Monday, 12 October 2009

Another one done

One of the rather encouraging side-effects of writing a blog has been the powerful incentive it has provided for me to get on and finish some of my little works in progress, or rather works come to a halt. It is as if there is someone out there who is going to hold me to account - a sort of Weightwatchers effect. You know exactly what is required to lose weight, and you have the scales to prove it, but you just need somewhere else to go and stand and be weighed each week, with someone hovering alongside with a tick list to act as your conscience.

So this weekend I finished knitting a jumper for Princess Bunchy. Or, rather, I finished the knitting way back in the summer, but clutching at any excuse for procrastination on the sewing-up front I had put the pieces, little ends and all, back in the pending basket because it was, of course, far too swelteringly hot for anyone to want to wear a jumper.




But then I was standing next to the Princess last week (who, by the way, is REALLY ILL, in fact so really ill that tidying her room is really too much) and realized that she was growing apace, and that if I didn't sew up the jumper pretty soon I would have to adopt a nine year old to fit into it, or possibly even an eight year old.

The trouble is, this project has been slightly over a year in gestation. It all started when last year we went to the Permaculture Convergence in Ilkley, and, finding myself in the home of Duttons for Buttons, skived off for a bit of Saturday morning shopping. The Convergence was actually very good and very interesting, but the buttons were calling me, and because it had turned out to be the wettest weekend of the century I had quailed at the thought of camping on site, and we ended up in a most delightful B&B on the other side of town, so Duttons and the buttons were on the way.




The Head Chef was rather bemused by Duttons, which is a tiny little shop with an even tinier back room, stacked floor to ceiling with cardboard boxes full of buttons. I began to find his sentry-like presence, all armed with Barbour and golf umbrella (he probably had his holiday hat on as well), rather inhibiting, so I sent him off to Betty's tea rooms for a little refreshment, telling him that I would ring him when I had finished shopping (I had also spotted a rather promising-looking yarn shop called the Create Cafe on the route from Duttons to Betty's).

In fact, I spent so long in the yarn shop (which had a sofa - can you imagine anything more wonderful than a yarn shop with a sofa?) that the Head Chef was convinced that I must be horribly lost, probably wandering around the moors, and I received an anxious phone call in an attempt to reel me in. So I missed out on the delights of Betty's, but I gained The Sublime Children's Double Knitting Book 613, and enough balls of Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK to knit Princess Bunchy a rather sweet-looking cardi called Phoebe. Except, when I returned home, the Princess told me that she didn't like cardis, except Esme with a big collar, or Constance with a lacy pattern - for which I didn't have enough yarn. After some months of rapprochement, and ineffectual attempts at persuasion on my part, we finally settled for a jumper called Smuggler Girl (but not stripy, for I didn't have enough of each colour for stripes, either. Nor did Princess B want stripes.).




So Smuggler Girl I knitted and, as you can see from the pictures, eventually stitched up. But in the interim the smuggler girl herself had grown upwards (luckily not outwards), and with hindsight I perhaps should have made the largest size. But I didn't have enough yarn for that, either. And the contrast colour was so near the end of the ball when I picked up the neck that possibly I was pulling it all a little tight - luckily it is a slash neck.

But after all the trials and tribulations, Princess B is really pleased with it (even though she has been, and still is, really ill, in fact, so ill, that I have just had to go and apply some Vicks). In fact, I have not been able to wash or block it, as she didn't want to take it off after she tried it on for size, so please forgive me any little imperfections on that front. And she is so really ill that it was necessary to wear two jumpers and tights under trousers when she was so ill that she couldn't go to school today (cue hacking cough, remedy Dr Potter's Vegetable Cough Remover), and had to accompany me to work. When she took the jumper off to go to bed, I noticed a couple of yarn ends and stitch markers still inside one armhole, but never mind.




In conclusion, the yarn is truly sublime, as is the pattern book, and the pattern was really quite easy. And I still hate sewing up - especially armholes, which I never feel entirely happy with. But Princess Bunchy likes it, and although the General suggested, with a rather mocking smile on his face (or was it just my imagination?), that the sleeves were quite short, you and I and the Princess know that three-quarter sleeves are fashionable, stylish and practical. And no, it is not my knitting - I have checked it against the pattern measurements.

