As Sweet As Honey Baby Blanket

© Knitcircus

When I was expecting my baby, I decided to knit a blanket for that soon-to-be-arriving special person. Ravelry, with its load of baby blanket patterns, failed to find me something good. I decided to make up the pattern myself. I had very specific requirements: no holey laces, it should have some texture, it should be simple, yet interesting to hold my attention.  The end result is As Sweet As Honey Baby Blanket. This blanket is being overused well used since the last 20 months.

So why am I blogging about this again? That’s because the pattern was released today. My pattern is part of the latest Knitcircus issue.  Can you see me jumping with glee?

Gifted!

I hardly find time to knit these days and even less for blogging. When Elena blogged about needing test knitters for her latest designs, I decided to sign up. One, her designs are adorable and who wouldn’t want to knit them? Two, working on a deadline will pack in a few more minutes of knitting time into my daily schedule. Three, I had to knit something for a little girl as a gift.

French Me is adorable. I liked it the moment I saw the photos on Elena’s blog. The top knits up quickly and looks very cute. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. I love the construction technique in this one. The neckband is knit in round and the stitches are divided for front and back pieces. These are knit flat separately and once you are done with armholes, join them and knit the rest of the body in round. Isn’t that clever? The top has a lacy and plain version. In my opinion, the lace one adds that French look to it. The pattern comes in many sizes. If you are looking for a quick gift for a little lady, look no further. Gosh, I am sounding like those old ads on radio!

Remember that adorable girl who was the recipient of the Feather and Fan blanket? And also the pretty pink sweater? She turned one recently and I had to give her something handmade. The top I test knit was the perfect choice because her mom likes to dress her up only in sleeveless frocks. This top can be worn as a single garment (over tights may be) or can be a good layering element also. When I gave this to Sanskriti, she went bonkers. She liked it so much, she was carrying it around like a toy. When her mom wanted to try it on, she just wouldn’t let her touch it. This was the best ‘thank-you’ I got from a kid! It really feels good when you are efforts are appreciated.

The RAK Hat

When I took up knitting as a hobby, I never realized it will affect and touch my life in so many ways. Ravelry (for those who don’t know, it is a site where knitters come together and knit and chat and do all sorts of things) has increased my friends circle. I met other talented knitters in Bangalore who motivate me to challenge myself in knitting and who urge me to learn crochet. The local group of knitters, fondly called The Bangalore Brigade, meet quite often, though I miss out on most of the meets. Whenever we meet (invariably in Cafe Coffee Day), we gossip, knit, show off our knitted objects, admire others’ work of art and drool over recent yarn possessions. Some sweet ladies even bring gifts for others. In short, my life is rocking, thanks to knitting and Ravelry.

Another important change that knitting has brought in is to bring together knitters across the world. A group called Random Acts of Kindness on Ravelry is especially responsible for this. It is a group of knitters who want to do small gestures of kindness by fulfilling other knitters’ wishes, knitting-related or otherwise.  Non-acrylic yarn is a luxury in India, so a common wish from Indian knitters is yarn. So, when I posted a wish for yarn around 2 years ago, many knitters sent me packages with yarn. Yarn in all possible colors and hues, in hanks and skeins and balls. The yarn that I used to make this hat comes from the same pool of RAKed yarn. The pattern is a RAK from Terri (Azlynn on Ravelry). No prizes for guessing why I call this The RAK Hat.

I was treasuring the yarn all this while and finally and thought it right to use it for this pattern. The Rushty hat looks cute on Ninad and keeps him warm.  The pattern is quick and well written. The earflaps are made using short row techniques and I thought it was really cool. No seaming, just knitting in round and the ear flaps sit snugly on the ears. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a pattern for kid’s hat.

Three unrelated knitters across the world came together to make this hat possible and that is the beauty of knitting and Ravelry.

Itsy Bitsy – Knitting baby stuff

It’s been ages since I have talked about any FO. That does not mean that I haven’t done any knitting, but just didn’t have the time to write about it. Well, what have I done during the hiatus? Lots of things actually.

It’s difficult to choose a pattern when it comes to baby sweaters. All the patterns look so cute. One pattern that stands out is Baby Sophisticate. It is cute, no doubt, but it also has a distinguished look to it which gives babies that grown-up look. I personally think kids look cute when they act all grown-up. I almost made this for Anya, Rima’s little princess, but when Rima knit the same one for her, I decided to knit something else. I am keeping this one for a baby to come along and claim it. The yarn is 3-ply yarn from Pydal. Really soft and has a nice sheen to it. The only problem is the yarn is so thin that I used 3 strands held together for this cardigan.

I decided to make this Pebble vest for Anya. Just when I was about to sew the buttons on and mail it to Rima, she too made the same vest for Anya. I didn’t want to send this vest, but since the day of Anya’s arrival was nearing, I decided to send it anyway, consoling myself that the one Rima made is bigger and mine is smaller, so can be used immediately. The DK yarn is from Pydal and is soft and squishy.

