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vintage fernleaf coat

27 Jun
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In 1985, I also made a little coat in fernleaf stitch

Made (by me when I was living) in Italy involved a considerable amount of rather lovely knitting. I think I knew that. When I dragged out my old photo albums to check, I was surprised by the amount of work I’d put in! I couldn’t manage it now because I would rarely – read, nobody would let me – have that much uninterrupted time.

Back then, several things helped: considerable amounts of youthful enthusiasm, it being winter, having uninterrupted weekends while Dr B was away at masterclasses on the other side of the country, fewer interruptions from him when he was home because he was studying, and generally being so impecunious that staying home was a good option. And if you stay home and there are babies on the way, well, you knit. Right? I did.

I purchased the blue yarn that I used for the angel top locally in the village, and the ribbon, but the white yarn had travelled in a tea-chest from Australia. I’d bought it to knit a hap for a friend’s baby a couple of years earlier. If you’re like me, and it’s the time of your life when many around you are having babies, you stock up. I had done just that. I’d bought the whole pack, not merely what was required for the knitting immediately in question. Buying the white yarn wasn’t something I had to do in Italy.

You might wonder why I chose blue ribbon. I’d looked for white at the local shop. My memory is that they either didn’t have any, or didn’t have enough. In the expectation that any child likely to have red hair would look good with blue ribbons, I’d opted for that as less offensive than pink. I think the fernleaf coat and the christening gown I also knitted – using a different pattern – still have the blue ribbons, but it would be a small matter to change them for white.

Details? Goodness! A good knitter keeps patterns as well as yarn, so I’ve run off to the other end of the house and checked:

  • Pattern: coat of the Outfit in Fernleaf Stitch, Australian Home Journal Baby Knitting Book Number 1 (third printing; no year of publication).
  • Yarn: pattern calls for 3-ply baby yarn, so I expect that’s what I used; but I couldn’t say where I actually bought it or what brand it was.
  • Needles: pattern calls for 3.25mm, so I expect that’s what I used.
  • Sleeve seam of coat: 12cm.

Curiosity details: I’ve used a couple of musician’s tricks, such as writing bits of the next and/or previous page pattern at the bottom/top obviously to give myself a heads-up to help avoid errors and unpicking. Dr B has also scribbled some notation on the blank portion of one page. I have no idea what that was about!

The things you find when the next generation comes along 😀

 

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