight very flat road to get from Paris to Annecy) I probably knit more than I do when I’m at home.
So by the time it was finished it had been knit in Normandy, knit on the way to Monet’s Garden at Giverny, knit by the banks of the Seine outside Paris, and knit heading south. It was washed and blocked in the Black Forest in Germany, and I realised when we got home that the pattern designer is Swiss, so it has ties to all the countries of our adventure.
The pattern is Livingston, after Jonathan Livingston Seagull (awesome book) knit up in one of my go to yarns for little ones; Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Mist. It’s soft, it rarely pills or breaks, it comes in some lovely colours and most importantly, it machine washes.
And yes, it is technically grey, albeit a steely blue sort of a grey. But I think it works. I love to dress the children colourfully and I love to knit with beautiful colours, which usually means vibrant rainbows. But red didn’t seem quite right, and none of the yellows were quite golden sunshine, and little boys already wear quite a lot of blue and I kept coming back to the grey, holding the ball up to Pip, squinting at him a bit and holding it away again until finally I gave in to gut instinct and just bought it.
Apparently I could have saved myself several minutes because I love how it’s turned out. It’s such a great colour on Pip, and, and I am turning into everyone’s mother when I say this, it goes well with everything. I can’t believe I just said that, but it’s true, and with a wee boy who grows an inch every time you take your eyes off him for a second, it’s a very good thing as unfortunately I don’t have quite enough time to knit a jumper to match every pair of stripy trousers. Not that that in any way shape or form happned with his eldest sister or was handed down to his middle sister. Poor third baby.
But best of all, better than the colour, or the fact that it fits despite my not swatching, or Pip’s superb jumper modelling poses, he is just so so snuggly when he’s wearing it, you just don’t want to put him down.
Roll on the autumn and even more baby cuddles.