The vest looked so adorable, I made another one for Ninad. I modified the pattern to make it a bit bigger and knit the body in round. This vest looked great too, but I realized that this yarn was not the best choice only after I started using it. The yarn is so squishy that it doesn’t hold any shape at all. Anya’s vest can be easily used by a 2 year old, that’s how stretchy the yarn is. Now I am feeling guilty for using this yarn for Anya’s vest. I should have used a tried and tested yarn. Sorry Anya and Rima if the vest turns out to be unusable.

The moment I saw this pattern on Knitty, I knew I would knit it some day. Kids and ice-cream go well together, don’t they? I was waiting for an opportunity to knit it and I got it when my mom asked me to knit a sweater for my brother’s kid. I finished the front part in just 3 hours. Intarsia was addictive. It’s another matter that I took 2 days to finish the back and 2 weeks to finish the sleeves. One cute sweater and a great pattern. The only drawback is it is not knit in round, but intarsia can’t be knit in round, so that’s how it is. The 8-ply yarn is leftover yarn from Ninad’s blanket. I love this yarn. It’s strong and has good stitch definition. It’s thick, so knits up fast.

So, this is what I had been upto. I also made a adult size sweater for my husband, but that’s for another blog post, when I get to write it.

13 months

Wait a minute, jumping from 11 months to 13 months directly? What happened to 12 months update? Well, the ever so important 12th month milestone came and went and yeah, I did not update. I am still a novice when it comes to balancing home and work and I still have to learn that art. After a month of being a full-time employee, I feel I am not doing justice to either work or home. When I am at work, I worry about what my baby is doing and feel guilty for leaving him back at home. When I am home, I feel bad for not paying enough attention at work. In the midst of all this, blogging takes the least priority.

Anyway, so what happened on Ninad’s birthday? We had a quiet, family affair where we cooked some good food and enjoyed with close friends and family. Ninad had a few friends come over (all below the 12 months mark) and they had a great time. There were 5 babies in all and they made sure we felt their presence. My house resembled a day care center and it was fun.

Ninad has become a big boy now, officially a toddler and he is making sure I know it. Overnight, he has transformed into this stubborn, troublesome monster of a kid and I wonder where my innocent and sweet child is. He gets mad if he doesn’t have his way. He realizes that I go away somewhere in the morning and won’t let go of me whenever I am around. It feels nice in a way, but I dread when that day will come when I have to go to work with tears in my eyes.

Ninu can officially ‘talk’ now, even though it’s just three words. He can say ‘Amma’, ‘Pa’ and ‘Ka’, the latter means crow, by the way. He sometimes say ‘bhoo’, meaning dog, but I don’t know if it is an accident or he actually means it.

My in-laws and my sister-in-law’s kids paid us a visit during Christmas vacation. My sister-in-law’s daughter took an instant liking to Ninad and it was mutual. Ninad just adores her and he would go behind her wherever she went. The little girl, all of 7 years, was so full of sisterly love that she would volunteer to watch Ninad when I was busy in the kitchen. She would sit with him and show him toys, sing songs and tell him stories. She even picked up a few Kannada words so that she could converse well with Ninad. The two little sister-brother pair, sitting there together, getting to know each other and showing affection – it was a sight to watch. Such strong was the attachment that on the day they left, the little girl went back crying. I felt bad for her and Ninad. She has promised to spend her summer vacation here. Hope that works out. Ninad would love to have his sister over.

That’s about it. Ninad is growing each day, learning new things and teaching me new things. Sometimes I wish he grows up fast and becomes independent so that I can go to work with no guilty feeling. On some days I feel he should be this sweet little child forever and never grow up.

Pretty sweater for a pretty baby

My friend was impressed with the Feather and Fan blanket I gave her and asked for a newborn sweater. We knitters are just waiting to knit something, so I readily agreed. I love the delicate, lacy sweaters which look so cute on girl babies and I always wanted to knit one of those. Unfortunately, I didn’t know any girl babies to knit for. Sanskriti came along and has opened a lot of doors for me. Time was a restriction, so I made this simple, yet pretty sweater for the pretty Sanskriti. There is something wrong with this photograph, the edges are jagged. Because of the black background? The sweater in reality is much better. Really.

I am impressed by the construction of this sweater. You start knitting from the neck edge, knit the yoke, divide for body and sleeves, knit the first sleeve (flat, not round), then close the sleeve seam back up so that you are back at the underarm join, knit the body across, knit the sleeve, back at the underarm join and then finish off the sweater. Umm, did it make sense? Never mind. It means you don’t have to break yarn and rejoin yarn for sleeves and body. You have only one loose end to weave in apart from the cast on end. You need a bit of crochet skills for closing the sleeve seam. Hey, does this count as my first crochet project? I guess not.

On other knitting stuff, remember that kimono and Twinkle sweater I made? The kimono doesn’t fit yet and the Twinkle is not all that practical. I had to sew on press buttons for the sweater to make it useful. It doesn’t really help in keeping my baby warm, but it does look cute. Sweaters that Rima and Sanhita gave are big and won’t fit yet (intentionally so) so what this means is my little fellow needs a sweater. I search for patterns on Ravelry and the only ones I like are all girlish. I want to knit something that looks like a sweater meant for a boy. Any suggestions?

