Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yarn and Heartstrings

Yarn and Heartstrings

Varied are the things that will pluck a mother’s heartstrings. For me knitting is one of them.

Can you guess what I’ve been making on my double pointed needles for a baby due in November?

My first fruit cap was a strawberry. A small modification to the pattern makes a pumpkin. The curl on the edge forms naturally. Decrease between leaves until you have eight stitches remaining. Knit these for six rounds for a stem. It’s that simple.

Are you looking for a pattern that will suit a fairly new knitter? I have gotten much use out of Ann Norling’s fruit caps, pattern #10. Sizes are for newborn to 2 years.

William (age 2½ ) agreed to temporarily be my model. He wore the pumpkin cap at my bidding in spite of it being a warm day and in spite of the cap being a little too small.

Last year I was happy to receive word that my fruit caps were spotted on the heads of two babies. One baby is a relative in California. My mother-in-law telephoned, “I saw a photo of Zoë’s baby. She was wearing the strawberry cap you made her.”
A week later my daughter Sophia reported, “At the garden wedding reception Rebecca’s baby was wearing the pumpkin cap you made him. He needed it. It was chilly.”
“He matched the bridesmaid’s dresses then didn’t he?” I giggled. It was October and she, her sister, and the other bridesmaids wore gowns of a striking sherbet-orange satin. Anyway, into my imagination popped two cuties wearing my knitted caps and I was tickled. Isn’t it funny how such a small thing can pluck a heartstring of motherhood? The gift is a trifle. But one of the joys of knitting comes from knowing that someone is blessed by something you made with your own two hands.

A cap can be completed in a week of sittings. Knitting is so conveniently portable that you can carry a project to the car as you leave the house and knit a dozen rows during your child’s piano lesson, etc. And if your husband is driving to church, the children are securely strapped into their seats, and you have your hands free . . .

When I’m in the cap-making mood I knit a small stash for reserve. It might be a blueberry, sweet pea, strawberry, or blackberry. The pumpkin cap is especially ooed and ahhed over when the baby shower happens to take place in autumn. Light weight and indestructible by mail handlers, these caps are economical and safe to send cross-country, even overseas, at Christmastime.

Washable wool makes the caps soft and warm. I experimented by using 100% cotton yarn for one strawberry cap, attaching black beads for seeds. It was endured for less than a minute by my model who told me by his body language that when it comes to strawberry he draws the line. Blueberry is his preference.

Have you noticed which things pluck at the heartstrings of motherhood?

P.S. I finished my toddler socks.

These calico asters bloom in our autumn woods. Who picked a handful of them in the last chapter of Pocketful of Pinecones? 

Thank you for visiting.
Karen Andreola


  1. Wow, Karen, these caps are absolutely adorable!!! You are such a wonderful knitter! I have worked with doublepoint needles many years ago, but you really have such a wonderful talent with how quickly you turn these caps into the sweetest hats! And the toddler socks are super!!! You always amaze me with the things you make! God has blessed you with such an abundance of gifts that you make for others. You are such a blessing to your family and I am sure they realize that! Take care!

  2. These are amazing hats! I need to come knit with you one day....we could catch up on all the news.

    Love and Miss you all!

  3. Dear Karen, Thank you for showing us your beautiful knitting projects. It encourages me to find time in my busy homeschooling life to sit down and enjoy the art of knitting. Knitting is very peaceful and it allows our minds time to reflect and pray. I love your blog and all your writings. You have blessed me greatly and encouraged me to press on with homeschooling and find beauty in each day. May the Lord richly bless you. Julia

  4. I too love these little hats, I have never knitted , but am going to check out the beginner pattern you mentioned.My daughter just this morning asked where she could get hats for her babys head,5 months old and she keeps him in a hat often.Thanks once again for the beauty and encouragement your blog is to me.Blessings, Dawn E. Brown

  5. You are an inspiration to me once again!

  6. Karen!

    These are just tooooooo cute! I can understand your joy in knowing that they are being worn and appreciated. So much love goes into each one.

    Deanna and I have begun talking about our Christmas Tea. I do hope you'll be able to join us this year. It would be so lovely to see you.....

    Thanks for your kind comment on my Candle website. I appreciate it so much!

    Becky K.

  7. Thank you ladies,
    I am happy you like my fruit caps and that it has given you an idea of something to make.
    Yes. I agree, knitting does allow a busy mother time to reflect. I think it is peaceful, too, Julia. If I have to concentrate on a more intricate cable pattern it is usually only for a set of stitches and then I can continue to knit with ease for the rest of the row. When I know I will be "turning a heel" on a sock I do so in the evening when I am more apt to have an uninterrupted half hour. For the rest of the sock I can talk freely.

  8. Those caps are just adorable!!
    You've inspired me to knit my new nephew and niece a cap each using this pattern. :)

  9. Dear Karen,

    I came here looking for these little caps since you mentioned them...they are so sweet! My favorite is definitely the pumpkin one. I'd love to knit one of those for my little two-year-old son. The knit hats book by Susan B. Anderson has a pumpkin hat that I'd love to try. I'll have to see how successful I am with this earflap hat I'm currently working on. Your knitting is inspiring!