Thursday, 9 June 2011

Baby Baby Baby

I have reached that age when all of my friends seem to be spawning (whereas five years ago they were all getting married - I guess I'm a late bloomer) and I have finally decided to try my hand at knitting baby garments. Some four years ago I knit a beautiful baby blanket, which is still sitting in my closet, unblocked and the ends un-woven in, and that was when I realized I wasn't yet ready to knit gifts. Too many of my projects languish unfinished or are judged unsuitable. I did go on to knit a couple of "stroller blankets" for co-workers' spawn out of acrylics as I figured if I don't have to weave in the ends (and could rather melt them discretely) then I wouldn't give up at the end.

But I'm trying to expand my knitting repertoire, to face new challenges, and when you're posting things to friends it's more difficult to have the "this blanket is for supervised use only - don't leave it on your baby, asleep in the other room - as heaven forfend there should be a fire, rather than burning like plant fibres or self-extinguishing like animal fibres, it will melt and when you go to pull it off your baby it will take his or her skin with it" talk. So natural fibres and the need to weave in ends.

I started with baby leg-warmers as I figure two little tubes would be perfect - no heels to turn, no seams to sew up, just a little tube and two ends to weave in. Easy! I started with the simply titled "Baby Legwarmers" and then another pattern from the same lady, "Super Simple Baby Legwarmers" but by the time I finished them the far-away baby I had in mind had grown beyond them. Has anyone else noticed that the majority of babies they know are at least in the 90th percentile of growth for their age?

But more friends announced they were pregnant and I had all this yarn, so I figured I'd start a baby sweater. This would be my second-ever fitted garment and sewing up seams seemed about as appealing as weaving in ends and a lingering fear of blocking, so I picked a very simple, top down, seamless sweater, "Cuddly Wrap Baby Sweater". Not knowing the gender of the expected baby, I made it in teal and it knit up in no time at all so I decided to try my hand at another, a "Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater" again knit from the top down, with the sleeves held on stitch-holders to be knit after completing the body. I learned a technique for slipping the first stitch of a round to make stitch or colour changes knit in a round look less disjointed.

Inspired by my sweater efforts I decided to make a matching hat and wound up using the carried-over stitch pattern from the second sweater with another hat pattern and came up with the "Slipped Stitch Baby Hat". I added the left-over button from the matching sweater as an added detail.

As long as I was going for a set (though the red leggings lack the slip stitch), I knit up a pair of "Fleegles Seamless Saartje Booties" a seamless variation on a popular baby bootie.

I posted all but the teal (super simple) legwarmers to Baby Stephanie, born a week and a half ago.

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