My new pink cardigan

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My Nanny knitted me a new pink cardigan. I think it might be a bit big for me. It might still fit me when I am 4 years old. I am only 20 months old at the moment.

But my new cardigan is warm. It is made from merino wool, cashmere and silk, so it is nice and light, despite the size. My Mummy and Daddy took me to the zoo just after Nanny gave me this cardigan so I wore it and I think it looks pretty. It could almost be a dress with my cute polka dot tights.

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At the zoo I saw lots of animals that I have in my zoo book at home. The cheetah was my favourite. It looked like Smokey who is my pussy cat at home. There was a big window at the zoo so I could see the cheetah but I couldn’t get in to pat him like I do to with Smokey.

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Then the next day my Mummy took me to the park to play. This is my favourite bike at the park. Sometimes there are other kids playing on this bike when we get there and I cry and Mummy says I must wait my turn. So I did and then the other kid got off.

Here is a link to the stitch pattern nanny used.

Pattern book – King Cole Baby Book 5
Pattern – Little Vintage Cable Jacket
Yarn – Sublime Cashmere, Merino, Silk
Link to Ravelry here

Little striped hoodies for cute little babies

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I have never had any success taking photos of hoodies, especially when there are no cute little baby faces peeping out from inside.

These two are destined for two second time mums whose babies are due this month. Neither of them know if they are having a boy or a girl (or if they do know, they are not telling). I hope one of them is having a boy so that they can have the blue one, and the grey one will suit either a girl or a boy. I guess if they both have girls, I will need to quickly make another one in a colour that isn’t blue.

The only reason I am adverse to giving blue for a girl is that my granddaughter didn’t have any hair (and still hasn’t got much at 18 months) and kept being mistaken for a boy. My daughter didn’t dress her in blue because she got tired of having to keep explaining that her baby was a girl, despite having no hair. One day she was wearing a pink dress and pink leggings and a dear old man came up to her in the shopping mall and said “hello little fella, you’re a cute little guy”. My daughter didn’t correct him, she just smiled and asked how his day was going.

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It seemed to take me forever to knit these little hoodies. Maybe that is because I actually made three. A blue and white one is on it’s way to North England for my little 6 week old grandson. Having to knit 12 little ears and then sew each of them together before stitching them onto the hood seemed to take so long. And the hoods seemed to take ages as well. But it was worth it. I just wouldn’t recommend making three of these in quick succession.

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I am a little worried about the grey yarn for a little baby as it has angora mixed with the merino and silk. I just hope it isn’t too furry for a baby. Unfortunately when I dug into my stash to find the wool for these little hoodies, my double knit stash was a bit low and this grey was the only suitable unisex colour I could find. My stash has since “blossomed” with a FIlatura Di Crosa half price sale at our local yarn store last week.

Pattern book – King Cole Baby Book 5
Pattern – Little Big Stripey Hoodie
Yarn – Shepherds Baby Merino DK and Cleckheaton Angora, Merino and Silk
Link to Ravelry here and here

Debbie Bliss Spanish Dress for our little toddler

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I first saw the Debbie Bliss Spanish Dress in a local yarn / fabric store when my daughter was pregnant. We both fell in love with this little dress and with so many gorgeous fabrics available, the possibilities are endless.  We were lucky enough to get the pattern in the store and gleefully took it home to store it for later when this little unborn baby has her first summer as a toddler.

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And this is our little toddler’s first summer.

I have a very small stash of fabrics (and rather a large stash of yarn). I don’t sew a lot since I do not have a sewing area set up in my house. My sewing area is my dining table and it is not very convenient to the people in our house for me to sew.

I found this gorgeous Beatrix Potter fabric in my stash but I didn’t have any yarn to go with it. The fabric is so pretty and I didn’t want to ruin the dress with the wrong colour bodice. I definitely wanted to use this fabric, so off I went to the local yarn store and found the perfect colour yarn, a beautiful soft ball of Sublime cashmere, merino and silk. Yummy.

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I also had a piece of cotton fabric with cute little cats in my stash and I was lucky enough to have the perfect bamboo yarn to match. So of course I had to make a second dress.

The bodices were a very quick and easy knit. It felt so satisfying to complete something so pretty in such a short time. I love the way the little frill is knitted at the hem of the bodice. I think that is what I like about Debbie Bliss patterns, the attention to detail.

But of course, once I had completed the knitted bodice, I had to put them aside until I had the opportunity to get the sewing machine out.

But my time did come and a few weeks later I had the sewing machine out on the dining table, the iron and ironing board set up and my sewing paraphernalia waiting patiently, and of course the family out for the day.

The skirts were so easy to make. The pattern was not terribly clear but I used the Ravelry site and read the comments of those who had already made the dress and got the answer to my biggest question.

