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You may remember that last year, my friend and colleague, Jen and I, worked together to produce a pair of designs, which we published as Cross-Country Knitting Volume 1. Volume 1 focused on blokes’ knits, and for Volume 2 we challenged each other to re-design and re-size one of our favourite patterns for kids. I designed Wee Bluebells – a cardiganised version of one of my favourite adult sweaters from my Yokes book, featuring pretty colourwork motifs around the hem and neckline.

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. . . and Jen designed Wee Bruton, an unbelievably cute miniaturisation of her Bruton Hoody.

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Our aim was to create a pair of really classic patterns – the kind of children’s garments that we could imagine our grandmas knitting for us when we ourselves were small, and which we could imagine ourselves knitting for the wee ones in our lives for years to come.

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Together, the designs have an undeniably nostalgic feel, but they are also eminently knittable and wearable.

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Wee Bluebells is knit up in 5 shades of Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight. A quick and simple knit, it is worked completely in the round and then steeked up the middle to create the front opening.

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If you have never worked a steek before, this (being small) would be a great project to try out the technique – which really is surprisingly straightforward. (You can read more about steeks by following the links from this page)

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Wee Bruton uses Excelana 4 ply, is worked back and forth, features a pair of sturdy pockets, some nifty hood shaping, and fastens neatly with a zip.

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Together, these are two easy-to wear cardis that are ideal for romping about in!

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Fergus Ford (who is, incidentally, the brother of Felix) shot these lovely photographs of exceptionally cute wee pals, Toby and Sofia.

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Sofia you have met before from the Wowligan photographs, and Toby is Fergus’s son.

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We really wanted to show these garments being worn outdoors, by kids in a “natural” rather than a studio environment. It is notoriously difficult to photograph knitwear on little kids and Fergus has done a completely amazing job. Thankyou Fergus! And thankyou Toby and Sofia! We absolutely love these photographs!

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In each Cross-Country Knitting booklet, we like to invite someone to write a short essay that speaks to that volume’s theme. For Volume 2, our friend Rachel Atkinson has written a lovely piece exploring the significance of childhood handknits. Jen and Rachel and I all appear in the essay, in knitwear made for us by the women of our family.

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Both patterns come in 7 sizes, covering ages 1 to 12. Designing, and thinking about designing, these garments has been such a lovely project for Jen and I, particularly as we revisited our memories of our own childhood knits. We hope you enjoy knitting these patterns, and that they become the source of knitterly memories of your own!

Cross-Country Knitting, Volume 2, is available digitally via Ravelry, or in print via MagCloud.
You can also see more detail of the project, and each pattern, over on the Cross-Country Knitting website.

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Happy Knitting!

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35 thoughts on “Cross Country Knitting: Volume 2

  1. Both of those designs are MAGNIFICENT! I’m to be a new Aunty in the fall and will most certainly being knitting up one or both of these sweaters.

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  2. Really? Marie a blond?? I love the sweater, the hoodie not so much but I don’t know nuttin just now anyway.

    While there is tea there is hope!

    Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 08:01:21 -0700

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  3. Awwwe . . . just so darling. Great photos of very cute models!!! And of course, the patterns are just terrific. Thanks for making the smaller versions.

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  4. I love this so much! Those pictures are just the cutest, and probably the best modeling of children’s knitwear I’ve ever seen. Good job! What a great design collection You two have made!! :)

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  5. I am so thrilled that these have an extended size range! Way too many children’s patterns only cover infants and toddlers.

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  6. Enchanting! As usual, the photography of your knits perfectly captures their essence. Takes me back to memories of knitting Philosophers Wool sweaters for my son and daughter when they were little, and also a Penny Straker Guernsey for each of them (that was what made me fall in love with seamless designs, especially the little gussets). Hope you do more of these charming “miniaturizations”.
    P.S. Getting little ones in wool, is the key to turning them into lifelong wool wearers; didn’t EZ say something like that? It’s so true!

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  7. Hi, I am calling from Denmark and is so interested in Cross Country Knitting 2 (fantastic), but since I dont use PayPal very often, I have forgotten which email and certain which password I have used, and I can’t retrieve them. Is there any other way I can buy. Thanks. Best regards Lone

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  8. These designs are both gorgeous and the little models very cute. I know the second my 5 year old niece sees Wee Bluebells she will be putting an order in.

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  9. OH Toby looks like Fergus! What great photos………….fun in the field and those trews on Toby!!
    Great patterns, thank you so much…AGAIN :)

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  10. The knits are predictably gorgeous (both designers rock!) but those kids are precious and the photos brought such a big smile to my moody face..lol. Very refreshing..thank you Kate

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  11. Hi all, Now aren’t you Moms going to be embarrassed – NOT of course related to your knitting – when your two children grow up and get married and out pops these pictures at the rehearsal dinner. People will laugh about whether the little girl was too bossy and knew what she wanted the whole time! lolol Thanks for sharing.

    PS Where can I find Rachel’s article so I can read it?

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    1. Yes indeed, I have a five-year-old and a seven-year-old and work full-time, so by definition, I have no time to knit! You should hire yourself out to families like mine that miss having all the handknits around (plenty of time to knit while pregnant; later, not so much…). The only problem, of course, is that one can’t really *buy* a handknit. It’s not the same.

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  12. CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!!

    Both designs look BRILLIANT and I am full of aunty + big sister pride at the sight of wee Toby looking so dapper with his pal Sofia, and Ferg’s glorious photos. I am also really excited about the essay you’ve included here with throwbacks to your own childhood knits – what a lovely way to put children’s knitwear into context. HUZZAH ALL ROUND I SAY X

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  13. What a wonderful thing to wake up to! Wow, those kids and the photography and the sweaters are just darling. Thanks for making my day! These are a must knit. Along with those fabulous pants!

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