Knit Together with Cynthia MacDougall
When I was younger, the woman at the local general store kept asking me when I was going to have a baby. I kept explaining to her that “I was not here to have babies, I was put here to knit for babies.” And I do.
That woman’s grandchild received a full layette, with leggings, a jacket, a tam, and little mitts. It was one of my first commissioned pieces. About the same time, I made a baby dress out of Beehive Astra, just because I liked the look of the pattern.
Over time, I made other things: a Fair Isle set for the lady who operated the cafeteria at work; a Nordic “ski set” with leggings and snowflake sweater in mint green; a little owl vest; premee sets for hospital auxiliaries; a cow outfit for my niece (who is now 19); and numerous pairs of mitts with hats. But by far, my favourite thing to knit for babies is what I call “bootees with knees.”
Bootees with knees was my name for “long bootees” a pattern that was very popular in the 1940s. My Great Aunt Christie, a spinster all her life, made dozens of pairs of these useful garments, and it was an honour for me to continue the tradition she started. I remember one time when I visited her – I could only have been about 6 or 7 years old – she had all kinds of pairs of bootees set out on the day bed in her sun room.
Read more in our Spring 2014 issue.