baby knitting

Double knit hoody for a newborn baby. Is it a bit too bulky?

DSC_0094

I was asked to make this little hoody for a newborn baby who was to be born into the cruel and harsh northern England winter. (I guess I can say this considering I am from the northern part of New Zealand where our winters provide us with a few frosts and lots of rain.) I tried to steer the requester away from this pattern to others using a finer 4ply but no such luck. This is the one she wanted her sister’s newborn baby boy to wear. One consolation, it was a lot quicker for me to knit this in DK than to knit a hoody from 4ply wool.

DSC_0095

Not only does this pattern use double knit, it also has a slip stitch which adds to the bulk of the finished garment. I have made this little hoodie before and complained about the bulk in that blog post as well. “Sigh”. Perhaps I should start listening to others and stop getting hung up on preconceived ideas. Some of the nicest things I have knitted have been requests that I would never have chosen myself.

(The blanket this hoody is photographed on was also made for Sebastian.)

Pattern book – Patons Newborn Collection
Pattern – Corey
Yarn – Peter Pan Merino Baby DK
Link to Ravelry here

Advertisements

Debbie Bliss Spanish Dress for our little toddler

DSC_0187

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.

DSC_0257

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.

IMG_4987

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.

IMG_0655

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

DSC_0083

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.

DSC_0093

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 

A Debbie Bliss baby blanket for Sebastian

 

DSC_0081

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.

DSC_0065

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

Puerperium cardigan for a newborn

DSC_0002

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

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.

imagejpeg_2   DSC_0012

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.

photo 2

 

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.

photo 1

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

Organic cotton 4ply ribbed singlet for a newborn baby boy

DSC_0034

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

Elegant white cardigan for baby

DSC_0005

This simple little white cardigan was chosen by my daughter for me to make for her baby. I had no idea why she chose this pattern. I had lots of different patterns for her to choose from? Cables and colour work and lace and hoods and collars and coats. But she chose this.

DSC_0022

But she was right. The simplicity of this little pattern becomes it’s elegance. The little sparkly buttons add to the daintiness of the circular yoke, along with the garter ridges.

This pattern is a free pattern available on Ravelry and comes in 3 to 6 months and 9 to 12 months sizes. I made the 9 to 12 month for our 9 month old baby and it was a wee bit big. But her mum still had her wearing it with the sleeves rolled up. She is now 12 months old and the cardigan fits her perfectly and will do for another few months.

So this elegant little baby cardigan pattern knitted in 4ply has now been made twice. My daughter’s friend saw it and wanted one for her baby too. That is why I love my girls choosing their own patterns.

People who provide patterns for free are so wonderful. Thank you to Gralina Frie for this simple little cardigan for baby.

UPDATED December 2014

She is still wearing the same little cardigan at 17 months.

IMG_4796

Pattern source – Gralinas Ravelry Downloads
Pattern – Cardigan
Yarn – Shepherds baby wool merino 4ply and Lullaby baby merino
Link to Ravelry here and here

A little pink Debbie Bliss tank top

DSC_0013

There are some Debbie Bliss baby patterns that are just so irresistible. For some reason, this is one of them. It is a simple little tank top but the detail is so dainty and oh so cute. The purl stitch on the knit side (and then purl on the reverse side) is such a simple stitch and needs very little concentration.

DSC_0010

There is a dainty little opening at the back to give an easy fit over baby’s rather large head with one little buttonhole and one pink button to hold it together. I just love the way the neck and armhole edges are cast off knit wise on the wrong side to just add another little feature.

IMG_3878

So here is my first baby girl vest. Our baby girl is 12 months old and the biggest size for this pattern is 9-12 months. To make it even harder on myself, I am using 4ply when the pattern is written for 5ply. So I was a bit worried that the vest might be too small. But our little girl is an average size 1 year old and I had read from the wonderful Ravelry people that the pattern knits up quite big, as do many Debbie Bliss patterns.

So I knitted away “with confidence” after doing a tension square and luckily the vest has turned out to be a perfect size for our one year old baby girl.
I love the colour. I love the little pattern detail and I love the back opening.

Pattern book – Debbie Bliss The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits
Pattern – Vest
Yarn – Fabulous Fibres Wooly 4ply Baby Merino
Link to Ravelry here

Fair aisle baby hat with ear flaps and a tassel

IMG_3712

My 12 month old grand baby girl needs a hat with ear flaps to keep her little head and ears warm. How exciting to have an excuse to go pattern shopping. I am sure I could have found a free pattern online somewhere but as I walked into my local yarn store (how lucky for me that the store is just across the road from work), the Sirdar Jack-in-a-box Knits book looked right down at me from up on the top shelf. On the front page of that book is this very cute hat. (I have just seen on Ravelry that this pattern is available as a pamphlet but the book has lots of wonderful patterns and they all go up to 7 years so I will definitely use it again.)

I was very tempted to buy wool along with the pattern but that would have been silly. I have lots and lots of wool in my stash, especially double knit. So that night I had lots of fun sorting through my stash to find just the right colours after spreading most of it across the lounge floor. My daughter asked me to please make the colours feminine as everyone keeps mistaking her baby for a boy because she hasn’t quite managed to grow any hair yet.

So I instantly decided on the raspberry pink for the main colour. This is a gorgeous Rowan baby merino and silk yarn that I had left over after knitting a little Rowan cardigan for a family member who lives in the UK. That is definitely a feminine colour. I also decided quickly on the left over purple alpaca from a little double breasted jacket I had made. But I wasn’t so sure about the third colour. I was going away that weekend so I packed up all the possible third colour combinations and knitted up some samples. Then off the pictures went via text to my daughter to choose.

