Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The school cardie

I swear I just blinked and it's suddenly March!

Ever so slowly I'm getting used to this school gig thing. It's now like, what four or five weeks in? maybe more, perhaps?

To be honest, I am really really enjoying the walk to school in the morning when the sun is still soft and the grass often damp. We give ourselves 30 minutes to get to school and this allows a bit of amble, time to stop and look for curly eucalyptus leaves, investigate any possible fairy sightings and talk about the necessities of life with a five year old.

It's been a big change for all of us, and I'm feeling somewhat ambiguous about Lily going for the full week of school in a few weeks time instead of having Wednesday off. I really do love our Wednesdays together. I do so love having one day of the week where I don't have to get up early.

The big challenge for us this year has been, and will be the school uniform. The school dress was always going to be a sure fire winner as it's so symbolic of a school girl. and just like most preschoolers, Lily was desperate to be a school girl.

The shoes, however, were always going to be an issue. This is a girl who has refused to wear socks for the past year or so. Apparently they annoyed her, the seam across the top of the socks was just too annoying to deal with. Do your kids have that issue with socks? It seems it's not that uncommon! I thought she'd refuse point blank on the school shoes too; with them being black and all, so she started the year in her Saltwater Sandals. But then it got wet, and the shoes were essential...and she so loves them!!

The other challenge was really mine. Just quietly, I'm not particularly fond of the saggy blue windcheaters that inevitably fade so quickly. Not when there is lovely wool that can be worn.

Using the 70s fondness for ribbed knits as my inspiration, I decided to knit Lily a school cardigan. Apart from it needing to be navy blue, I wanted something comfortable yet not baggy and daggy; something that would move with her and give her some growing room. And of course, it needed to look good.

I'm pretty pleased with the way this came out. Even more important, Lily loves and happily wears it. Personally, I think it's much nicer than a faded windcheater, and it will probably work out cheaper as well. I knit this in a superwash DK weight yarn, Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury. It used a bit less than 300 grams, so at a cost of about $24 I think that's pretty good. Being wool it doesn't need to be washed as often as a windcheater, and when it does I can throw it in the washing machine. And she'll get two years at least out of it.

I think it would be a pretty cool cardigan in any colour, and definitely not just for school. The pattern will be heading off to testers probably early next month.

Next up we've got to tackle the lack of a winter dress or skirt option as part of the school uniform. Yep, this is a girl that ain't gonna wear pants!! Not a chance.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Love Love Love it:)

    Thinking that I might have to put in a Bendi Order for some blue for Amelia for school and cross my fingers that I get a tester spot:)

  2. We have the sock issue with Paisley who just started school this year also. She kicked off her shoes and say on the wet ground on the way on to school one morning. So embarrassing! I love the idea of the knitted cardie, would love a v neck knit, what a fantastic idea. My daughter will only wear dresses also, we put tights under the summer dress and there are some cute pinafores at the local uniform shop that the school is unopposed to. today is my last wednesday of staying in my pjs til lunch too :-(

  3. Too sweet:) i spied lil's rolled down socks tik, tully does this too! Hopfully you'll find a winter alternative, otherwise lil could probably get away with the summer dress with thermal and tights. Tully would often wear that when her pini was dirty.

  4. oh and did i tell you already how much tully really really needs a funky lil 70's school cardi? pretty pretty please

  5. I love it so much!
    Last year I went beserk trying to make the perfect pair of school pants (oh how I detest trakkies) and this year you might have sewn the seed for a windcheater thing. I might have to order some BWM blue this afternoon. (Always happy to test for you too.)

  6. we have the issue with the socks here too. L has a mini-meltdown pretty much every morning about them! And he's in grade 3 this year, so that's 3+ years now! someone needs to come up with seam free socks!

  7. Lily looks so sweet in her school uniform! I love the knitted cardigan, just gorgeous, and so much more practical!
    Good luck with the upcoming uniform issues!

  8. Wow-that blue is just divine! The pattern is gorgeous :)

  9. This looks so snug, wholesome, warm and gorgeous. Can not wait for the pattern. In NZ my school kids have to wear polar fleece. The other thing I am not too keen on is the nylon book bag for their reading books. Maybe a knitted one is needed:)
    Oh and it doesn't make me feel quite so bad not finishing Roberts jersey if m have not knitted for Andy recently either. Thanks for the links the ones I liked were in danish or finnish so may have to request some translations.

  10. Oh it looks fantastic and is exactly the same color as my daughter's uniform. I do hope you will allow me to test the pattern as it would be great and BWM yarn is always lovely to work with!

  11. For the last few years my two boys have been the only ones at their school wearing a knitted jersey. I need to make another one I think; definitely warmer than the sweatshirts that are the uniform down here in Christchurch, and it still looks good too!

  12. love the cardi. We had the sock problem in this house too but over the summer it has miraculously disappeared. As for the school dress situation, last year ours was worn almost everyday with leggings underneath in winter. This year though I left it too late to buy her the next size and so we missed out (as I refuse to pay the ridiculously inflated school uniform shop price and she is rude to boot) so we have been making do with culottes that are almost a skirt if you squint a bit.

  13. What a fabulous school cardi. It is gorgeous and much nicer than the daggy school jackets my kids wear. She looks very sweet in it and those plaits are just beautiful, she makes a perfect big school girl.

  14. We have the very same sock issue on this side of the world too!! There are only a couple of pairs of socks that my 8 year old likes.

    Our school doesn't have a uniform and my daughter is a hippy at heart, and just wants to wear floaty clothes with flipflops....all year round! Bet you can imagine the fun we have with that!

    I love the cardie and I am certainly going to make it for her, thankfully we won't be restricted to blue though!!

  15. Wonderful cardi - classic, beautiful lines and a gorgeous colour too

  16. Megsie, I get the hint!! Lily thought it was hilarious that Tully does that with her socks too!

    Oh Kate, I so hear you on the trackies! They are a pet hate of mine too, the look on Lily's face when the lady at the office told her the girls wear trackpants in winter was priceless!!!

    So I have Kylie, Kate and Sue down on the tester list :D Excellent!!!

    I so agree someone really needs to do something about these seamless socks. Never make the mistake I did and knit a child with this aversion a pair of socks. Seriously, don't go there!!!


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