I was just going to write a short, sharp Monday night post. What happened? Perhaps it is the shaggy dogs at my feet, or maybe a complete inability to say in fifty words what could be polymerized into five hundred. Or possibly more.

35 comments:

andamento said...

That's a lovely jumper, a lucky girl!

I like the story behind buying and choosing the yarns and patterns too.

Floss said...

Oh, Pomona, why use 2 words when 200 would do? That's how we function in this house, anyway. And I loved your ramble through to the sucessful wearing of the jumper, which looks great.

I too have had a coughing kiddy in class with me today (my own) although wrapping up in southern France has just meant putting on trousers and trainers instead of shorts and sandals, plus a long-sleeved T-shirt. I forgot the Vick's tonight! Help!

Anyway, I was thinking of your apron post, and wondering if you have seen Yoli's southern Texas seniorita aprons. She and I have been getting to know each other via blogs and her aprons are stunning! This is her blog:

http://apronofthemonthclub.blogspot.com

marigold jam said...

I know the feeling of not being able to be brief. I posted a short post this evening which I have had comments on as to it's not being brief at all! It's the wordsmith in us I say! Love the jumper and if Princess Bunchy likes it too then that's all that matters. I too hate finishing off things and am always off to the next one before I've compoleted the current job in hand.

Jane x

heidi said...

you do make me smile pomona!!
xx

Itch2stitch.com said...

I loved all your wonderful words and descriptions, as do I love the sweater. I myself have a hard to conquer knack of rambling and gibbering! You are such a good writer! Hope Princess Bunchy is well soon, I sympathise, I have had that hacking couch too this week!
Suzie. xxx

The Garden Bell said...

Another wonderful U.K. word to add to my list... jumper = sweater.

Any way you put it... it's very cute and the fit is perfect.

Isn't this blogging just too much fun.

The Garden Bell said...

Not sure if my previous comment when throught.

jumper = sweater...

And regarding the diet issue, make sure you head over to my blog tomorrow... It's all about the foods of Door.

Bobo Bun said...

I've got a few knits waiting to be sewn up age 3 I think. The Bun's had always grown before I got round to finishing anything. Now we have your problem - they've gone and got their own style ideas and they don't always match mine.

Absolutely related to it all - very entertaining and the jumper looks gorgeous.

...Miss...Maddie's... said...

First of all the jumper looks great... I like the soft shades.
Second tis funny how terms are used differently in other countries.
Jumper for you would be a sweater here and the last post a pinny is an apron.
Either way its wonderful to read the post and catch up on my homeland's English.
Have a great week.
Susan

beck said...

I liked the jumper ramble. And I like the jum;per! The colours are lovely together. Hope your little prnincess is feeling better soon xo

Skein Queen said...

I can relate to the selecting of the book and the yarn to knit the Princess a jumper which, when you get them home, they decide they don't like the pattern you've so carefully picked out for them as you think, not only will it look beautiful, but also will sustain your interest to actually complete the garment. I have said yarn and book sitting upstairs from three years ago. Well, the finished garment is beautiful - lovely muted colours and I hope the recipient feels better very soon.

PS Thanks for the message about the little hats.

Kelly said...

Great jumper! It looks really good on PB!
What lovely hair she has too!
I have yet to knit anything of any substance but i found some cool (easy) looking patterns today in a cs so might even have a go before my friend's baby is 16!

Lots of Love

Kelly xxx

Lola Nova said...

Don't stop, I love reading your posts, they are beautifully descriptive.

...and the jumper! Perfectly lovely, the colors are great and the sleeves very 'in'. So glad P. Bunchy loves it, hope she feels better right smart.

jus said...

I wonder if smugglers really did or do wear stripey jumpers...I imagine them all in black like ninja's but maybe that's just an antipodean thing?
Get well soon, Princess B, x

Heather said...

What a lovely jumper. Just gorgeous

Pomona said...

