Mummy’s Little Sweat Shop

I have a rather smashing idea. I’ve got this very nice handspun I made a couple of weeks ago, and from the minute it was bought I’ve known who it was for. Three days ago, with the end of the sweater in sight, I got out all of my stitch dictionaries and started perusing them for possibilities. (It is one of my most favourite things in the world to look at stitch dictionaries in the bath. We have no shower, but we do make up for it by having a large and glorious claw foot tub, and I spend a lot of time in there. Looking at stitch dictionaries. Ok. That’s starting to sound odd, isn’t it? Never mind. Forget I said it. Let’s pretend I read knitting books on the couch like everybody else. Nothing to see here.) I didn’t end up using any of the stitches, but I did have a nice big idea.


I’ve knit an “end” of a scarf. The rest will be in garter stitch. (Plain, beautiful garter stitch) and we are all going to knit it together. (I have not exactly told them this yet.) Everyone in the house knows how to knit, so there’s no reason why we can’t do a family project. I’ll leave it on the coffee table, and ask everybody to work on it whenever they think of it. Every time I think of it, I’ll add a pattern row or something. When it gets close to the end, I’ll pick it up and knit the other “end” and cast off. Presto Chango…. A scarf knit by all of us, and a really great gift for someone. Good thinking? I thought so.

I know that some of you (coughRAMScough) are going to say that this is not just the good clean fun I’m proposing. Some of you are going to think that instead of a warm fuzzy family project, what I have actually engineered is a way for me to turn my previously useless teenagers into skilled workers churning out Christmas presents. To these accusers I say…..HA! You’re just sorry you didn’t teach your kids to knit so that they could work for you so that you could get more done join in a warm new family tradition like us.


The more I think about it, the more I think this is brilliant. I’ve been feeding, clothing and housing these people for years and years now, and I don’t even want to discuss the fact that they were all breastfed, and cloth diapered and that I made them homemade playdough for crying out loud. I taught them all sorts of useful good things, and now that they are teenagers and getting ready to move on with their own lives, I’m thinking things over. I’ve invested in these people. I was thinking that I was teaching them skills for adulthood, but now that I think about it, perhaps they could use some practice to make sure they are really good at all of it. Besides… all that effort I’ve put in and they think they are just going to grow up and leave without any sort of redress at all? I don’t think so. This, my friends, is an idea who’s time is come, and it turns out that I didn’t teach them to knit for nothing. It’s payback time. Now don’t get suckered in by their pretty faces, and don’t pay any mind to their whinging about sore hands.


Christmas is coming, and Mummy wants another 10 rows before daybreak.

(Ps. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. Teach your kids how to cook today. Remember, today’s children learning at your knee are tomorrow’s free labour. Pony up. )

(PPS…Yes. That’s real snow. I took the pictures with my ordinary little digital camera (Ironically, the one that keeps blurring the snot out of sock pictures) set on “macro” and zoomed in. I agree though…it is spectacularly perfect snow. )