How do I attach the skirt to the bodice? Of course. The answer to that question was to hand sew the skirt to the bodice. I know some people may have fancy sewing machines that would sew the knitted bodice nicely to the gathered cotton skirt without puckering the bodice or leaving unsightly stitches but mine is a very basic machine. I don’t mind hand sewing. In fact, this little toddler dress was made with so much love and hand sewing is a big part of that.

To see these little dresses being worn with such happiness makes all the hand sewing worth it.

UPDATED February 2015
A note from Mia.

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Nana just can’t help herself. She keeps making me these cute little dresses. Here is another one she made. I really like this one. It has ladybugs on it. She made another one exactly the same for Ruby’s first birthday. (Ruby is my mummy’s school friend’s baby.) This is me wearing my ladybug dress in the car at the Devonport wharf in Auckland.

Pattern book – Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine, Spring/Summer 2012
Pattern – Spanish Dress
Yarn – Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK and Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK
Link to Ravelry here  and here

A cotton cable cardigan for a brand new baby

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I have a friend a work who is due to have her baby at the beginning of the New Zealand summer. I wanted to make her baby something to wear and decided that organic cotton would be the yarn of choice and it would be made into a long sleeve newborn cardigan for the cooler days.

The design and colour were a bit more difficult to decide since we do not know if this little baby will be a boy or a girl. (That is only known by the mum and dad.)

I wanted a nice soft 4ply cotton so that the cardigan wouldn’t be too bulky for a tiny newborn baby. I had some cotton left over from a tiny singlet I had made for another newborn summer baby (in Darwin, Australia where it is extremely hot) so decided to use that.

Now for the pattern. I didn’t want to do anything lacy in case it was a boy. I didn’t want anything too manly in case it was a girl. But I had a sneaky suspicion that this baby was going to be a boy so I decided on soft cables for the front.

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This was a very simple pattern and it took me only a few nights to make. I call it my election cardigan as I made most of it while watching the New Zealand elections. The blanket in the background of the photo is the Debbie Bliss sampler blanket.

Pattern book – Sirdar 280 Early Arrivals Knitting Book
Pattern – Design C preemie layette
Yarn – Heirloom cotton 4ply
Link to Ravelry here 

Funky pants for Sebastian

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When my daughter found out that her step sister was having a baby, she asked me if I would knit Sebastian a pair of the pants that she found so useful when her baby was a newborn.

I have made many, many pairs of these pants but I had never made them with variegated yarn before. I love the way they have turned out. When I showed these to a friend of mine, she called them funky, so the name has stuck.

I had made the Puerperium Cardigan that everyone loves in this same variegated yarn and I loved it so much that I made these pants from the leftovers. Don’t worry, I put a note in her knitted parcel to say that she didn’t have to use the cardigan and pants at the same time. I think that would be a bit much for a wee bubba. (I got a bit carried away. There is a hat too in the same yarn. Please mummy, don’t let Sebastian wear all of these together.😄)

Pattern book – Panda Adorable Baby Knits
Pattern – Classic Pants with straight legs
Yarn – Shepherds Baby Wool Merino 4ply
Link to Ravelry project here

A Debbie Bliss baby blanket for Sebastian

 

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This is my third baby blanket I have made in the last two years.

The first one was for my first grandbaby boy, Memphis.
The second one was for my first grandbaby girl, Mia.
The third one is for my second grandbaby boy, Sebastian.

Sebastian hasn’t been born yet. He is due in the middle of December in the cold north of England. Sebastian’s mum is my husband’s daughter, so I let him choose the pattern. I think he chose wisely. This blanket made of aran panels with moss stitch in between, is cosy and warm.

The Sampler Blanket was designed by Debbie Bliss and is in a couple of her books, Blankets, Bears & Booties (aka Booties, Blankets & Bears) and The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits.

It is knitted in one piece, which means there is no stitching together of panels and no border to be knitted at the end, which is great considering the blanket takes such a long time to knit.

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I used the same yarn as I did for the other two baby blankets because they both still look amazing, even after so many washes.

This is my first blog post in a while because most of my recent knitting has been for Sebastian’s mum and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for her, just in case she reads my blog. She has now received her knitting parcel so no surprise had been spoiled.

Pattern book – Blankets, Bears & Booties / Booties, Blankets & Bears and The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits
Pattern – Sampler Blanket
Yarn – Shepherd Baby Wool Merino 4ply
Link to Ravelry here

No-sew traditional baby booties

 

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I am not into traditional baby booties. I used to knit them many years ago for my babies but I’m not sure what it is about them now that makes me not want to knit them. I think the main reason is that they never seem to stay on those tiny, little kicking feet.

I did make these Jemima Puddleduck booties for my daughter’s baby when she was a few months old but I think they came off in the pram.
I also made these Debbie Bliss sandals but they didn’t stay on any better.
I made these watermelon booties for a friend at work whose wife was having a baby. I made them because they were cute but I have no idea if they stayed on or not. I didn’t get any feedback.