Thank you for the kind words I am feeling much better today.
Love Princess Bunchy XXX

alice c said...

Get better quickly Princess B. it is worth it to wear that lovely jumper.

(I recognise that description of the impatient man in the Barbour - except that it is MY impatient man I am thinking of!)

Pipany said...

Pomona I am with you on most of this one. I loathe sewing up, mostly because I don't know how to do it properly and therefore the end result is very 'homemade' if you know what I mean. I also had a project ongoing for Lucy for about two and a half years that finally got put together this year (yup, it was only the sewing to do) and luckily it fitted her, but only because I started out knitting a size too big because I know what I'm like! Hope Miss B is feeling better x

Chrissie said...

Poor Princess Bunchy being TOO ILL to tidy her room - sounds very serious! Hope her beautiful new jumper doesn't smell too strongly of Vick ...
Oh, and I have a 'sentry man' too!

Chrissie said...

Poor Princess Bunchy being TOO ILL to tidy her room - sounds very serious! Hope her beautiful new jumper doesn't smell too strongly of Vick ...
Oh, and I have a 'sentry man' too!

Menopausal musing said...

A great post. I refuse to have my man near me when choosing wool/fabric. He remains in the car!You carry on writing just the way you do, after all, it's YOUR blog and we all love it.

whoatemycrayons said...

Love the colours you have used and clearly that is a 3/4 length sleeve!. PB is very lucky. Hope she gets well soon.

Tabiboo said...

I love it and the colours are fab - very autumnal and if Princess Bunchy likes it then that's got to be a hit and well worth missing out at Betty's, but you know you can order online - Bettys that is!

http://www.bettysbypost.com

Have a lovely day,

Nina x

ps. I hope PB is feeling better today ? N x

Serenata said...

Well you know I'm with you on the sewing up front ;-) The jumper looks great though and it was good to hear Princess B is getting better.

I've got loads of unfinished projects that I really should get on with - especially now winter is fast approaching. Hmmm. I will think about that.

JuliaB said...

ahhh... hope Miss Princess Bunchy gets well soon... The lovely jumper will help i'm sure. I know what you mean about blogging motivation. xx

CrowNology said...

Great story. I felt like I was hovering over you throughout.
I find my blog gives me incentive too. I don't want to share only my thoughts and words without lovely photos, nor do I want to steal/beg/borrow someone else's. So I have to go get my own.
I hope the Princess is feeling better.
Love the sleeves the most,
Andrea

Sophie - Chez Sophie said...

Hi Pomona, you have an award waiting for you on my blog.
Luv sophie xxx

jennyflower said...

So sorry that the princess is ailing. That lovely snuggly jumper is enough to cheer her maybe? Also the three quarter length sleeves should mean that they don't turn silver with any 'mucous'- (that's snot to you!)

julieknitsjuliesews said...

You always manage to make your posts very informative and I love reading them. This sweater is my kind of style I do like this. Julie.C

Blueberry Park said...

I also hate sewing up, which is quite ridiculous considering how much I love sewing! I think you have done an amazing job and just wish my daughter would still let me knit for her. She's only 8 but has decided that handknits are 'your style, mummy, not mine'. Glad you managed to experience the delights of Betty's and Dutton's whilst up this neck of the woods x

Little-friend-Susan said...

Very nice, I love three-quarter sleeves....so practical! Love the sound of the wool shop with the sofa...oh the bliss! :)

Anna said...

Lovely post and jumper!

Anna x

cathleen said...

Beautiful sweater! Those colors are PERFECT together, Pomona!

Sarah said...

Hello Pomona! I think that jumper looks absolutely perfect!! It looks way better with shorter sleeves, no wonder she's happy with it. As I say, a mistake just means you have to be a little creative. It all turns out right in the end. Oh and that poor girl of yours, sounds very familiar I'm afraid. Bet you are loving having her home.

Duchess of Tea said...

Hello darling, I have missed you so much!!! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and prayers. I am one lucky girl to have you as a friend; you truly are the gem in my teacup. I am now off to stroll around your blog to see what I have missed.

Love & Hugs
Duchess

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