“Maman les p’tits bateaux…” – Knitting up a nursery rhyme

As a child, one of the nursery rhymes I’ve heard most is “Maman les p’tits bateaux”. And now that I am a mum, I find that it is probably one of the rhymes I sing most to my little one. The song is quite short, the lyrics are funny, yet, the song is relaxing. Perfect!

Judge for yourself:

Maman, les p’tits bateaux
Qui vont sur l’eau,
Ont-ils des jambes?

Mais oui, mon gros bêta,
S’ils n’en avaient pas,
Ils ne march’raient pas !

Now, for those of you who are not fluent in French, Janice has very kindly translated this little rhyme into words more in keeping with our little corner of Scotland…

Mither, thay wee boaties
That gang oan th’ water
Div thay hae legs?

Of coorse, ma wee bawheid
If they didnae hae legs
Foo wid thae gang?

Still confused? Well, in short, a little child asks his mum whether the little boats on the water have legs. And his mum replies that, yes, of course they do! If they did not, how would they move?

I wanted to knit a little something for my son inspired by this nursery rhyme, but with a Scottish twist since he grows up here, in Scotland. The little something soon became a slipover, because you never have too many slipovers in this little corner of the world when winter comes (although “some people” say that slipovers can be worn pretty much all year round here… I wonder why!?). And the Scottish “twist” naturally turned into traditional fair-isle patterns here and there.

Oh, and what about yarn, will you ask? Well, of course it had to be Scottish! We chose a local yarn: a lovely 4ply, 100% Shetland lambswool, spun a few miles North from here. It comes in lovely colours: I only picked six…

Where is the nursery rhyme in there? Where have the boats with legs gone? Well, we’ll tell you about them next time! Promise!

And as a bonus to help you wait until next time… Can you remember* how to make a little origami boat (without legs!)? And do you remember the last time you made one? Was that at primary school, that day when you had finished all your writing exercise and had a few spare minutes to day-dream and your fingers wanted to get busy and you made a tiny boat like this one?


* Note for those who need a cheat: I made a quick tutorial to make a little origami boat here.
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This entry was posted in Design, Knitting, Nursery Rhyme, Toddler and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Maman les p’tits bateaux…” – Knitting up a nursery rhyme

  1. Verónica says:

    Love your basket of yarn.

  2. Pingback: Procrastination, or “l’art de remettre au lendemain” | The Auld (Woolly) Alliance

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