"Knitting is like being able to work magic" - I once read this saying on a postcard somewhere. It came back to my mind the other day, because there really is some truth to it: if you can knit, you have the wonderful ability to create something entirely according to your own wishes. Something unique that can't be found anywhere else. With a bit of wool and two needles as wands, we can make our dreams of a favourite garment come true, catering precisely to individual needs and preferences.
My two-year-old son has very clear preferences. Like many other little boys, he loves tractors. That's not so unusual at first. His favourite colours, on the other hand, do not correspond at all to what the fashion industry still often has in store for "typical boys". He hardly pays attention to clothes in blue, green, brown or yellow, instead he likes to experiment with his big sister's skirts, dresses and jumpers. Both seem to agree that shades of pink, purple, berry and red are the most beautiful. And why not: colours are for everyone!
I see what my son likes and I really want him to feel that he is spot on. And so I support him in being able to freely develop his own style according to his taste. There is only one challenge sometimes: reconciling his preferences.
Because although the topic of diversity and gender equality is on everyone's lips nowadays, most children's departments still have an unmistakable gender attribution. Pink vs. light blue, princess vs. digger. There is often not much in between. And a tractor pullover in purple or pink? Not at all!
Luckily, mum can do magic. And so I had the idea to knit my son a jumper for his birthday that is tailored exactly to him and his preferences. I found a free pattern for a great tractor jumper on Ravelry - unfortunately it's only available in Norwegian. Even though I don't speak the language at all, I was able to follow the instructions quite well thanks to my knitting experience, a strong will and the help of Google Translate.
The colour choice, on the other hand, was more difficult. There are so many great shades of purple, berry and red that I saw the tractor jumper in my mind's eye in several matching colour variations. In the end, my decision was much more moderate than I had planned. Maybe I wasn't brave enough to knit a pink jumper with purple tractors - or my own rather simple taste guided me too much when buying wool. Anyway, I knitted my son a cream-coloured jumper (118 Cream) on which red tractors (135 Red Beech) with dark purple tyres (134 Amethyst) are happily doing their rounds and blowing ecologically completely harmless exhaust gases (117 Tea) into the air.
I think it turned out really beautifully - and my son likes it and it looks great. That is the main thing. Nevertheless, I am surprised by myself that it has turned out so discreetly. Although I want to show my two that they don't have to be influenced by rigid and outdated norms, I can't seem to free myself completely from the beliefs that have shaped me. An exciting realisation! But change begins in the mind, and what I knit for my children has to please them - no one else.
Let's enchant our world with our knitting skills - and thus make it an open, tolerant and free place where the individual person is important, with everything that makes him or her tick.