A year ago in Paris I bought four little balls of bright blue merino. It was, and is, the perfect colour for my little blond haired brown-eyed boy, and it has been earmarked from the start for a jumper for my Pip.
But optimism, oh my old friend, you never let me down do you; by the time I’d made Kitty’s cardigan, and Elma’s cardigan, and some crowns for Christmas, and some socks and some baby knitting it was coming round to August again.
“I know!” I thought, “I’ll make his birthday jumper from the Paris yarn!”
Excellent plan. Except for the minor fact that there is a considerable size difference between a one year old and an almost two year old. Especially if he’s my almost two year old. Where patterns might have worked for Pip wearing an age 2 jumper, things were looking a bit tight to make an age 4.
But this is where an over generous allowance of optimism comes in. Or possibly foolhardiness. I chose a pattern because I loved it and I thought it would (a) suit Pip and (b) be easy enough to knit while driving around Germany, packed all the yarn and needles and set forth, figuring I’d work it out somewhere along the way.
And so I knitted, and knitted, and knitted. I cast on somewhere along the German-Austrian border, knit as we drove past mountains, and then up alongside lakes, and then for quite a decent stretch through the less picturesque roadworks we encountered on the Autobahn trying to head west for home. And what became rather obvious after I used the best part of three balls on the shoulders and the body, was that four was not going to cut it.
Now from my many years of
acquiring yarn knitting, I know that it is possible to order yarn via the Internet. And in fact it is even possible to order yarn from other countries via the Internet, especially if you speak enough French to navigate their website, and the shop in question has a website.
But who doesn’t need a good excuse to go to a yarn shop, or to go to Paris, or both. And so we did; one small detour on one of the last days of the holiday and I was the happy owner of a fifth ball of yarn.
I knit as we headed to Calais, and on the tunnel, and perhaps I would have finished it then but for some reason the jumper was just not finished with me. I made mistake after mistake after mistake, I forgot decreases, I changed direction on the cable randomly in the middle of the row, I somehow ended up with several more stitches than I wanted, until eventually, after several do-overs, I just pulled the whole sleeve back and started again.
Despite my best efforts, it wasn’t finished until the weekend of Pip’s birthday, and then it needed washing and blocking so it wasn’t sat on his birthday table all wrapped up like it should be, but the advantage of a two year old is that he never really noticed.
The pattern is Frozen, and the yarn is Lil Weasel’s own Lil Wiiiz in Myosotis. In English it means forget-me-not, and a blue more reminiscent of deep skies, summer holidays and perfect swimming pools it would be hard to find. It’s lovely yarn to knit and softer than butter, and I can neither confirm nor deny that I bought some more of it to make a certain someone a winter hoodie (which will absolutely definitely be made this year!!).
The age 4 size is, as you can see, a bit on the big side for Pip at the moment and fits the nearly-four Elma perfectly. But there is no point in making Pip a jumper that fits him now because he’ll have grown out of it by the end of the month. The sleeves at the moment would cover his hands if you really stretched them out, and so if I really hadn’t been able to get that fifth ball of yarn I could have made four stretch as I only dipped into it for the last third of the second sleeve, but after all that work it’s nice to know it’s going to be around for a while.
Pip is to be honest, rather indifferent to it at the moment. He didn’t want to wear it when we first presented it to him, which is fair enough because even in England August is not the month for big woolly jumpers, but when he woke up early in the morning, and I decided that if you’re going to wake up so early it’s still the morning golden hour you might as well take advantage of it, he seemed happy enough to style it with Hansel and Gretel pyjamas and be all cosy as he carried out a rather bewildered inspection of our veggie garden.
“What do you mean, that’s a carrot?!”
Come winter I fully expect it to fit, to be being worn every day, and to be always just a little bit muddy.