A little man’s cable cardigan for George

DSC_0015

I made this little cable cardigan at Christmas time for a five year old boy named George who lives in the UK. I finished it the day before George and his family flew out from New Zealand to go home. His mum didn’t try it on him but said she would send a photo of George wearing the cardigan once they were back home.

 

So I waited and I waited and after a few months, there was still no photo. And then I heard that the cardigan didn’t fit and it had been passed on to another little boy who needed something warm to wear for the cold UK winter.

When I had the idea to knit for George and his sister for Christmas, I chose from my Rowan studio issue thirty kids book that had gorgeous patterns from birth to 5 years and because George was an “average” size five year old, I didn’t even think for one moment that the 5 year old cardigan size would not fit.

The finished size for the Kurt cable cardigan that I knitted is 69cm (27 inches). I still have no idea whether that is a normal five year old finished size or not. I did find this knitting guide for children’s sizes and it shows a finished size for a four year old is 71cm (28inches) but who is to know if that is right either. I know the sizings are just meant to be a guide but I am still really disappointed that I got this one so wrong. I guess I have only myself to blame and I have put this experience down to learning.

Apart from the problem with the size, this was such great fun to knit. The cables were not difficult and the pattern was easy to memorise after a few rows. The shawl collar sits nicely and the finished cardigan is just perfect for a little man. I hope the little man in the UK kept warm and cosy in his cardigan and that he had lots of fun wearing it.

DSC_0008

Pattern book – Rowan Studio issue thirty
Pattern – Kurt
Yarn – Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8ply
Link to Ravelry here

Hats for premature babies

DSC_0013

Thirty or so years ago, I had a premature baby. I have vivid memories of him lying in his incubator dressed in his nappy, a tiny knitted hat and a pair of little booties.

I wondered at the time who knitted these little hats and booties. Now I know. They are knitted by wonderful people who give their knitting time for these tiny, vulnerable babies who were meant to be still tucked inside their mummy, all safe and warm.

I was so happy when a friend asked me recently to help her make some preemie baby hats for her local hospital. They only take a few hours to knit and one of the fun parts is choosing from the bits of left over machine washable, merino baby wool from my stash and then deciding which pattern to use.  They are a great little fill-in project for when you are still in the planning stage of your next big one or when you want something to knit in the car and your current project is too intricate, or is at the picking up stitches stage or seaming stage.

My daughter who has a small baby and is a novice knitter, even found the time to make one of these little hats for the hospital. She made the little green one with the garter stitch hem in the centre of the photo.

My friend mentioned last week that her local hospital now needs booties.

I have used a few different patterns for these hats.

Pattern site – Andycrafts (free premature baby patterns)
Pattern – Hats for Premature babies
Yarn – Shepherds baby wool merino and Cleckheaton merino bambino 4ply
Link to Ravelry project here

Pattern book – Patons Newborn Collection
Pattern – Jessica
Yarn – Shepherd Baby Wool Merino 4ply
Link to Ravelry here

Pattern book – Knit lace and leaves for baby
Pattern – Leaf pattern hat
Yarn – Shepherd Baby Wool Merino 4ply
Link to Ravelry here

Cable and Teddy Bear Jacket by Debbie Bliss

DSC_0010

This little teddy bear jacket was the very first knitting pattern that my daughter fell in love with when she became pregnant.

Her baby is now nine months old and winter is approaching here in the Southern Hemisphere. So what could be cosier than this gorgeous cable and teddy bear jacket on a cold wintery day.

DSC_0012

There is much written on Ravelry about the difficulty of this Debbie Bliss pattern, mainly in the way it is written. However, it is well worth the effort if you are considering making it. But this little jacket took me way longer to knit than it should have.

Many years ago I used to knit a lot of fair aisle which uses many colours of wool that are carried across the back as you go. And this is how I started to knit the teddy bears.

