This year, I’ve been thinking a LOT about how my kiddos are growing up…maybe I’ve been thinking about it a bit too much.
I think about coming moments: when they won’t wanna go camping or hiking with me anymore…when they’ll only want to hang out with friends…when they’ll no longer want to wear my handknits. As they grow, they are developing their own lives, separate from me. And of course that’s OK. It’s good because their independence is a big part of what I’m going for as a parent.
But today? Today they are all still little. They will be little for a little while longer, and I want to soak up and savour every little second.
They still love heading into the woods with me, baking cookies together, and doing crafts. They still love wearing their special, handknit sweaters, and they don’t ALWAYS want to hang out with their friends instead of their parents. I plan to take full advantage of these short years. And so, with their fleeting childhoods on my mind, I embarked on an EPIC Christmas sweater project.
Seven sweaters for seven cousins
As usual, my plan didn’t start small and grow; it started big, with a sweater for each my three kids and one for each of my four nephews. That’s seven sweaters for seven cousins! And all this work would culminate in a fun photoshoot, with all the kids showing off their special knits.
I so enjoy knitting colourwork, and I especially enjoyed creating colourwork in the bright, fun holiday palette that I created out of odds and ends from my stash. I was inspired by images of vintage Christmas baubles, with a pretty rainbow of warm golds, all different reds and greens, a bright teal blue, and even a hint of pink. The sweaters are all variations on a theme. No two have exactly the same colours, and they each have a different colourwork motif. Just like my kids and nephews, they are all different but have some family resemblances!
I originally planned to knit them all myself, but once I’d gotten through all of the yokes, I took up an offer of help from my sisters-in-law, Emily and Michelle, who knit the bodies and sleeves for their kids. It was a classic, epic knit, with late nights and a last minute block – but we got it done. To Michelle’s credit, she got it done with lots of time to spare. Emily and I were the ones knitting well into the night before the photoshoot. We never learn…!
I’m so pleased with how the sweaters and photos turned out. When our little ones eventually do grow up, I hope photos like these remind them of childhoods spent with cousins and the special bonds they forged. It is a joy for Gary and me to raise our kids alongside our own siblings, with all the cousins growing up together. I know that someday soon they’ll prefer friends to family time, so for now, I treasure every moment of this special time.