Debbie Bliss Baseball style jacket for a little girl 18-24 months

Debbie Bliss Baseball Jacket (Baby Cashmerino Book 4) with Fair Isle patterned sleeves (design No 170 from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s ‘200 Fair Isle Designs’: Search Press, 2011)

I’ve got into a really good rhythm this week. Whitework embroidery in the day time and knitting when day light’s not great for sewing. Increasing hours of daylight seem to have happened in a great rush – last night it was properly light until gone 6.30pm – and with this largesse has come a surge of energy and the desire to get on with things. Even better, the clocks go forward this Sunday which means it will be light till 7.30 pm and incrementally an extra 3 minutes a day from then on until midsummer day. With the extra light and warmth (intermittent at the moment) comes spring.We are so lucky to live in a climate where spring comes when you’re absolutely ready for it and the psychological lift it gives. Overnight gardens and parks suddenly wake up, shrug off the unremitting brown and smoother themselves in yellows of every shade from butter to mustard. Our little garden is enlivened with forsythia (leafy uninspiring foliage after their brief flowering), little daffodils and potted primroses that  come up in the same pot year after year more in spite of rather than because of any attention we might have paid to them. Gorgeous. I love yellow.

Detail: Debbie Bliss Baseball Jacket (Baby Cashmerino Book 4) with Fair Isle patterned sleeves (design No 170 from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s ‘200 Fair Isle Designs’: Search Press, 2011)

This is my sixth Debbie Bliss Baseball style jacket – and curiously by chance I realise they have all been made for little girls. The pattern calls for a fastening of poppers beneath the buttons and I used to think I’d adapt the pattern to have buttonholes. But then Daughter No 3, nanny to the grandchildren, said she thought the poppers worked quite well as they didn’t tend to come undone  so easily … so the poppers have remained. On this pattern I like to do just a little Fair Isle on the sleeves and this little tree design from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s book (200 Fair Isle Designs: pub. Search Press 2011) works well.  (Main colours are Hot Pink/060 and Indigo/207).

Fair Isle samples

Recently, Times columnists and readers have been making forays up to their lofts, delving under their beds and gloomily gazing into their garages (I may have made that one up) as they set about reducing their possessions and grappling with the products of unscheduled past hoarding . Ann Treneman (Notebook, Mar 19) refers to the novelist Ann Patchett discovering she had seven mixing bowls in a lockdown clearout. Emboldened by the this disclosure, one reader had to admit that she’d discovered a stash of 85 unused notebooks in one of her cupboards, while another found ten suitcases in her loft, which along with the ones on top of her wardrobe made 13. “I told them they’re not going anywhere, and now I have emotional baggage”.

Design No 170 from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s ‘200 Fair Isle Designs’: Search Press, 2011)

Meanwhile comment writer Janice Turner looking under her bed for a lost lip salve discovered all the things she’d blamed her sons for losing over the last 10 years (laptop case, Swatch, phone charger) as well as retrieving lost review copies of friends’ books she’s had to lie about finishing.  Plaintively she ended her piece with “Dear World, please open up soon …”  What have things come to when intelligent people start talking to suitcases and addressing the cosmos ?

Polo jumper (Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Bk 3) with design No 170 from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s ‘200 Fair Isle Designs’: Search Press, 2011)

Samples of design No 170 from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s ‘200 Fair Isle Designs’: Search Press, 2011)

The smallest person wearing her brother’s cast off jumper

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  1. ceci
    Posted March 26, 2021 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Chuckling about the emotional baggage – we have been delving into the attic and garage periodically trying to make more space and less clutter, and I have to admit that there are several wheelie suitcases with broken zippers. I guess I thought they would heal themselves given time, since two of them have a price estimate to replace the zipper that is probably more than the cost of a new bag. So those are destined for the trash.

    I love the way the design escapes from the band of pine tree patterns and goes up the sleeve a bit, like it is raining flowers.


    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 28, 2021 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      There’s a balance to not delving too far isn’t there, or you’ll end up with too many things to be recycled/thrown away than you know what to do with.

      I always try to soften Fair Isle bands ending abruptly. Raining flowers is a lovely way to describe what I’ve done.

  2. Posted March 26, 2021 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    We did think of having a Grand Tidy Up, but as charity shops aren’t open to receive the cast offs, we’ve put it off!

    Although I do like the “emotional baggage”!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 28, 2021 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Do so agree Rachel – till the charity shops are open, any attempt at clearing things out just means moving things around.
      Can one get rid of baggage once identified as emotional?

  3. Amara Bray
    Posted March 29, 2021 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    I love the working of the tree into the Fair Isle pattern. So pretty.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 29, 2021 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Kind of you to say so, Amara

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