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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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