Classic Short Sleeve Debbie Bliss Cardigan for our Toddler


I fell in love with the look of this gorgeous light grey marled wool and just had to buy it. I bought my usual 5 skeins and tucked them into my stash box with the rest of my glorious yarn waiting to be chosen. (This one went into the 4ply stash box.) Unfortunately I am getting to the stage where I am cramming the wool into the box and having to put the lid on quickly and firmly to avoid the glorious stash from spilling out all over the floor.

But it wasn’t long before I had finished what I was currently knitting and delved back into  the stash box to select the lucky yarn for my next project. I couldn’t go past the squishy softness of this wool and the gorgeous light pink and blue tones in amongst the grey.


It was Spring here in New Zealand so to make a long sleeve sweater or cardigan wouldn’t have been much use over the warm summer months and I didn’t want to knit for following winter as that seemed so far away.

So I decided I would make a short sleeve classic cardigan. I had a couple of patterns that would work but no patterns with a short sleeve. I decided to go with the Debbie Bliss Classic cardigan pattern that I had in my Baby Cashmerino pattern book. I went to the LYS (since closed, sadly) for guidance on how to alter the pattern to make a short sleeve. (The guidance is on my Ravelry page – link below).


I love the way the classic cardigan turned out.

Pattern Book – Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Pattern –Classic cardigan by Debbie Bliss
Yarn – Jack and Jill 4ply by Wooly
Link to Ravelry project here

The long suffering Scrappy Cowl


One day I found a free pattern for a gorgeous cowl. I don’t wear cowls or hats or scarves, but I kept the pattern anyway, as it was so pretty and you never know when you might need it.

Each year as I search through my patterns for something new to knit for my grandchildren, I come across this pretty pattern. And then I move on.

During the recent summer, I stumbled upon it again and decided I would ask my daughter if she would like me to knit her a cowl for the winter. She of course said yes. What a perfect time to start a project like this as my summer knitting was finished and the winter knitting for the grandchildren hadn’t yet started.

So I got out my odds and sods of worsted weight wool and spread them all over the lounge floor to look for colours that would go together. I had some gorgeous homespun wool that I had bought from a market a few years ago but had no any idea what I would make with it. So I decided to use this as my garter stitch edges and select the rest of the colours around that.

So using the free pattern as a guide, I cast on the humungous about of beautiful yellow coloured stitches, trying to think about wool thickness, pattern gauge, needle size (I didn’t want to buy new ones so what size long circulars do I already have) and how long do I want the cowl to be.

Then away I went. But after a few rows into the cowl, I was asked if I would make some warm clothes for my grandson in the north of England as it was their winter and here I was basking in the New Zealand summer sun, forgetting about the knitting for my baby on the other side of the world. So I stopped and made him some jerseys, a hat and some long pants.

Then back to  my cowl. Oh dear, once I looked at it with fresh eyes, I wasn’t so happy with the colours. So I pulled it undone back to the garter stitch. I put it aside until I had time to get to the shop to buy some new wool.

Then a few weeks later, with new wool in hand, I started again. But then another request came in from one of the mums to knit something for one of the other grandchildren, so I put the cowl aside again.

Then I managed to pick up the cowl once more and this time I finished it.

But the homespun wool I had used for the garter stitch edgings was much thicker than the rest of the cowl and it stuck out at a funny angle and curled up. So I pulled the garter stitch undone and redid it in smaller needles. Much better. A least it looks as though it would lie flat once it was blocked.

Now I had an issue with the initial cast on edge and the garter stitch at the beginning. It was way too thick and I doubt it would ever block flat. I tried to undo the cast on edge but found out of course, that you can’t undo a cast on edge like you can a cast off edge. The only thing to do would be to go see my wonderful lady in our local yarn store who is very knowledgeable on all things knitting. So I put it aside until I had time to go and see her.

But then I found out that the local yarn store had closed. Oh No! I have one more idea. I know this lady sells her hand knits at a local market that is only on once a month. So I waited.

On the first Sunday of last month, I gathered up my long suffering cowl and drove to the market, which I had never been to but managed to find.

