A knitting interlude: Baseball style jacket No 3 with Fair Isle band


Baseball jacket with Fair Isle (from pattern in Debbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino bk 4)

A two week half term can be a terrible thing for working parents and their nanny, so we grandparents tend to gird up our loins, roll up our sleeves and throw ourselves in to help out as much as possible. It was useful having a second person around especially when the very small person of 18 months was staggering on with a grumbling infection and a constant runny nose. Fortunately she self medicates by settling down to a prolonged day time sleep and is still  happy to go to bed early in the evening. I held the fort at home while she slept, got on with some cooking, dealt with the washing and sorted out the toys in the playroom. Meanwhile the nanny (aka daughter No 3) took the not so small person out to play and eat with friends, ride his scooter round the park and  join friends Trick or Treating. Perfect division of labour.

Baseball jacket with Fair Isle (from pattern in Debbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino bk 4): detail of Fair Isle and Swiss darnimg

I can’t make my mind up whether I heartily dislike Trick or Treating  or whether it’s rather enjoyable and a chance for children to learn about giving and taking. Being the one at home, I answered the door to about 15 children, mostly in groups of 2 or 3; all but one pair were hyper polite, were enjoying themselves … and were most amazingly dressed with great care paid to costume detail and intricate face painting. Parents hung back in the shadows on the pavement beyond the garden gate ready with a “and what do you say now?” if needed (just the once as their charges grabbed a handful of treats rather than taking just one). Our treats were Celebrations if you’re wondering – those little individual chocolates, clones of favourite bars and a jolly good treat even if you’re an adult.

The not so small person returned happy and exhausted from his peregrinations in another part of Islington and though a bit fractious for obvious reasons had the good sense to be asleep within a reasonable time after his return.

Sample Fair Isle designs for baseball jacket

One afternoon, with the babe asleep upstairs and the not so young one engrossed in his Duplo caravan of animals, sword wielding knights and magnificent, if unroadworthy looking vehicles strung out along the full length of the kitchen table, I found a Proms’ video of Holst’s Planet Suite on YouTube and set my computer up to be visible in the gaps between the cavalcade. I had hoped to introduce him to the music before we visited the Holst Birthplace Museum but of course, like the best laid plans, that never happened. Saying as little as necessary, I retired to the other end of the room and resumed mashing potatoes. After being introduced to musical instruments in Mini Mozart sessions, he has an eye for a fine bit of brass, synchronised violin bowing or a good set of kettle drums and he accepted this musical intrusion to his play with equanimity. I think we talked a bit about whether Mercury/Hermes (the subject of one of the movements) had wings on his back as well as on his helmut and boots but otherwise I left him to his own thoughts. I’d like to think it enhanced his afternoon – who knows?

Sample Fair Isle design for baseball jacket

This little jacket (3-6 months) is for a parishioner from Ipsden who had her baby at the beginning of last month. I finished it before going to London but felt it looked at bit drab – in spite of all those Fair Isles samples –  perhaps because I started out trying to make the colours work for boy or girl and ended up being not quite right for either. Once I knew the baby was a girl, a bit of Swiss darning saved the day and more mustard yellow and cyclamen pink gave the whole thing a bit of a lift. The top row of green blobs now have little pink centres and the row of pink crosses above what look like green stalks now have yellow centres and look more like little flowers sitting on those stalks. Now I am happy about it.

Fair Isle design for baseball jacket

For other baseball jackets I’ve knitted to the same pattern see here and here.

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  1. Posted November 5, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I love the way the colour choices can completely change the effect of a Fair Isle pattern!

    I’m not at all keen on Trick or Treat, but fortunately around here we rarely have any, so I don’t need to do violence to my feelings by indulging them!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted November 5, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s extraordinary how changes in colour alters the patterns and shapes suddenly appear as out of nowhere.

      Sympathy over Trick or Treat. We decided that if you had a lit pumpkin on your window sill (which we did) it meant you were open for business. If people didn’t, we hoped they’d be left alone. Recently I read that it wasn’t a newish American custom but had deep roots in British culture, so I had a bit of a rethink (must find where I read this).

  2. Elisabeth Yates
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Oh Mary, its beautiful! I’m so sorry, I didn’t realise what a pain I was being when we decided not to find out the sex of the child! I will send a photo as soon as Kate is adorned. I am so touched, what a lucky girl she is and what a lucky person I am to have such friends x

    • Mary Addison
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Goodness me, oh no, you mustn’t be sorry – nobody should ever feel they have to find out the sex of their baby just to satisfy we jumper knitters!
      Glad you like it.

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