Baby Knitting

I thought it might be fun this week to take a look at the glut of baby knits I was in the midst of working on and looking forward to knitting this time last year. 2007 was a bumper year for babies in our little circle of family and acquaintances so naturally it was also a late winter through early autumn of baby knitting for me. Much of it came from a Debbie Bliss book titled "Simply Baby - Adorable Knits for Baby's First Two Years". I really like Debbie Bliss designs for babies and small children. They are classic but always have a stylish detail or two that makes them stand out for gift giving. In this case I love the moss stitch cuffs, collar, yoke contrast between the cables and the trim along the lower edge.

I also like Debbie Bliss yarns and my closest LYS carries her whole line so its easy for me to get in the colours I want. They will hold a ball in my dye lot for me in case I need more, which, as a tight knitter, I often do and they are handy enough to me that its easy to return unused yarn quickly after a project is done.

My first baby project of the spring was the Cable Yoke Jacket from that book.

I made it as pictured in the book in the Debbie Bliss Cotton Double Knitting colourway called "Duck Egg". A lovely little jacket to knit but it was hateful to find a zipper for the thing once it was finished.
The pattern calls for a 10 inch, white zipper. I made sure to knit and block to the measurements but then discovered that at least in Toronto, zippers in that length and style are pretty rare. I probably spent more time travelling around looking in notion shops than I did knitting!

Nonetheless I would make this again in a flash. Its cute and with the moss stitch, cables and stockinette shaping its fun to knit. The Debbie Bliss DK Cotton yields a very satisfyingly squishy texture but if I make it again, I'll find the zipper first and knit the length to match in hopes of saving a lot time driving around!

The next project was knit for the older sister of the baby for whom the jacket was made. Its my own design loosely based on a pattern from Family Circle Easy Knitting Magazine (Fall 2004). For obvious reasons I call it the "Daisy Sweater". I love the colour of this sweater, knit in Cotton Ease - just the shade of gold from the centre of Daisies. The original pattern was for a cropped style pullover but I wanted it longer, more like a tunic with slits at the side to allow the two year old for whom it was intended to be able to move easily around. So I added a panel of eyelet at the bottom of both front and back. The idea was to infer the soil from which the daisies were sprouting. (Oh and I love the look of eyelet!) I wanted to put a daisy or two on the back but I was afraid the buttons might make the sweater uncomfortable so I fought that urge and left the back unadorned except for the eyelet.
I was very pleased with how the Daisy details turned out. I made the flowers themselves from small pearl buttons sewn on with cotton embroidery thread. (I collect the buttons from husband's cast off dress shirts when I cut them into rags so I have quite a quantity.) Then I added a simple running stitch in the embroidery floss so each little daisy would have a stem.
I also wanted to add something fun to the "Welcome the New Baby"package so I also made a doll for big sister from scrap yarn. It was based on a pattern in a book called "Knit a Square, Make a Toy". I found the book in the magazine section of a grocery store years ago when I still had delusions my daughter might learn to love knitting if she could only experience success with it once. She never even attempted to knit a square because as she told me at the time, she didn't want a toy. Charming.

On the other hand her mother loves knitting toys! Garter stitch squares pile up in no time and before you know it your scraps have disappeared and you've got a very cute and essentially free gift to give...

Too cute!

In the end I packaged all three items up together in a huge cello bundle with a big label addressed to the two year old. It can be hard to be deposed from only child status so I thought it might be fun to make the focus of the gift commemorating the arrival of her brother something about which she could get excited.

Tomorrow, the trip through the results of the Great Baby Knitting Marathon of 2007 continues...


Acorn to Oak said...

The baby sweaters turned out nice. That book about making toys with squares looks great. I'll have to look for that. The bear on the cover is adorable!

Thanks for the comments on my blog and for the tip on the BYOB pattern on Knitty. It's cute. I also like the bag you made. I haven't settled on a pattern quite yet but those are two definite possiblities.

Good luck with finding a way to haul stuff with your bike. I love our little trailer. I just wish there were more places close by to use it. Most of my errands are about 15 miles away so I'm limited, but a few trips without the car is better than none.

Cheryl :- )

Sandra said...

Love the daisy sweater - so cute. I also love the idea of sendding the gift to the older sibling - makes the transition a little easier.