Friday, 8 May 2015

She's here

Well I joked that she would wait until I had finished all the knitting and perhaps she did!  After all the baby chat I thought a photo or two would be in order

Meet Isabella Harriet, born in the middle of our general election, weighing 9lb 7oz. Delivered with the utmost care by our incomparable NHS.

Proud Granny but also a little fearful for her's and the future of other children born at this time.  

Already the totally free education available to me and my fellow 60 somethings - free right up to graduation with our Batchelor's degrees - is not available to our children and grandchildren. And now we fear that the healthcare we and our children have taken for granted, healthcare that is delivered to every one in the UK free at the point of delivery, regardless of income will to some extent be denied to this new generation. Already Conservative politicians are talking about resorting to a state funded healthcare restricted to little more than first aid and emergency medicine.

And don't get me started on how we will afford to care for our elderly, and those too sick to work...

We shall just have to wait and see. In the mean time we, this little girl's family are determined that she and all the children of the extended family will be loved and cherished and as protected as possible from some of these harsh realities for as long as possible.

Thank you for listening



Wednesday, 6 May 2015

One or two things I made earlier

It's definitely the week for internet chat about baby knitting (specially shawls, I hear that the one that wrapped HRH now has a waiting list of 8 weeks) but also for us, closer to home, as our DD2 is slightly overdue with her first baby.  When planning the baby kit she would need, including the lovely tradition amongst her friends of passing on things (there's a beautiful moses basket crib that has now cradled several babies) my daughter kindly said she was not buying any baby cardis as she thought I might have some ideas for these my self - Well! Yes! Of course I do - and shoes too

All the shoes come from the Debbie Bliss book, Ultimate Baby Knits.   I have used these patterns again and again since the book was sent to me by the publishers to review. One pair of these shoes makes a great little baby present

Extra embellishment 

Simple Jacket pattern by Debbie Bliss

Buttons by Kath Kidston

Lace edge cardigan by Debbie Bliss
This cardigan is modified a little.  I don't like sewing up (no surprise there) so try and knit as much in one piece as possible and where I can't, I will pick up along an edge and knit on.  So here I knitted the fronts and back in one piece, dividing for the armholes and then seaming and casting off both shoulders at once with a three needle bind off. I then picked up the sleeve stitches around the armhole, incorporating the cast off stitches underneath the arm one per row (by picking up the cast on loop and K2tog with the last live stitch of the row). Then I  knitted in the round, reversing the shaping down to the cuff.  I knitted the lace on the cuff edge as I went, casting on 5 stitches and K2tog at the end of alternate rows.  To work the lace around the body I picked up all around the hem, fronts and back neck in the main colour and worked one round in purl, then cast on 5 more stitches and finished the edging in the same way as the cuffs.

The pattern does not call for buttons but when I made one before for TLM I found that the cardigan kept slipping off her shoulder.  No need for button-holes as the yarn overs suffice.

(petit) Artichaut
The tiny wrap over cardigan pattern was written in French and although I bought a translation I felt that it had been translated by someone who is not familiar with the way in which knitting patterns are written in English.  It was not impossible to understand but at times awkward, some interpretation was needed and at one point the stitch count was wrong.  I think I would have been less confused if I had worked from the original.  I love the pattern, however, and the construction, almost seamless except for the side seams.  There was a totally seamless version but I just could not figure out how to work it.

A button instead of a tie, another from Kath Kidston
Now, so much was made of the baby shawl that HRH the Princess Charlotte was swaddled in for her first public appearance.  Very elegant but it was machine knitted.  This cannot happen in a knitters household. Although I did not knit it (and the story of our family baby shawls is here) here is a shetland style baby shawl ready to wrap our latest family member

My late Mother-in-Law knitted dozens of these shawls, all from the same pattern, for so many women she knew who were having their first baby. All four of my children were wrapped in ours that is now worn, yellowed (wrapped in tissue in a drawer) and still treasured.

Now all we need is for the baby to arrive!