I was merrily knitting the back and it was coming along quite quickly. After I had completed two of the teddy bear panels, (which meant I was all the way up to the armholes), I realised my teddies were not sitting properly and the moss stitch in the faces was puckered. Oh dear. I can’t have it like this. So I bundled it up and took it along to my local yarn store for advice. Easily fixed but of course it did mean I had to undo the back, all the way down to the bottom. I was meant to be knitting the teddy using the intarsia method, where you use different balls of wool for each colour and you do not carry the wool across the knitting.

So now my teddy bears are sitting nicely.

DSC_0005

So with the back of the jacket completed, I was onto the left front. The pattern is not well written for the fronts but I thought I had it right. So away I went, blissfully knitting and had completed the first cable panel and then my teddy bear panel.

But oh dear. My teddy bear is not sitting properly. The cables under the teddy bear panel seemed to be pulling the teddy bear’s face in too tight. So I spent ages reading and rereading the pattern and I realised I had used the wrong cables for that panel. So off I went back to the LYS and asked Ell her opinion. Would this sit nicely after blocking or should I undo it and start again with the proper cable? I looked at her face as she delivered the news to me. “I would undo it, if it was mine” she said. So I did. From the armhole all the way down to the bottom.

And off I went again. Merrily knitting the front knowing I had it right. I love knitting cables. I used to knit aran jerseys for my dad and he would wear them all the time. (I hope it was because he liked them and not because he felt obliged. I will never know now.)

Almost finished. One back, two fronts and now up to the armholes on the first moss stitch sleeves. Arrrgh no! There, right at the bottom of the sleeve is a split stitch! Perhaps I can ignore it. Perhaps I can mend it after I have finished. Perhaps no one will notice! But they will. It looked like a little hole. Swish, swish. Down it went. Right to the bottom of the sleeve. And I started again.

DSC_0003

I have now finished this marathon journey.
Despite everything, I loved knitting the teddy bears.
I loved knitting the cables
I loved embroidering the faces on the teddys.(I practiced on the back and yes, got some silly looking bears on the back but it doesn’t matter. They are all unique.)
I love the little moss stitch collar.
I love the bulky moss stitch sleeves.
I love that the button band was done at the same time as the fronts.
I love that it fitted my grandbaby girl so perfectly.

Thank you Debbie Bliss for a truly gorgeous Cable and Teddy Bear Jacket pattern.

Pattern book – Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino
Pattern – Cable and Teddy Bear Jacket
Yarn – Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino
Link to Ravelry project here

Little lacy summer tunic dress for baby

IMG_1934

I made a mistake one day and bought this gorgeously soft baby yarn on sale, only to realise once I got it home that it was 3ply. I don’t really like knitting with 3ply. I used to use it all the time when my children were babies but it does take such a long time to finish a 3ply garment. It takes so many more stitches and so many more rows and just doesn’t seem to grow quickly enough.

But I had three balls of Filatura Di Crosa Monbebe print and didn’t want to waste it.

IMG_1929

So I searched my pattern books for something that would suit the variegated yarn and found a little short sleeve cardigan in a very old Patons book. I loved the little cardigan but one day when I was in my local yarn store, I found a Filatura Di Crosa pattern book that had some patterns specifically for the Monbebe yarn. So of course I had to buy it.

So I now had two patterns to choose from for this beautiful, soft but fine yarn. The short sleeve cardigan and a little tunic from my new pattern book. So I asked my daughter which one she wanted me to make for her baby. She chose the tunic. For some reason I was disappointed and tried to talk her out of it but she was adamant. She wanted the tunic.

So I knitted the tunic. A bit begrudgingly I must say. Was all that 3ply lace work really going to be worth the effort? Is the variegated colour going to suit the intricate lace pattern? The picture in the pattern book was not very exciting and the baby they used in the photo looked very unhappy and was lying in an awkward pose. But my daughter must have seen something in that pattern that I didn’t!

DSC_0058

And she was right. This little tunic is very cute and fun to make.