And there she was. My cowl life saver. She showed me how to cut off the garter stitch rows with scissors. Yes, cut it with scissors! And put the remaining stitches back onto my needles.

So my cowl sat and waited in the knitting bag while I plucked up the courage to take to my knitting with scissors.

Scarily I did as I was instructed. It wasn’t easy but I did it. I decided not to use my gorgeous home spun yellow wool on this edge again. I picked up the stitches, knitted the 5 rows garter stitch and cast off.


All blocked and presented to my daughter who had almost forgotten I had ever offered to make her a cowl. So halfway through this winter, she now has a nice, cosy warm cowl to keep her neck warm on the cold days.
Pattern – Scrappy cowl – (free pattern)
Yarn – Worsted weight
Link to Ravelry project here


What to wear with a princess dress

Version 2

There is nothing that says toddler cuteness like a princess dress. They can be worn anywhere. To pre school, to birthday parties, helping mummy with the shopping at the supermarket and even to the local garden centre.

But when the day is a bit cooler and the toddler just HAS to wear the princess dress, a little bolero cardy is just what is needed.

This little bolero is made from soft double knit bamboo yarn and is a perfect weight to go over the princess dress. The colour might go slightly better with the green princess dress that she chose not to wear today, as the vibrancy of the pink princess dress tends to make the bolero a bit washed out, but toddler doesn’t mind and neither do we.

Pattern Book – Rowan Studio 30
Pattern –Liesl
Yarn – Sirdar bamboo
Link to Ravelry project here

Cable toddler hat

hat 2.05.15 pm

This is my very first day at Daycare. My mummy has to go back to work after being on maternity leave looking after me. I am 12 months old.

She is very sad to be going back to work and leaving me with strangers. I am sad too but a little bit excited at the same time. My mummy has been taking me to visit the Daycare and it is fun with lots of people to take care of me and lots of kids to play with.

It is cold today and my mummy has dressed me in my England rugby jacket and my nice warm hat that my Nana knitted for me. It has lots of nice cables and a pom pom on the top but my mummy didn’t get the pom pom in the photo. I think she was too sad.

Pattern book – Patons 1315 Natural Baby
Pattern – Cabled hat
Yarn – Filatura Di Crosa Zarina Chine
Link to Ravelry project here


Little Heart Sweater and matching hat


My grand babies are growing bigger and bigger. They have both had their third birthdays and knitting for them has changed a lot since they were babies.

No longer can I make little tiny cardigans or cute little onesies or even bootees or pants. No, now I knit warm and practical knits to wear to Pre School.

Unfortunately most of the many pattern books I have are baby knit books and go up to size 18 months, which of course is far too small for these two busy toddlers. But I do have some  pattern books that range in size from birth to seven years. These King Cole books are amazing as you can use them for such a long time and the patterns are really cute.

Although my daughter asked for two cardigans and a hat with ear flaps, I couldn’t resist this little heart sweater and matching beanie in the King Cole Baby Book Number 6. The hat doesn’t have ear flaps but it still keeps her little ears warm. The sweater has a perfect sized neck and goes over her head nicely without pulling little ears and hair each time it is tugged off and on.


And the cardigans? I have finished one and the other one is underway.


Pattern book – King Cole Baby Book 6
Pattern – Little Heat Jersey and Little Petal Hat
Yarn – Filatura Di Crosa Zara
Link to Ravelry project here and here for the hat



Little Orange Dress

In December 2014 when I was just 18 months old, my Nanny made me a dress out of soft and squishy Sublime Soya cotton yarn. The pattern sizing wasn’t very specific but she made me a size 12 – 24 months and since I was exactly in between those sizes, this little dress should have fitted me perfectly. But it didn’t. She had got a bit carried away with the length so it was too long and it almost feel off my shoulders. Never mind, my Mummy put it away in my wardrobe until I grew a bit more.


