This video has been a long time coming. Filmed by my friend Fraser (with music by the lovely Nadia Reid), it is a little glimpse into our simple life. Growing and cooking food with my children is something I treasure. In the kitchen my children have their own little chairs so they can stand next to me at the bench and I often carry my son in the backpack while I make dinner. Food is so much a part of their life, and I hope it will nurture a healthy appreciation for good food.
3-year-old Pebble Vest
This baby vest is a free pattern from Nikol The Thrifty Knitter (follow this link for the pattern). This is a relatively easy vest to knit, if you know the basic knit and purl stitch you will be able to make it. I would say it is beginner/ intermediate level. There were a few new terms in the pattern for me so I YouTubed them including Twisted German Cast-On and Kitchener stitch. You really got to love YouTube for learning new things.
You will need:
As the pattern states this is for a newborn. To make it for my (on the smaller side) 3-year-old I used a chunky 12 ply wool.
- 8mm needles
- I used two and half 50g balls
- Safety Pin for holding stitches
- Crochet needle for sewing in ends
- Seven buttons – I didn’t have any spare that fit so I took the finished vest into to my local wool shop and matched the colour and hole size to get it right.
- Darning needle to sew buttons
*Please note, I have only knitted this vest once in this size so can’t guarantee this can be reproduced exactly as I have made it. I am not a pattern maker, just sharing my craft successes. It took roughly 6 hours to make (I am not an extremely fast knitter) and once the hem is complete (12 rows) you can get an idea of the size against your child (or get measurements if making as a gift).
If you make this vest I would love to hear how it works out. Or if you have any other favourite patterns for toddler clothes please share. I am always looking for a new project.
My Dutch Grandma (Bonnema) taught me to knit, as well as crochet and embroidery. As a child I remember visiting my grandparents in Christchurch where they lived in a large old villa in Papanui. The house was surrounded by gardens and trees including a huge walnut tree in the front yard. Whenever we visited I would be assigned a new craft to complete during our stay. During the day we helped in the kitchen and explored the gardens, and at night we would play a round of Rummikub (a Dutch game) and then Bonnema would teach me a new knitting stitch or crochet chain.
I loved, and still love, using my hands to create something. As I grew older, and eventually left home, visits to my Grandparents became less and for years I barely picked up a knitting needle. Sewing became my preferred craft, and cooking. Sometime around buying a house, and setting up a nest for my first child I found myself yearning to knit (and sew). I churned out a few little vests and a cardigan for my baby to be.
As soon as daylight savings finishes and the nights inside become longer I find myself digging out my wool and needles. I often find unfinished projects, recklessly abandoned when the days got longer and the evenings were spent in the garden rather than sitting on the couch being a Nana. The first craft of the indoor season that I will I share is my daughters birthday gift. We are not big on spending lots of money on ‘things’ so I made her this vest to keep her warm through the winter. It is actually a pattern for a baby vest that I (sadly) only came across this year as I would have loved to make this for my babies. As I read the pattern I started thinking that surely it was possible to make it with thicker wool and a bigger needle size. Heck, I would give it a go. With a few false starts matching the needle size to the wool I felt confident I was on the right track.
Now, if you are a knitter like me, you will know that wool is rather expensive. Sadly it often is not at all economical to knit your own clothes. Possibly why so far I am sticking to baby/toddler clothes and hats as they require less wool than, say, an adult jersey (and I am too impatient to knit something that will take more than a few weeks from start to wearing). I am always on the look out for second-hand knitted clothes that I can unravel and re-knit. Or in this case I unraveled a wrap I knitted to wear while I was pregnant but is no longer flattering on my non-pregnant person.
*A mandarin tree. It may seem like a strange thing to give to a three-year-old but it is something she will enjoy for years to come. Poppa came around and we planted it in the garden where she can (with my assistance initially) look after ‘her’ mandarin tree. Growing up I sometimes thought my Dad’s gifts were too ‘practical’, and yes they were often something I really needed and got a lot of use out of. Now with children of my own I can appreciate the need for simplifying and reducing the unnecessary ‘stuff’ that clutters our lives.
* The handmade wooden pencils pictured above were a gift from my sister bought while she was living in Peru.