Lighthouses, Whales And Knitted Jackets

When Mr Awesome and I found out that we’d be one day joined by Baby Awesome, our little Eskimini, we slowly started to think differently of the way we used our guest room, as one day it would be the nursery to our little miracle. Mr Awesome had bought me beautiful reminders of our life together, specifically of our meeting and the romantic start of our relationship. One of the little things he had bought me was a wooden lighthouse to remind me of our first date.

Mr Awesome and I had our first date in Whitley Bay. We had no plans as such, but I had spotted a lighthouse down the shore, and really wanted to enjoy a long walk to see it up close. As beautiful as the idea was, St Mary’s Lighthouse turned out to be quite a hard slog to get to: we’d decided to walk along the beach in the hot and blazing sunshine (and I was foolishly wearing a  pure wool jumper), and treading the sand for that distance exhausted us. As we reached the lighthouse the heavens opened in a torrential lightning storm, and we were soaked to the bone. Walking the entire journey back in the lashing rain made my jumper shrink so by the time we got back to our starting point it was around my midriff and the cuffs were nearly up to my elbows. The jumper had firmed up so much as it felted around me that it was like trying to take off a wet and heavy carpet when I eventually tried to get changed into something warm and dry.

When we had the joy of finding out that our wishes had finally come true and that we might be expecting a baby, we really wanted to celebrate our relationship and the memories of the time and experiences that had brought us together, so slowly we gathered a few more lighthouses and filled the light airy room with things that reminded us of those wonderful first days that had nourished the blossoming of our love.

A huge picture fills one of the walls, with memories of coastlines and bays, lighthouses and boats, and also has a nod to baby’s paternal great-grandfather’s nautical past as a member of the merchant navy as a sailor makes his way to a pub called The Sailor’s Rest. The canvas has a cartoon-like appearance and sets the room full of the fresh colours that we filled the rest of the nursery with in neutrals, blues and small highlights of red. Every part of the room feels so bright and fresh, with clean white furniture and light and happiness all over. Nautical friends have also found their way into the Baby Awesome’s room, with knitted narwhals and whales of my own design.
Whales have found their way all around the nursery, in fact, from bedding and cushions, soft furnishings and mobiles, and most noticeably this huge wall mural:

And though the room is now just beautiful, when you see something perfect you realise that a room is never quite finished. A couple of days ago we received a beautiful card that we want to frame to put pride of place as a reminder of why Baby Awesome is here with us now.

A card from Whitley Bay, with St Mary’s Lighthouse in the distance. It’s just the most perfect depiction of the place that’s so special to us. I have told Mr Awesome that I want to retire there when we are older, though we have a greed that perhaps we should go there on a  little holiday first as retirement is hopefully a long way off yet.

The card was a gift from a wonderful Raveller and friend, Northumbrianmalla. One of the nicest people I have ever met, when I first moved to Whitley May, after having agreed to move in with Mr Awesome, I looked to see if there were any local Ravelry members, and was just so bowled over to find out that someone who I had known on Ravelry for some years previously was local. To make it better there was a wonderful local yarn store (Ring A Rosie) and a knitting group that met for a knit and natter every week, with plenty of tea and biscuits.

It was a haven after a few tough years, and to this day I am bowled over by the love that I found at this time, not only by meeting my Mr Awesome, but also in the kindness of the friends that I made in that wonderful town.

And four years on we have a family, and our love is even stronger and continues to grow. Friendships mean just as much and I am reminded constantly that my life was made amazing by the kind and wonderful people who I met. People who, through kindness, have sent blankets and cardigans for our beautiful boy, and now the most wonderful little knitted jacket from Whitley Bay, the very place that the Eskimini’s story began.

Whilst we are still finding our feet as a family, I haven’t been able to find my stride for knitting. I think it may come back once Mr Awesome has returned to work next week, as at the moment we are just enjoying every moment as a family, enjoying seeing our little boy wrapped in hand knits for cuddles and snoozes, and we are loving every smile and every giggle.