And then I grew and grew. My Mummy remembered this dress and got it out of my wardrobe and let me try it on. I am two and a half years old now and it fits! Yay! And it has pockets. Look, I can put my hands in my pockets and pull my dress up! My Mummy told me not to do this as it might stretch my dress. But my Nanny said I can do it.


And then my Mummy got out the giant bubble maker for me to play with. I think she did this to stop me stretching my dress.

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Oh no. My Mummy can make giant bubbles for me using these sticks and the big string but it is a bit too hard for me.

Pattern Pamphlet – King Cole 3559
Pattern – Dress
Yarn – Sublime Yarns Soya Cotton DK
Link to Ravelry project here

How I made a baby’s knitting pattern bigger and bigger

One day there was a knitting pattern.

A knitting pattern I totally disregarded. The pattern was poorly photographed and the baby in the advertisement was (to be polite) definitely not photogenic.

But one day I searched through my patterns for something to knit with some 3ply yarn I  had bought by mistake and unfortunately I didn’t have many patterns to choose from. So reluctantly, this pattern came out of the “cast aside” pile and a few weeks later, my 6 month old baby grandaughter was wearing this little tunic.


I had been so wrong about this pattern. It was very cute and my daughter’s friend saw it and asked it I would knit one for her baby too.

What this does show is how important photos in pattern books are. If they are unappealing we are not likely to want to spend our precious knitting time making them.

So when my daughter’s baby was 19 months, she asked me to make another of these little summer tunics since her baby had worn the other one so much. But there was a problem. This pattern only goes up to size 12 – 18 months and I wanted it to fit her through the summer when she would be 2.

DSC_0139So I knitted the 12 to 18 months size again, but this time in 4ply cotton instead of 3ply wool. A perfect fit but maybe I could have added even more to the length.

This summer, I was asked yet again to make another one of these tunics! Our baby girl is now 2 ½ years old. This pattern would almost need to be made double the size of the largest size available in the book. P1000196 - Version 2So I tried it, again knitting the largest size but this time using double knit baby bamboo yarn. This little summer tunic pattern, that I had totally disregarded, is once again a winner. A favourite tunic to wear to daycare this summer. (Seen above covered in blue paint from a very busy day at “pwe-kool”.

Pattern book – Filatura Di Crosa
Pattern – Overdress #7
Yarn – Filatura Di Crosa Monbebe and Dolce Amore and Sublime baby silk and bamboo
Link to Ravelry project here and here and here

Little Star


This is my little grandson who I have never seen. He lives on the other side of the world and I have a fear of flying! I know there is Skype and Facebook and all kinds of social media where I can follow his life but it isn’t the same as picking up this little smiley, cute bubba and giving him a cuddle.

His name is Sebastian and the least I can do is knit him a sweater to keep him warm. So here he is modelling his little star sweater that Nana made for him.

I asked his mum to measure his chest so I could get the right fit. And although he is only 1, I had to go to a size 2 in this jumper to get the right size. But silly Nana forgot to make the sleeves the length of the 1 year old size. Never mind, at least they can be rolled up and maybe the sweater might fit him next year too.

Thank you to mummy for sending me this gorgeous photo.

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Pattern book – Peter Pan 355 Merino Baby
Pattern – Little Star Sweater
Yarn – Naturally Merino Silk
Link to Ravelry project here

Knitting for your toddler

When baby  becomes a toddler, your knitting changes.

Your baby grows up and your knitting needs to follow suit. It was easy when they were babies. They didn’t protest at wearing hand knits. They didn’t protest at wearing a particular colour. They didn’t ruin your hand knits made from luxurious baby alpaca whilst playing. They didn’t run away whilst trying to get the new knit on their squirming bodies.

Toddlers don’t need your hand knits the same as your baby did. There is a huge variety of clothes readily available for your toddler. Clothes made for toddlers are colourful. Clothes made for toddlers are cute. Clothes made for toddlers are reasonably priced, particularly if you buy from the numerous sales.  Clothes made for toddlers are rugged.

But I don’t care about all that. I love knitting for my toddler but I just have to choose the pattern and the yarn a little more wisely. And to make it even more difficult, it is summer here in New Zealand so what can I choose to knit for my toddler that she can wear now.