It did take quite a while to read the lace pattern in my head, but once I had, it was a joy to knit. The lace is very pretty. The little rib top is a gorgeous contrast to the lace skirt. The simple crochet edge around the armholes and neck gives it a very cute finish and I love the little neck opening at the back. As I was knitting it however, I was still uncertain about the variegated colour and the lace. But as soon as my daughter saw it, she gave a big smile and said that this was now her new favourite. So that is good enough for me.

Pattern book – Filatura Di Crosa
Pattern – Overdress #7
Yarn – Filatura Di Crosa Monbebe
Link to Ravelry project here

Brightly striped short sleeve summer cardigan for baby

DSC_0043

I bought some brightly coloured, machine washable, deliciously soft, Sirdar Snuggly baby bamboo yarn on sale. Three skeins. Maybe not enough to make a cardigan for our little 6 month old bubba but I have a striped Sirdar pattern that uses this yarn so I just need two more colours. I wonder what colours I can find to go with this very vibrant orange.

After a trip to my local yarn store I now have a skein of hot pink and a skein of sunshine yellow to go with the orange. Did I mean to come out with those colours? Not really but the shop had very limited stock. So limited that this is all they had. So a bright summer short sleeve cardigan in bright orange, hot pink and sunshine yellow. Perfect for a lovely summer day.

DSC_0042

The baby doesn’t seem to mind the bright colours.

Pattern book – Sirdar leaflet 1916
Pattern – Short sleeve cardigan
Yarn – Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK
Link to Ravelry project here

Debbie Bliss baby dress with a lace edging

DSC_0016

When my daughter was pregnant for the very first time, she found this Debbie Bliss book full of gorgeous knitting patterns for her baby. She fell in love with the “sheep dress” so I had to buy this rather large and expensive book for that one pattern.

Now that her baby is six months old and the end of summer is on it’s way, it is time to start looking ahead at what I can knit for her as the weather gets cooler. I don’t have the yarn to make the sheep dress, so that is going to have to wait. But I do have some Debbie Bliss Eco Baby organic cotton, which is so soft and is calling out from my stash box to be  used.

I found this pattern for this little dress with a lace edge in the Debbie Bliss baby book . The smallest size is 6 to 12 months, so it should be just right. Many of Debbie Bliss’s patterns come out reasonably big, so hopefully this little dress will fit her at 9 months, which will be our Autumn.  The suggested yarn is Debbie Bliss Wool/Cotton, which is a 5 ply and is discontinued. But the Eco Baby yarn I have is also a 5 ply and I had just the right amount.

DSC_0023

This was a fun knit. I love the increases in the skirt to give it a gentle flare.
I love the detail across the chest with the line of garter stitch.
I love the way the Eco Baby organic cotton knits up with such beautiful stitch definition.
I love the little button placket at the back of the neck.
I’m not so keen on the untidiness of the decreasing on the sleeve and neck.

But I LOVE the lace edging.

Pattern book – Debbie Bliss – The Baby Knits Book
Pattern – Dress with Lace Edging
Yarn – Debbie Bliss Eco Baby
Link to Ravelry project here

Short sleeve cotton sweater for baby

DSC_0075I had two balls of John Q double knit cotton in my stash that I paid very little for. I had no idea what I would do with just two balls, particularly when these balls only had 103 metres in each. Not a lot of yarn to do much with.

Then I remembered I had made this pink short sleeve cardigan for a friend’s baby and it took such a small amount of yarn, so I thought I would see how far I got making the little sweater from the same pattern. The worst that could happen is that I get most of the way before having to pull it all undone.

DSC_0077

But I made it. I used a small bit of left over cream cotton for the neck and arm bands and made the sleeves shorter but I did it! I even had to use another yarn to sew it up. But I didn’t mind. At least I didn’t have to pull it all undone. And I love the cream band and the sleeves are a perfect length on a wee baby.

UPDATED February 2014 with the wee model wearing the summer top on her beach  holiday.

IMG_2253

Pattern book – UKHKA 79
Pattern – Sweater
Yarn – John Q Cotton Crepe 8ply
Link to Ravelry project here