This is her choice with the grey as the third colour.

IMG_3707

How could you mistake that little face for a boy!

The pattern was easy to follow and had no mistakes. The only problem I had was when I cast on the hat. You knit the ear flaps first and then leave them on stitch holders. Then you start casting on the main hat, joining the ear flaps in as  you go. The cast on between the ear flaps uses the finger method and I am not very good at that. My cast on stitches are not very neat as you can see at the front of the hat. I tried to tidy it later by doing a single crochet over the knitted cast on stitches. It helped a bit but the cast on is still crooked but bubba doesn’t mind.

The first for me in making this hat was the  tassel. Great instructions in the book and very easy. Although I made a nice thick one and then decided it was too think so pulled half of it out. Then my friend at work made the same hat and she had a big luxurious thick tassel which gave me tassel envy.

The pattern also has tassels at the bottom of the ear flaps but I made twisted cords (well the lady in the LYS did) as our little girl decides she doesn’t want a hat on her head and off it comes. This one she won’t be able to pull off.

UPDATED September 2106
Another hat from the same pattern, this time for our baby at 3 years old.

img_20160731_120610

Pattern book – Jack-in-a-box Knits
Pattern – Design 1958 helmet
Yarn – Indiecita baby alpaca DK, Rowan baby merino silk Dk and Naturally Loyal 8ply
Link to Ravelry here and here

Rowan fox cardigan for a 1 year old baby boy

I have this wonderful Rowan pattern book, Rowan Studio 30. It has some gorgeous patterns and each one has instructions for birth to 5 years. This is so much more useful than most books that I have which are from birth to 18 months. I have made a couple of patterns already from this Rowan kids book. I have made a cute little cable cardigan called Kurt and a gorgeous short sleeve cardigan with lace panels called Rapunzel. The patterns are well written and extremely easy to follow.

DSC_0067

One of the patterns I have been admiring in this book is Friedrich but there are so many very cute patterns that it is hard to choose which one to knit. So when it was time to make my 12 month old grandbaby boy a nice warm cardigan for winter, I asked his mum which pattern she would like and she chose Friedrich. I was very excited that she chose this pattern and went straight to my stash and discovered I had most of the wool. The only colour I had to go out and buy was orange to knit the foxes. (Don’t you just love having a stash that you can dig into at any time.)

DSC_0048

So here is Friedrich all finished. I did some planning before I started this cardigan. I went onto Ravelry and looked really closely at the foxes of the cardigans others had made. The pattern said to use fair aisle method for the foxes by carrying the wool across but I don’t seem to have a lot of luck with that method and end up puckering whatever it  is that I am trying to make. So I knitted up a couple of samples to see if I could get the foxes to sit nicely. They didn’t.

So I looked again at Ravelry and found a cardigan with foxes that sat perfectly flat. I messaged the person who had made the cardigan and asked how she made her foxes. I asked if she used the fair aisle method or did she use Intarsia? But surprise surprise, she did neither. She made the cardigan and then duplicate stitched the foxes on after. Panic set in. I had never done duplicate stitch before but her foxes were so good and my previous samples had been so disappointing, that I needed to be brave and try something new.

So off my needles came another sample, this time with no fox on it but just a blank white canvas where the fox needed to go. Out came the iPad and a few searches later for duplicate stitch “how to”, I had  my first sample completed with a nice flat fox. Thank you to Ravelry’s Knitacat for your help and thank you Rowan for this amazing kid’s pattern book.

Pattern book – Rowan Studio issue thirty
Pattern – Friedrich
Yarn – Cleckheaton Merino Angora Silk 8ply
Link to Ravelry here

 

Little lacy overdress for Lucy

DSC_0020

During the summer, I made a little overdress (or tunic) for our baby girl from wool I bought without realising it was 3ply.  I was not very excited about the  project as I don’t really like knitting with 3ply and I wasn’t very keen on the pattern. But since I had let my daughter choose the  pattern for her baby it didn’t feel right to try to talk her out of it.

I am so glad I didn’t talk her out if it. She loved the little overdress and so did one of her friends. Her friend loved it so much that she asked if I would make one for her baby. How can you say no to that?

DSC_0024

She chose a light grey. So I made another little overdress for another cute little baby girl. I hope she loves wearing it.

I made this one in 4ply instead of 3ply because I was worried that the largest size in the pattern would be a bit small. Once knitted and sewn together, this little overdress is given a crochet edge for a neat finish. I did have a few problems with the yarn while knitting this but after a replacement ball of wool, I managed to get this finished.

Pattern book – Filatura Di Crosa
Pattern – Overdress #7
Yarn – Patons Dreamtime 4ply
Link to Ravelry project here

Another striped baby onesie but this time for a baby boy

DSC_0016

This is the third little striped onesie that I have made from this pattern. The first one I made was pink and grey and when my daughter’s baby grew out of it, she asked me to make her a slightly longer one in raspberry and orange colours.

This little blue and white onesie (or playsuit) was made for a friend’s second baby and I just managed to get them finished the night before the baby shower.  The baby is due to be born in the middle of our New Zealand winter so these should keep him warm.

UPDATED August 2014 to show little Luke in his striped onesie

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATED March 2015 with an other striped onesie for a baby boy

DSC_0009

Pattern book – Peter Pan Mini Knits Book two 326
Pattern – Playsuit in 4ply design two
Yarn – Shepherd Baby Wool Merino 4ply and Patons Dreamtime 4ply
Link to Ravelry project here and here