Three colour raglan sleeved jumper for a 3 year old

Debbie Bliss pattern for 2 colour raglan jumper (back to front!)

During our move last summer, I came upon a half finished baby coat which had been started by daughter No 2 but abandoned because work, life, and other such frivolous things got in the way. I threw the coat and rest of the wool it in a bag with a clutch of our favourite lavender anti-moth sachets and forgot about it until I came across it a couple of months ago. Ever attempting to be frugal and in a drive to use up rather than throw away, I thought I would make the small person a jumper for Christmas. Of course, as with many of my handmade Christmas presents, I began work on it in the new year. A couple of evenings on the sofa unwinding the knitting and cutting out the ravages of moths’ feasting left me with the equivalent of 3 x 50g balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino – a bit curly and kinked but nevertheless perfectly serviceable. There were also another 3 x 50g balls pristine and totally untouched by the moths, but somehow I was drawn to making use of the salvaged wool.

Debbie Bliss two coloured raglan jumper

The resulting jumper in itself is fine even if the kinks in the rescued wool gave it a bit of a bumpy texture but, the proof of the pudding being in the eating, it is particularly pleasurable that the wearing has been a great success. In fact the youngling hasn’t had it off his back since I finished it on Thursday evening – hence the poor photos of the jumper off the body as I had to snatch it and photograph it in low light in the morning before it went back on the little body again.

Debbie Bliss pattern for 2 colour raglan jumper: close up of neck edge cast off with extra loose casting off (see text)

The pattern is the classic Debbie Bliss one, first knitted here.

Debbie Bliss two colour raglan sweater

and then here (see picture above). This time, however, I chose a few rows of rib at the bottom of the jumper and on the sleeves – the jumper as in the pattern is quite wide and in this cold weather I like the way ribbing fits more snugly. As the neckline on the first two jumpers I made always seemed rather loose, I knitted a few more rows before I cast off. I also like the loose stretchy cast off I found on You Tube here.

In London for six months already yet domestic duties and consuming hobbies mean we sad pair have hardly ventured outside Islington. (Well, that’s not quite true for my husband now I think of it as he spends up to 3 days a week in the National Gallery Library or researching in other august institutions – so it’s just me who’s the sad one then!) Anyway, I was delighted to hear our local priest had arranged a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral for his own parishioners along with those from the nearby Catholic Church. Going as a church group of course meant that we got in free, which was lovely – but even better we were saved the depressing experience of entering our diocesan mother church through a turnstile to the sound of rattling coins. We did have to chuckle however when, asking for a little space to have a short service at the culmination of our visit, there was a bit of muttering as to it being a bit of an inconvenient request, what with all the other visitors. A pause for though, revealed the illogicality and uncharitable nature of this view and the delightful little side Chapel of St Michael and St George (with Grinling Gibbons carving) was duly made available to us!

Now back to knitting something much smaller.



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Ipsden altar frontal: Chicory

Ipsden altar frontal: chicory (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Four years ago I blogged about flax plants which I felt sure were springing up in profusion along not only country lanes but even the main roads. I waxed lyrical about how it was possible that they were the repetitively self seeded remnants of flax ancestors planted during WW2 for use in webbing for parachutes and other similar necessities. In fact, I found myself so seduced by the romance of this notion that I mentally flicked away any doubts that ambushed me from time to time. Well, having embroidered these little blue flowers for the altar frontal, I must now come clean, for these plants are not flax but chicory. It is true that the two plants are very similar but the very thing that made me hesitate to call them flax – their ragged petals – was the thing that finally convinced me they were chicory. (For photos of chicory and a brief fantasy on flax, see this post from 2012).

Ipsden altar frontal: chicory

It is unfortunate that I’ve blogged these flowers just after my photographs of blue wood anemones as a quick glance might make anyone think I’m hallucinating blue flowers. But trust me, the  leaves are quite different and, for raggedness, chicory wins hands down.

This coming week we are adding tennis lessons to the young person’s activities. Fingers crossed that I won’t be needed to join in quite as much as I have had to with football. Taking instruction is not the strong point of many three year olds, so I find myself among younger more agile parents reiterating instructions to the little people as we guide them through obstacle courses of coloured cones and quoits and encourage them to balance feet and bottoms on footballs until told to fall off – which of course is the bit they really like doing. Our little one is not a born footballer (and we realised has never even seen a game on the TV as we’re more rugby and cricket watchers) but the discipline has been helpful and he’s picking up skills we never thought you needed to be taught (who knew you had to learn how to walk backwards or sidewards or needed lessons in waiting in a queue for your turn?). At the end all the children sit round one of the ‘coaches’ and pass a little football – called the sharing ball – from one to the other, saying thank you as they receive it and, for some curious reason, this is the bit of the session our and other little ones love best (the parents are quite pleased with it too).  My son (now aged 32) complains that I never taught him to tie his shoelaces or tell the time. I now realise there were rather a lot of other things I probably neglected teaching him too. Perhaps next time I see him I should check if he can walk backwards, just in case it’s holding him back…


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