Small parade

There are still a whole lot of little baby things I have not written about, and at this rate, I’ll not get to the end of them. So I’m going to swosh in and do several this time, by showing off some sets I’ve made up of many pieces. First, some kimonos and hats in newborn size:

kimonos and hats

I was not sure what to do about knitting for a newborn. They are a bit tricky sizewise. You don’t know if they’ll come out on the tiny side of size zero or already be chubby little cherubs that fill out a 3 month size at birth. Either way, they will grow so fast that the tiniest clothes will get little wear. However, in this climate, it is absolutely necessary to have some warm wool ready to wrap the little baby bundle in regardless of his or her size. So I decided to go for something simple and quick to knit that I won’t get too disappointed if it only gets two weeks of use. Also, i picked yarn that is easy care – because it could happen that it will need several rounds in the washing machine if the baby is tiny and I have no other woolen options in the right size. I made three of these  baby kimonos, from a free pattern by Elizabeth Jarvis. The yarn I used is from Garnstudio, their DROPS Merino Extra Fine.

At that point I didn’t know for sure if I was knitting for a boy or girl, but I did fall into the trap of pink since the ultrasound tech was leaning that way. This also gave me a little dilemma when making hats to go with the kimonos. I started out doing the plain pink and green ones from the Little Heaume pattern by Solenn Couix-Loarer, but getting to the grey, I wanted to make something different. I used the Wee Leafy Baby Set hat pattern as basis. It’s a free download by Pamela Wynne. It has leaves on it and can be very unisex. The first hat came out a bit smaller than intended, so I made two and decided to decorate one of them girly and leave the other plain. Having made the leaves I found this free knit rose pattern by Eileen Vito. It is simple and easily modifiable for size. I think it is great, and after several failed crochet roses, I will definitely recommend this to any knitter looking for a wee rose detail.

romper03

The next set I put together is in the 3 month size. It is the gift wrap romper and gift wrap bonnet by Carina Spencer. My sister pointed out it looks very 70s, and I am sure that if a 3 month old were to go disco dancing, this would be an appropriate outfit. It was a quick and easy knit, although I did have to rip back a bit and do trickery to minimize the pooling. The finishing took a long, long time. There are a million buttons and it took me a day to get them on.

The yarn I used is an aran weight sock yarn called Järbo Raggi. It’s not super-soft, but definitely acceptable and machine washable. I still had a ton of yarn left over in both the variegated and the blue. (I still have quite a bit, so it will pop up in at least one more project someday.)  I decided there are really only two more options, either something for the feet or something for the hands. Since it’s sock-yarn I decided to go with feet.

chausses 02

The pattern is Little Chausses, and came bundled with the Little Heaume hat pattern I knit for the kimonos above . The original pattern is garter stitch, but I modified it to stockinette to go with the style of the romper and hat and I think it turned out quite well. I think this pattern – in original garter – might easily turn into a favorite for easy baby gifts. (The price for the two patterns was 3 euros, so it is a very affordable set.)

Is it Christmas yet?

Another little bit of Christmas knitting is ready to wrap up, not sure if I’m planning to do any more this year – or expecting to get any more done with a baby in the house.

ondulation 02

The Ondulation is done blocking. The edges are still showing signs of where the blocking pins went, but I don’t think it matters very much, because it looks a bit like ruffles. Fortunately it stretched out quite big and will be a useful size for the recipient.

ondulation 04

Small feet

Baby footwear is dangerous and should come with a warning that they have a funny effect on the brain. (Even the unsentimental YarnHarlot says so.) They are just so unbelievably wee and cute, and you can do all sorts of weird stuff because they aren’t actually going to walk in it, just wiggle about. In this group of ‘weird and awesome’ are the dragonbooties and jester booties that I’ve already written about. But here is one I have not had a chance to show off yet, my Elflings:

elfling booties

I made this with leftover Pagewood Farm Denali yarn, and the pattern is by Lorna Pearman. (And yes, she’s also selling a grown-up version.) It calls for fingering weight, so because I used light fingering, I knit the larger size. They turned out probably something close to 1-year-old in size, so they will have to wait a while. (And I’m tempted to make some smaller ones for more immediate use.)

Not every pattern is quite as quirky or geeky, but that doesn’t mean they are less cute. Before I knit a single one of the more special ones, I spent a weekend knitting these three pairs of stay-on-booties. They are designed with ribbing and ribbon in order to stay on even the wriggliest feet.

booties04

It’s a very easy-to-memorize pattern. It also comes with a lovely backstory, which appeals to my sentimental side and the whole ‘continuity’ thing.

I feared for a moment that I’d end up knitting just booties and more booties and that sometime later in life I’d have to answer the question about why there were hundreds of different pairs in a box and whether the baby ever wore the same pair twice. Fortunately, I didn’t go that crazy, but I feel like there might be a few more pairs waiting to happen.