Baby and the blanket

I started working on this blanket when my friend told me she was expecting. I was into a few rows when my baby made an appearance and the blanket had to be kept aside. I picked it up again a few weeks back when I realized my friend is due in the third week of June. I would have finished it on time, if not for the early appearance of the baby. My friend’s immediate family had not yet arrived in Bangalore and the baby decided to give a surprise to everybody. This cutie pie is the reason I could not meet Rima this time. Since my friend didn’t really have any help, I had to be with her in the hospital all day long. Sorry once again Rima, I hope you understand! This is Sanskriti when she was 8 hours old. Don’t miss those pink cheeks!

Now about the blanket. This is the classic feather and fan pattern adapted for a baby blanket. I changed the original pattern to make the purl ridges appear every 8th row instead of every 4th row. This makes the feathers sparser and I like this effect.

Original pattern:

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: *K 2 tog 3 times, YO, K1 6 times*
Row 4: Knit

Modified Pattern:

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: *K 2 tog 3 times, YO, K1 6 times*
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: *K 2 tog 3 times, YO, K1 6 times*
Row 8: Knit

I used Vardhaman 4-ply acrylic yarn and held it double to speeden up the knitting. Six feather and fan for a row and fifteen repeats of the 8-row pattern. I was not sure of the gender of the baby, so I used red. Now that I know it is a girl, I am making a sweater for her in pink. Hope it fits.

 

Rav link for the project.

Baby's Day Out Hat

I wanted a good summer hat for my baby, one whose brim would stay stiff and actually be useful in protecting the eyes from the harsh sun. After looking through the patterns available, I decided to come up with my own. The result is Baby’s Day Out Hat. After uploading the project on Ravelry, I had many requests for the pattern, so I decided to write it down and make it available online.

Click on either the link or the PDF icon to download the pattern. Hope you enjoy knitting this hat and hope it is useful for your baby.

Baby’s Day Out

Hats off

I had not done colorwork before, so wanted to try my hand at it. One look at my aunt-made baby vest, I just had to do fair isle. The technique results in an eye-catching, colorful knitted item which looks complicating to knit, but in fact is too easy.

I adapted the colorwork chart of David\’s hat for my baby hat. Fair isle is addictive. You just can\’t stop after knitting one row. You complete one row and at stare the beautiful pattern emerging and want to knit more to see how things turn out. I enjoyed it so much that I want to knit something big using fair isle.

Another hat I made was part of test knitting. The pattern looked too cute to resist. Melissa has created a beautiful pattern using simple techniques like slipped stitches and cables. The twists that go around the hat look very attractive.

Both hats made in round using our standard acrylic 4-ply yarn and 3.00 mm needles.

Gifts Galore

This post is too delayed. I was (and still am) busy with my little kiddo and I just don’t know how time flies. I wake up in the morning to the cries of my kid and before I know it, it is time to bed. Sigh, where are those days when I could knit and knit without any worries?

Coming back to the point, my friends and family have given hand-made gifts to my son over the past few months. I should have blogged about them earlier, but didn’t find the time. My sincere apologies. Better late than never, huh?

This sweater is a gift from my Aunt. I didn’t know she was a knitter until I saw this. And when I did, my mouth was wide open for a few minutes. I was wondering about how difficult it must have been to knit this, but she says ‘Oh, it’s nothing’. This sweater gave me the inspiration and courage to try my first fair isle project, but that’s a different story. The sweater fits well and my son looks like a serious, no nonsense  grandpa when he wears this. The colors are kind of grandpa-ish, don’t you think? I love this sweater nevertheless. The colors add a bit of variety and give me the much needed break from baby colors. My aunt has given me some quilts and embroidered stuff which I will blog about later.

This sweater is from Rima. The sweater is so soft and cuddly. She intentionally made it bigger so that it will be useful for next winter. The yarn is so fine and squishy. What more, this is Rima’s own creation. That is so awesome, isn’t it? I wish I could crochet. I would make this right at this moment.

These two are from Sanhita. The sweater is bigger and will fit next winter. I love the sweater’s colors. This blanket is so gorgeous! When she made this blanket, I left a comment on her project page expressing my appreciation. Little did I know that it will come my way. Everything about this blanket is lovely. The yarn, the colors and the pattern and more importantly Sanhita’s gesture. I can’t tell you how proud I am to have this for my baby. I used it every single day during winter and can’t wait for next winter to come. I get raised eyebrows whenever I use this blanket. And the obvious question that follows, ‘Did you make this?’ I wish I had, but I can’t even imagine myself making anything like this.

Thank you so much Rima and Sanhita. These gifts mean a lot to me. A lot of effort and time have gone into knitting these and it is greatly appreciated. These gifts are well received and will be well used.

PS: My aunt is not computer literate, so I will thank her in person.