Toddler Vest

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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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

Worsted weight toddler vest and a free pattern

I found this gorgeous post last week while I was on the way to work. The post was so beautifully photographed that I had to follow the link to the pattern because I wanted one just like that for my little girl. The pattern is called Neighborly and is provided free on Ravelry by Jennifer Casa. Aren’t some people amazing to let us have their patterns for free! This one is knitted top down and in the round with no seaming. The little neckband is knitted first in one long thin strip and then the stitches for the body are picked up along the edge of the neckband. The neckband is meant to be blocked flat before picking up the stitches but I decided that I liked the rolled look, so chose not to block it at all. DSC_0011 I had some gorgeous home spun yarn in my stash that I really wanted to use. I have had it for a while and it was only 1 skein of 130 grams so not enough to do anything with on its own, since I don’t generally knit hats or scarves. The homespun yarn would be perfect for the stripes and I had planned to use a purple marled worsted wool as the main colour. So that evening I did a sample knit with both the purple Misti Alpaca and the homespun yarn.  Unfortunately, they both ended up as different gauges and I was unsure whether I could use both these yarns together or not. The next day I spoke to my favourite local yarn store and we decided that it would be ok as long as I didn’t do too many rows in the homespun stripe at one time. I think it turned out beautifully. The pattern is written in one size (3-5 years) and uses yarn that has an 18 stitch gauge. My little girl is only 2 so I used a yarn that has a 20 stitch gauge and the size turned out just right. Perfect as we move into our winter down here in the Southern hemisphere . The mornings are starting to get cool but the days can still be very hot so what could be better than a cute little purple striped vest for daycare. IMG_0888

UPDATED May 2105 – Another nieghborly vest for our little girl.

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Pattern available as a Ravelry download –(free pattern)
Pattern – Neighborly
Yarn – Tonos Worsted Misti Alpaca and homespun
Link to Ravelry project 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