I’ll be back and knitting soon, and the blog will be back to stories of stitches and yarn, but for now please enjoy these pictures of a lovely hand knit from a friend and from a very special place.

‘Tis The Knitting Season, Let’s Be Jolly!

Every year, in October, I find that sales of Christmas stocking patterns begin in earnest. For many places there is just the first hint of a nip in the air, and knitters allow themselves to think of the warm and lovely feelings that knitting brings to winter, and the joy of tradition and all things handmade.
For some people, one of the most traditional and comforting times for hand knits is at Christmas, when Christmas jumpers, both beautiful and novelty, scarves, hats and Christmas stockings are all in abundance.
So, as there will be a fair few Christmas stockings making their way onto the needles before December 25th, here’s a quick promotion for those early bird knitters and planners. Add both the Cool Stocking and the Star Stocking to your cart and you’ll automatically get both patterns for the usual price of one. That’s both stocking patterns for just $5.


The two stocking designs present the knitter with unchallenging colourwork: never are more than two colours used in a round in either pattern and there are no long stretches of stitches of any one colour, which ensures that floats are kept short and neat: all important when filling with presents so that your knitting remains neat and un-damaged: these stockings are designed to be practical as well as beautiful.

The two designs are worked in complimentary dimensions, so you can make a whole set of one design or mix and match. The traditional motifs of the Star Stocking evoke Christmases of the past, whereas the patterning of the Cool Stocking evokes the geometric play of frosted windows, with a playful lace top and snowy pompoms to compliment: this could be knit in any range of colours to suit the recipient, from a range of pinks to a monochrome scale of black through greys and white.

To take advantage of this offer simply add both the Star Stocking and Cool Stocking to your cart and purchase before midnight (GMT) on 31st October (no code necessary, discount will be automatically applied) , or click this link to add both items to your Ravelry Cart and have the offer automatically applied for you.

Happy (and warm) knitting to all, and hooray for the cooler weather meaning knitting and snuggling!

Other People’s Knitting: From Peru With Love

This past weekend, baby awesome played host to a number of visitors, including his uncles. One uncle, Peter, had only the week before returned from a two month trip around South America, and had brought back with him a particularly beautiful souvenir for the first time he came to meet his new nephew.

Whilst in Peru, Peter happened upon a woman hand knitting fine alpaca sweaters in all sizes. He bought one for himself, but also one much, much smaller:

It’s simply the most beautiful souvenir I have ever seen. The handiwork is very fine, from the beautifully tensioned stranded colour-work to the seaming and finishing, and it fits baby Awesome just perfectly. I am only sad I did not get a photo of our tiny man in his jumper with his Uncle Peter wearing his own, much larger version.
Peru is believed to have the longest traceable textiles and needleworks traditions in the world, the basics of which are said to date back over 10,000 years with the innovation of animal fibres spun, twisted and locked together to form threads of yarn that could be woven, and much later knitted, together. The preservation of textile samples has been made possible by the dry climate and high altitude allowing the precious protein fibres to remain, however fragmented, both recognisable and discernible.

Llama and Alpaca motifs are traditional to the traditional knitting designs of Peru and the Andean regions and you can see more examples of knitting in this style, mostly by way of homage, by searching for Peruvian/Andean inspired patterns on Ravelry.

Finally Fit

Our little hero is one week old today, and he has been rocking the very smallest of the hand-knits that were made before he arrived in the world. Today he is wearing his little Baby Alpaca tank top, which is warm and so very soft across his gorgeous little tummy.

Accessorised by a snug little sleep suit, it is the very centre of geek chic and should be a staple piece of any little genius’ wardrobe. All the girls love a tank top.

There hasn’t been much new knitting in the past few days, but I am nearing publishing a new pattern as a recent test knit runs to a closure soon, so there are still plenty of things to look forwards too and I hope to pick up my needles in quiet moments (the few of them that there are!) over the next few days, too.

The July post ‘Tiny Tank Top‘ has all the details of this project and any pattern modifications and materials used.