So a few nights ago I got out my cotton stash (yes, it is all separated from my wool stash) and tipped it all out on the lounge floor (much to my husband’s horror). Then I lugged all of my patterns out into the lounge and started to explore the possibilities.


And I came up with this. I had lots of partial balls of beautifully coloured cotton from making this little cotton cardigan when our toddler was a baby.

I was lucky enough to get this Bergere de France summer baby and toddler knitting magazine from Trade Me (New Zealand’s eBay equivalent) and it has some gorgeous patterns that are all just a bit different to what you  would find in normal knitting pattern books.

The day after finishing this little cotton summer top, I was lucky enough to baby sit our toddler while Mummy and Daddy went to the movies. She had been wearing a long sleeved “Frozen” princess dress and the day was getting quite hot so I suggested she take off the dress and put on the cotton top.

“Nooooo” she cried in her defiant toddler voice. “But this is a new top that Nanny made for you” replied Nanny. “Ok” said toddler. (She loves wearing things Nanny made for her).  “Phew” thought Nanny and toddler left it on for the rest of the day and was much cooler.


Pattern book – Bergere de France magazine Tricot no. 162
Pattern – Striped Tank Top
Yarn – Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK / Crucci Cotton / Sirdar Calico / Freedom Sincere cotton / Filatura Di Crosa Millefili Fine
Link to Ravelry project here

Simply blue booties by Val Pierce


I must remember next time that Val Pierce’s bootees are “huge”. If I knit bootees, it is usually for a newborn and these are definitely not a newborn size. Her patterns are one size only so next time I will use a finer wool to see if that helps.

When Sebastian was first born, I made baby him a tiny pair of Hooties bootees and these rather large blue ones from my Val Pierce bootee book. I can only hope that Sebastian got some wear out of them before the cold days turned into summer. But then again, I am not sure if they are a very good pattern as they don’t have anything to hold them onto baby’s feet. I think next time I make bootees I won’t let my girls have such a wide selection of patterns to choose from. I think I will select only bootees patterns that look like they will stay on. 

Pattern book – Twenty to Make :Knitted Baby Bootees by Val Pierce
Pattern – Simply Blue Bootees
Yarn – Patons Dreamtime 4ply
Link to Ravelry project here

Watching the chickens with my Nanny


Yokes.  Yokes is Kate Davies amazing book. It contains eleven of Kate’s designs inspired from many parts of the world including Iceland and Scotland, two of my favourite countries. I first came across Kate Davies when I started following her blog.  What an amazing woman. Check out her blog and her gorgeous designs on Ravelry if you haven’t already done so.

I don’t really like knitting for myself. I prefer the instant gratification and the cuteness of babies and toddler knits. But I fell in love with Yokes and decided I just had to make something for myself from this amazing book.

It was hard to choose which of the beautiful patterns to make but I had narrowed down my choice by wanting to use some 4ply cashmere I had in my stash. I narrowed down the choice further still by wanting to make a sweater and not a cardigan. So I chose Bluebells.

But my sweater is not called bluebells. My sweater is called Tulips. It is called Tulips because the flowers are not blue so I couldn’t call them bluebells.


I love this sweater. I love wearing it. It is warm and even fits me well.

The first picture is of Mia and Nanny (that’s me) watching the chickens. She is afraid of the rooster (Alister) and won’t go outside when he is near. But she has come a long way. A month or so ago  she would ask me to pull down the blinds when she saw the rooster, so that she could pretend he wasn’t there or she would take me into another room far away from the sight (and crowing) of the rooster.

So to be sitting with Nanny with the doors open and the rooster just outside, is a big step for our little girl.

Pattern book – Yokes by Kate Davies
Pattern – Bluebells
Yarn – Filatura Di Crosa Hyrcus and Zeleana Performa Kiwi Fingering
Link to Ravelry project here

A toddler cardigan using bulky yarn and a free pattern

A very long time ago, I bought some bulky weight cotton on sale and then for many months, wondered if I would ever use it. Then one day I decided our little toddler needed a long sleeve light cardigan for Autumn when it can be warm and cold all on the same day.