So you see, when my daughter saw a pair of traditional style booties in our LYS and asked me if I would make some for her friend at work, I accepted with trepidation. Maybe people don’t like booties anymore. Maybe booties are just not practical and won’t stay out on those little feet. Maybe they are  old-fashioned. But despite my misgivings, I agreed to make a pair for her friend.

Ah, but there was a catch. She also wanted me to make her friend one of these beautiful Royal New Zealand Plunket Society singlets and wanted the booties to match. The catch is that this singlet is made with 2ply yarn and so  I would need to find a 2ply bootie pattern. Surely it can’t be that hard to find. The internet and Ravelry are full of free baby knitting patterns. But no, how wrong I was. There were not many 2ply baby bootie patterns at all.

The singlet pattern is so pretty and many babies I have knitted for recently have been boys or the mums have not wanted anything “girly” so I really wanted to make this pretty little 2ply singlet. So I kept looking and finally found this free bootie pattern. They can be made with any weight yarn from 2ply through to aran / worsted weight. Same pattern, different size needles and the smaller the yarn weight, the smaller the bootie.

But this is a bootie pattern with a difference. This is a “no sew” bootie and here is the description of how they are made. “The sole of the bootie is knit first in garter stitch back and forth and the stitches for the side of the foot are picked up and knit in the round. The instep is knit back and forth in garter stitch and then the cuff is knit in the round until cast off.”

You can omit the flower on the instep if you want a more masculine or unisex bootie.

So here is the end result and I love them and feel happy that I was asked to knit them.

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I am not sure if they stayed on the little kicking feet or not but I am guessing they probably didn’t. But I know my knitting was appreciated. The mum used the singlet for her daughter’s photo shoot. I felt very proud to hear that.

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Pattern – No Sew Bootie-full Booties (free pattern)
Yarn – Patons Australia Dreamtime 2ply
Link to Ravelry project here

 

A pair of monster pants for Mia please

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I was at a lull in my knitting and wanted another project to do.

So I asked my daughter “what you you like me to knit next?”
She replied, “a pair of pants please.”
I asked “what type of pants?”
She replied “a pair of monster pants for Mia please”.

So monster pants she has and in colours of her choice.

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Mia says “I wear them at the beach and I wear them when I go for walks with my dad and my pink trike.”

Pattern website – Ravelry Download – Monster Longies
Pattern – Monster Longies (free pattern)
Yarn – Naturally Loyal 8ply and Moda Vera Pure Wool Extra Twist
Link to Ravelry here

Puerperium cardigan for a newborn

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It wasn’t until after my grand babies were born that I found this great free pattern on Ravelry. And of course the babies were far too big for it by then. So I added the pattern to my Ravelry library in readiness for the next newborn to come along.

That was over a year ago. And now I have another grand baby due mid December but this next one will be born into the middle of the North England winter just south of Newcastle. Poor little freezing cold bubba. So of course there are things being knitted for him here in New Zealand to help keep him warm.

While I was planning (I love the planning stage) which New Zealand hand knits this little boy was going to be wearing, I had completely forgotten about the Puerperium pattern until I happened to see this gorgeous one on The Prune Tree blog. I want to make one just like that. But of course I didn’t have any beautiful red and green variegated wool but I did have a blue, brown and white machine washable merino. Just right for baby.

But my multi coloured wool in my stash was 4ply and the pattern uses double knit. Hmmm. Well, the very knowledgeable lady in my LYS told me once that 4ply can be knitted double stranded, making it the same as a DK. So I knitted a tension square to see if she was right. Of course she was. The 2 strands of 4ply knitted together was exactly the same tension size as a DK. Amazing!

But being a variegated yarn, I had to be careful that I started each ball in the same colour place otherwise it would have come out in a big jumble of unclassified colour.

I really hope this fits out little baby boy. The pattern is written for a 3-4kg (7-9lb) baby, so I hope he is born smaller than my other grand baby boy. He was a 9lb baby so this would not have fitted him for more than a few days!

This is a very quick knit with no seaming and the pattern is free. I imagine it is possibly the most knitted free pattern on Ravelry with 5296 of these cardigans so far being made. Kelly Brooker designed the pattern and allowed us to have the pattern for free. Thank you for your generosity, Kelly.

Pattern website – Ravelry Download – Pekapeka Design Studio
Pattern – Puerperium Cardigan (free pattern)
Yarn – Shepherds Baby Wool Merino 4ply
Link to Ravelry here

A very pretty stitch pattern to knit

 

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This is so pretty and it doesn’t even use a cable needle. I will show you the finished garment once finished and blocked. I started this last night and was so taken with the stitch. What do you think it might be? Here is the pattern in case you want to use it.