Small achievement

To crawl around on the floor while 9 months pregnant is not particularly  comfortable or easy. However, I want this Christmas present blocked, dried, wrapped and placed in what will be the pile of Christmas gifts. So the edges could have been done neater, but there’s no way I’m crawling around on the floor again in the near future. Should it dry weirdly it might need a reblocking, but for now, I’m just pleased that it is done.

ondulation 01

 

A little bit more embroidery

After all the effort made with the owl hat and sleep sack and a result I was pretty happy with, I felt confident that since  there once again were some owls in the pattern, I could show those off too. Well, apparently it’s not that easy.

owlings 01

The owlings pattern had tiny owls and the yarn is, for the lack of a better word, odd. It’s a microfiber yarn from Knit One Crochet Too. I’ve never used it before, and I probably will never use it for any accessory or garment again. I can imagine it would work excellent for dishtowels or similar items that will get a rough treatment. (I’ve got some yarn left over, and I believe it will become washcloths.) It is both washing machine and dryer safe, which is practical. But I’m not sure how well it will hold the shape or look pretty with wear. It seems like it might get baggy and pilly.

owlings 02

The photos aren’t the best. Neither daylight nor flash wanted to give  complete justice to colours or embroidery. I made this for someone who bought the yarn and then gave up making her own fingerless mitts. I would not have chosen this yarn myself. It should therefor be no surprise that I’m not entirely happy with the result, and I do feel like I ought to make her a second pair in a better suited yarn  sometime. But it’s done. One project finished and a bit less chaos in my knitting basket.

Small break for bigger things…

It struck me that while I’ve been knitting small things for the little human’s arrival, the season for Christmas knitting has been creeping up on me. There are still a few baby items on my list that I need to get out of my system, but they are not newborn sized so they can wait. Christmas on the other hand never waits for the knitting to be done.

big things

So the last week or so, I’ve been dedicating my knitting time to a couple of Christmas gifts and also starting up a project for myself. It’s been months since I knit anything for myself. The rainbow on the bottom is Ondulation by Becky Herrick. The knitting is done, but it is badly in need of some hard blocking. The fingerless mittens are Owlings by Kerrie James. The knitting part of those is also done, but they need embroidery, beads or some other fancying up. Finally I’ve started up a herringbone cowl for myself. (Free pattern from Purl Soho.) New technique for me and a bit slow-moving. The join between each round is not pretty. Hopefully, I’ll work it out before finishing, so I’ll know how to do it if I make one for somebody else. So that’s all the things currently being worked on. Trying to make a list of all the things that need knitting before Christmas.

Small things made from handspun…

I had to make something special for baby in some of my handspun. I started out making the Pebble West from Nikol Lohr’s blog The Thrify Knitter. I used some of my navajo-plied yarn in an (almost) rainbow colourway from Woolgaterings. Very happy with the result and how it only took a little bit of cheating to make the shoudlers match up on both sides.

pebble vest 2

Except when knitting scarves or shawls that are made especially for knitting ‘until you run out of yarn’, there seems to always be an unhandy amount left over. It’s hard to know what to do with those small balls of handspun that don’t match anything else, and it really sucks to give up on them when so much effort has gone into spinning them in the first place. I had about half of the yarn left after the vest, and found a cute little pattern for dino booties, a free pattern from Anna Meier.

dragonbooties 01

I dont’ think it was a perfect match of pattern and yarn, but as long as the baby isn’t walking and it’s just for show, it should work out fine. The pattern is nice though, so I might make another pair with some more even,  not-handspun yarn.

dragonbooties 03

I would also make a modification.. and that is to go up a needle size when working the little edging around the foot. I think the saw-tooth shape would benefit from being less stretched than this one.

Diving into the handspun stash, I also found a few tiny balls of handspun that really are more samples or an ounce of this or that. They seem to accumulate and until now, there’s not really been anything useful to do with them. Luckily, baby items are so wee. I pulled out a tiny 60-ish yard skein of merino. (It’s the one where the roving was hand-dyed with Easter egg dyes from a swap.)

baby mittens

An itty bitty set of  cabled mittens from a pattern by Aoifa Anctil. The pattern is called ‘Baby Bella Mittens‘ and resemble a mini version of the ‘Bella’s mittens‘ pattern I used last year. I added a couple of repeats on the cable and a bit of ribbing once I had finished both ‘hands’. I got as much use out of the yarn as I could and am happy with the result. They look very narrow, but are super-stretchy both in length and width. I think they might just work and stay on a wriggly little baby this way.

I do have a few more tiny balls and leftovers, so I’m planning to hunt down some more baby sized patterns that will look good in handspun. They’re not exactly easy care garments though, but very cute regardless.