After a long hiatus of two years (in which I almost never picked up knitting needles), my knitting mojo is back with a bang. I should thank my soon-to-be-born grandchild for that. You read that right, I did say grandchild. My niece is expecting and is going to pop any day now and I will be elevated to the much coveted grandmom (okay, grandaunt) position.
Sweater pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith
Socks: Rye by tincanknits
Hat: Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl Soho
My niece wanted a sweater in gender neutral color, so most of my baby colors in my stash were ruled out. After much consideration, I zeroed in on the Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Platinum and Willow.
While the cardigan pattern is written to knit in stripes, I had to modify the socks and hat pattern to follow that. For socks, I changed the color every two rows, but stuck with MC for the heel flap until I joined to knit in round again. For the hat, I knit the ear flaps in MC color and when I knit a plain round, I changed colors every two rows.
I noticed that things move fast when I knit in stripes. Is that true or is my mind playing tricks on me!
After I made the pretty, little sweater and was still left with a good half ball of yarn, I decided to make a hat to go with the sweater. I wanted one which would go with the sweater – with similar cables. Luckily, I found just the right pattern: Cable Baby Hat. I tried looking for a pattern with earflaps, but when my search didn’t turn up a good one (with cables similar to the one in Sunnyside cardigan), I gave up and settled for this one. I could have used a plain, earflap hat pattern and added this cable myself, but that wouldn’t be mindless knitting, would it?
The hat was a quick and easy knit. I liked how the designer blended in the decreases with the cables. By the look of it, I feel the hat is too long, but that should be okay. Long hats can be worn with folded brims, short ones are a problem.
Like the sweater, the hat is warm and soft. Cables are much better on the hat, but still not sharp enough for my liking. That cute little pom-pom is husband’s contribution. He is the resident pom-pom expert.
Next came the booties. I didn’t bother searching for a pattern for booties with cables, because I knew what pattern I would follow. I have made Ruth’s Perfect Baby Booties atleast a dozen times now and they have never failed me.
They are seamed, which I can live with, but what I love about these booties are they stay on little baby feet. I made 3-4 pairs for my own baby and never once have I seen the booties slide down.
I did think of incorporating cables into the booties, but dropped the idea as I was aiming for mindless knitting.
With the booties done, the set is now complete.
My hands are itching to cast on for a baby blanket, but my mind likes to remind them that there is no way I can knit up a baby blanket in two month’s time. Not with all the things going around right now.
Change is the only constant thing, said a wise man once. Some are welcome changes, some not so much. One change which always is welcome is the addition to a family, i.e. arrival of a baby. Don’t try to read something between the lines which doesn’t exist because I am talking about a friend. I have known him for over a decade now. I met him at my very first job, as part of a cultural event. We both are book lovers, so we naturally went onto become friends. Long after I quit that job and hopped onto a few more, we kept in touch, even if it is just for talking about books. He would buy gifts and books for my son, which was very heartwarming. Our friendship strengthened when he went on to marry a friend of mine. Two strong, independent persons coming together to start a new relationship, of which I was somehow part of. My joy knew no bounds. And when the couple called to tell me they are expecting, the first thing that came to my mind (even before I yelled Congratulations!) was what am I going to knit for the baby. I wanted to translate the warm relationship I share with the couple to the knitted items. I didn’t know how, but the knitted items needed to represent the relationships.
A quick dive through my stash turned up this yarn. The softest yarn in the most pleasant colors. I had picked this up on my visit to Singapore and was saving it for a baby to come by and claim it. I wanted this to be a relaxed knit, so my own design was out of the question. Sunnyside pattern seemed like a good choice. I see the twisting cables as the way our lives are twisted together, not in a messy, knotty kind of way, but in a way that looks beautiful and feels warm.
The stockinette part of Sunnyside is easy, and the cables keep it from becoming boring. Top-down, raglan construction with cozy, garter bands on the neckline, sleeve cuffs and the buttonbands.
As much as I love this yarn and can’t get enough of its softness, I did not like it for this pattern. The yarn is loosely plied, to an extent that it is splitty and the cables don’t stand out enough. I still like the end result. It may not be dense and sharp as I like my sweaters to be, but it is soft and warm, which I think babies will prefer.
I still have about half the ball of yarn left, so there will be a hat and may be booties in the near future.
Ravelry Project Page
Yarn: Patons Australia Big Baby 4 Ply
I used a simple, textured stitch pattern for Just Hatched Cardigan. I loved the simplicity of this stitch so much that I decided to use it in a blanket. I initially thought of using this as an all over stitch pattern, but I liked it better when I paired it with stockinette. The obvious choice was to have panels of stockinette and texture, but I wanted something different. Then I zeroed in on making this a center-out blanket with alternate panels of stockinette and texture.
The pattern is written for sport, DK, worsted and Aran weight yarn. The pattern recommends needle sizes for all yarn weights, but you can use any needle size which gives you the fabric you like. Center-out knitting means you can customize the size easily
Ravelry Pattern: Just Hatched Blanket
Yarn Suggested: Knit Picks Brava Worsted in Canary
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm
After working on a large project for a good 40 days and when you bind off the last row with 400+ stitches with a mixture of relief and anxiety, only to realize your bind off row was so tight it is making the blanket’s edge flip over and you have to frog the 400+ stitches, pick them up and reknit them with a stretchier bind-off, I am not sure whether you should feel sad that you wasted an hour on this project or happy that it is over. I am going with the latter because thank Bob this blanket is done.
Also, when you are working on a center-out blanket, when the initial rows fly off the needles, do you tell yourself ‘wow, I have reached half the size already, so I will be done with this in 1 week’ even when that little voice in your head is telling you, ‘but every row will be longer by 2 sts, so there is no way this will be done in 1 week’, you ask it to shut up anyway? Yeah, that would be me. There is the little voice again saying ‘I told you so’. Shut up already!
Just Hatched Booties are designed to go with Just Hatched Cardigan. They both use the same stitch pattern which adds interest and texture. These booties knit up fast owing to the use of worsted weight yarn. They need so little yardage that they are ideal to use up left over yarn from other projects.
Pattern: Just Hatched Booties
Needles: US 9 (5.5 mm)
Yarn: Any Worsted Weight Yarn
Sizes offered: Newborn, 3 months, 6 months
Yardage: 60 – 90 yards
When I knit up a baby cardigan, I am usually left with some yarn from the skein which I use to knit up these booties. Hope you all enjoy knitting this one as much as I did.
When I made a baby blanket for my newest nephew, Atharv, his mother immediately asked me if I can make a newborn sized sweater to go with the blanket. Finding newborn size clothes that fit is hard enough and dear Atharv was a bit underweight at birth, so finding a good fitting cardigan for him was even more difficult. Atharv’s mother liked the soft green color and wanted a sweater in the same one.
I had this idea for a baby cardigan from a long time and realized if I don’t get around to making it now, then it will never get done. I like the simplicity and usefulness of raglan cardigans: top-down, seamless construction, try it on as you go, easy to modify length if need be. I added a wide border of ringlet stitch, a stitch pattern from Barbara Walker’s Treasury, to compliment the plain stockinette body. And that is how Just Hatched came into existence.
Ravelry Pattern: Just Hatched by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun Worsted
Needle Size: US #9 5.5 mm