Pow 1 = P2 S1 K2 PSSO P2
Row 2 = K2 P1 YRN P1 K2
Row 3 = P2 K3 P2
Row 4 = K2 P3 K2

If you have any problems understanding the terms I have used above, leave a comment and I will happily explain further.

Here is the link to the finished item.

Fingerless lacy gloves for the girls

One of my girls was shopping with her friend and saw a pair of fingerless gloves they both wanted. So instead of  buying them, they decided I would knit them.

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Once I had knitted a pair each, my other girl decided she wanted some too. So here we are. Three pair of fingerless lacy gloves using a free pattern from Ravelry. Lucky I had enough in my worsted weight stash without having to go out and buy wool.

Pattern website – SweaterBabe.com
Pattern – Lush Lacy Mitts (Free pattern)
Yarn – Naturally Aran Tweed and Patons Jet
Link to Ravelry here and here

Little Vintage Sunday Coat

I was in my local yarn store a few months ago and the lady was knitting a gorgeous little baby’s coat as a shop sample. The pattern book she was using was King Cole baby book 5. I looked through the book and decided I had to buy it even though the sizes only go up to 12 – 18 months and my grandbabys were already 11 and 13 months old. I took the book home and then promptly forgot about it.

A few weeks ago, I was looking through my knitting books for something to make a baby due in December and I came across this book! Oh dear. My babies have almost grown out of it before I had a chance to make anything from it. So a quick dash to my daughters with the book in hand and an hour or so later I came away with three patterns carefully selected for me to knit over the next few months.

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And of course, the first one was the little Vintage Sunday Coat that the lady was making as a shop sample on that fateful day. As soon as I got home I dived into my double knit stash and was lucky enough to find three different colours of Sublime Cashmere Merino and Silk yarn that I had bought a few months ago on sale.

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And yes, I know there will come a time when this dainty wee girl will not be wearing a baby coat made of luxury yarn at the local playground. But oh well. She is still learning to walk so it was her knees and hands that got covered in sand, not the coat.

Pattern book – King Cole baby book 5
Pattern – Little Vintage Sunday Coat
Yarn – Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK
Link to Ravelry here

Cable Toddler Vest

I so badly wanted to knit this cute little cabled vest.

So when my grand baby boy was 12 months old I asked his mum if she would like me to knit him a vest. She said no, she didn’t think so. So I pulled the pattern up on my iPad and showed her what I meant….and she still said no.  How disappointed I was. I had some yarn in my stash just waiting to be cast on for this little cable toddler vest.

So a wee while later, I decided I would make this for my daughter’s friend’s little boy who was turning 3 this winter. And then I checked the washing instructions on the label of the yarn I had ready and waiting patiently in my stash and realised it was hand wash only. The 3 year old was about to have a newborn baby brother in the house so I am thinking his mum would probably not appreciate a hand wash vest for an active 3 year old.

So the vest pattern and the yarn waited.

And then I made a little green fair aisle cardigan for my grand baby boy. When his dad saw the cardigan he said it would be better without the sleeves so it would be more like a vest. Aha, so dad would be happy for his son to wear a vest. So out came the pattern once more and a further discussion was had. This vest was then promptly cast on the needles. Four days later, here we are.

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Pattern website – yarnspirations.com
Pattern – Keene Toddler Vest (free pattern)
Yarn – Naturally Aran Tweed and Naturally Loyal 10ply
Link to Ravelry here

Organic cotton 4ply ribbed singlet for a newborn baby boy

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A little baby born in the middle of summer in Darwin. So a little light cotton 4ply vest was the choice of knits for this baby boy. He could wear this little vest with just his nappy and he should look cool and very cute.

This was knitted with organic hand wash cotton. Not something I would normally knit with for a new mum as there is enough to do with a new baby in the house without having to hand wash clothes. But I know that this mum uses a lot of organic cotton for her children so I am fairly sure I am not doing her a disservice.

When my children were babies, all wool (and cotton) was hand wash only and the washing machines definitely did not have hand wash or wool wash cycles. But I think with today’s washing machine technology, it is safe to wash these items on the appropriate cycle and not damage them. But of course I still hand wash all my knitted garments by hand. Probably doing myself a disservice!

I have knitted this singlet pattern before and I think it will be the last time. The instructions for sewing up the neckline are a bit vague and I always end up with a bumpy neckline where it joins the armhole. I spoke to the lovely lady in my LYS who had knitted this same singlet as a shop sample and she said the same thing. Her shop sample, like mine had a bumpy neckline instead of a nice neat flat one.

Pattern Leaflet – Ashford Ribbed Singlet Mackenzie 4ply
Pattern – Ribbed singlet
Yarn – Heirloom 4ply organic cotton
Link to Ravelry here