Fair Isle V neck cardigan – a Christmas present

Even brown paper is fun to wrap yourself up in at Christmas!

Sometimes life just takes over and, unsurprisingly, Christmas has once more been one of those times. Fortunate to be away for Christmas, we hadn’t had to lay in siege stocks of food, deck the house with boughs of greenery nor provide house room for  copious amounts of wrapping paper, sellotape , etc. Yet still did I have one unfinished present. So, working on the principle that no journey by bus or train should ever go to waste, I sat on the bus out of Cheltenham, darning needle in hand, weaving in the woolly ends on one of the children’s jumpers made for a grandchild.

Debbie Bliss V neck cardigan with Fair Isle Band (worn with the dress the recipient happened to have on when given the cardigan!)

Our first stay was in Islington where we had pre-Christmas celebrations with all of my children (a rare event), grandchildren, my son’s girlfriend and a colleague of one of my daughters (both on leave from de-landing duties with MAG – Mines Advisory Group – in Iraq). Armed with a small ambition to leave Islington with luggage lighter than on arrival, I was thwarted by receiving presents larger and heavier than those we had to give!

Debbie Bliss V neck cardigan knitted in Baby Cashmerino yarn: detail of Fair Isle

Suitcases duly forced closed, on the 23rd we set off for Victoria Station and a train into Kent. Here Christmas had a Chinese tinge as David’s daughter-in-law is originally from Chongqing (pronounced rather satisfyingly, Chongching) in south-west China on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. Chongqing headlined in British newspapers in recent years when the politician Bo Xilai (thought to be in line for a job in the upper reaches of the Politburo) and his wife Gu Kailai were linked to the murder of the Englishman Nick Heywood. Heywood was a long standing family friend and some sort of dubious financial middleman for them. He had also helped their son Bo Guagua get into Harrow School. Bo went on to study at Balliol College, though, when I worked in the library there, he was never to be seen and any mention of him caused much eye rolling.  Somehow none of this stopped him accumulating vast library fines.  The last I heard of Bo Guagua was that he had settled in the States and would be ill advised to return to China.

Debbie Bliss V neck cardigan in Baby Cashmerino yarn with Fair Isle banding

Meals in Kent alternated between English and Chinese food and I grappled with chopsticks (until hunger led me to pick up a spoon and fork). On Christmas Day I discovered a passion for pickled raddishes and for small cucumbers in a dressing of sesame oil and Chinese wine vinegar!

Sample Fair Isle bands for child’s cardigan

The pictures accompanying this ramble through our Christmas are photographs of the little V neck cardigan I made for my granddaughter for Christmas. Both pattern and yarn are from Debbie Bliss (Baby Cashmerino yarn; the details of the pattern I will add when I get home – err when I find the pattern). The buttons are from Ray Stitch and their matt finish and great range of colours make them my current favourites, edging mother-of-pearl off the top spot in my affections (which is a shame as daughter No 2 brought me thousands back from Vietnam!). The cardigan wasn’t meant to go with the dress it’s worn with in the pictures, but once it’s given to someone, you can’t really stop them trying it on, can you – especially when they are all of one and a half years old!

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  1. Posted December 29, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I think a Small Person rushing to try on the cardigan is a sign that said cardigan is much approved!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted December 30, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes, you’re right Rachel, it’s the best compliment.

  2. Anne Hill
    Posted December 30, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m away in non computerland land for a short time and return to find two initials, a Leonard Evetts stained glass window and a happy small person. I was also delighted to find your answer to a comment telling how you mark fabric for embroidery. No wonder mine doesn’t quite measure up.

    Glad you had a wonderful Christmas with your family.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted December 30, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Well, glad you enjoyed your return to the land of interconnectedness.
      We had a lovely time being with family. Hope your time away from home was good too, Anne.

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