So I went to my stash and had a dig around. No, wool in double knit or chunkier would be too hot. Wool in a light 4ply could be good but let me see what else I have. Then I opened the cotton stash box and I spied the bulky cotton yarn that I had bought on special all those months ago. The bulkiness of the yarn would add that extra warmth that a lighter weight cotton cardigan wouldn’t.


OK, so now I have selected the yarn, what about a pattern? I don’t have any bulky weight toddler patterns. So I did what any smart knitter would do and searched the multitude of free patterns on Ravelry.

This is what I found. The pattern is a free Lion Brand cardigan and is called Fairy Tale Cardy. It is written for their super bulky cotton / acrylic yarn, Baby’s First yarn and was a close match to my stashed yarn. After a quick swatch and needle adjustment, I started the cardigan.

I am so happy with it. I love the colours and I love the pattern. This free pattern was very easy to follow and there were no mistakes. Maybe I should knit with bulky yarn more often. This only took a night or so to make.


Pattern book – Lion Brand Yarn website
Pattern – Fairy Tale Cardi by Lion Brand Yarn – (free pattern)
Yarn – Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton Chunky
Link to Ravelry project here

The aran cardigan that became a coat


I just have to laugh at myself. Why do I think I have to add SO MUCH LENGTH to our little toddler’s cardigan! I did it here too with her little pink cardigan too. But she has had so much wear out of that little pink cardigan and she certainly hasn’t grown out of it.

Maybe I became paranoid about the length of cardigans after knitting the Debbie Bliss Teddy Bear Jacket. That was knitted for her as a one year old and was always a little bit short and with the panels it was more difficult to add length willy nilly as I seem to do now. However, if you go to the Teddy Bear post, scroll down to the last photo and you will see how I managed to add length to this jacket to get one more winter out of it.

So what have I created with this very long aran rusty red cardigan? I guess you can say I have created a coat.


But that’s ok. A coat is good. Our toddler is an average sized 2 year old and this pattern was for 24 to 36 months so it was always going to potentially be  a little big and so it definitely did not need to have extra length. No wonder I ran out of yarn half way up the second sleeve! And the yarn colour was discontinued! I am very lucky that the lady in our LYS had bought two balls of this colour for herself and hadn’t used them and she was more than happy to sell me one. Crisis averted. I would have had to pull the fronts and back undone and stolen some yarn out of all that extra length!


But it is wearable and that’s all that matters and the colour is gorgeous. And she will probably be still wearing it when she is at school.

The pattern was from a book called Aran and Nordic Knits for Kids. It was given to me by a friend I worked with and she knew I love knitting aran and she knew I love knitting for kids. So a perfect book for me. I miss my craft friend I used to work with. In our stressful roles,  we would sometimes seek each other out, have our craft chat, share our latest projects, discuss  button colours and then back to work feeling a little more enthusiastic.

Pattern book – Aran and Nordic Knits for Kids
Pattern – Aneka Cardigan
Yarn – Filatura Di Crosa Zarina
Link to Ravelry here

Who made your elephant hat?



“Mia, who made your elephant hat?”

“My Nanny.”


I had discovered this free hat pattern somewhere long ago and have had it tucked away since then waiting for our baby to become a toddler. Last winter I made her this hat because it had ear flaps and it tied under her chin but this year now that she is two, she has stopped dragging her hat off every few minutes and seems to know she needs to leave it on to keep her little head warm.  Hence, the little elephant beanie for Mia.

I made this little hat in size 24 to 48 months and I was a bit worried that it would be too big but it actually sits snuggly without falling over her eyes and there is plenty of room for her little head to grow another year or two.

The hat pattern can be made with hearts, noughts and crosses, stripes or elephants. I love the little pink elephants.

Pattern available as a Ravelry download –(free pattern)
Pattern – Smilla Hat
Yarn – Cleckheaton Merino Bambino
Link to Ravelry project here