March 5, 2012 by Leah
So, the other day my stepsister lovingly accused me of having all of my baby’s clothes for the first two years knitted already. I scoffed to myself, but then realized I have made quite the collection of Sprocket-things and I still have at least two more hats, a sweater, and a sleep sack to go before I’ll even consider casting on the nursing shawl or hospital slipper-socks I want to make for myself.
For those of you who don’t remember, I started knitting last June. Knitting is not the most frugal hobby as it involves lots of acquisitive behavior (yarn stores, omg!), but knitting your own things is cheaper than buying hand-knit things from Etsy. Knitting is also a great way to meet people (I love my Wednesday night knitting group), direct one’s attention in a constructive manner (you can’t really drink to excess and knit), and, in my opinion – and that of many other knitters – it can really cut down on therapy bills.
So, I’m taking the opportunity to show off the things I’ve made for Baby Bailey so far. Some things are better than others.
A pair of longies, made with Malabrigo Rios yarn (so soft) in color “Piedras” and from Mandy Harrington’s Sheepy Pants pattern. This is my favorite thing I’ve made for baby so far.
Wool soaker (diaper cover) made from Patons Classic Wool and the Curly Purly soaker pattern by Marnie Ann Joyce. I probably should have read about intarsia (the technique used to get the star in there) before I started this pattern because one should never actually knit intarsia in the round.
Baby sweater! Pattern: Mossy Jacket by Fawn Pea (thanks to Mindy for sending it!). Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Zarzamora. I made this in a 12 month size, so I guess this will be Sprocket’s spring 2013 jacket.
Random hat. A friend said it reminded her of money, so I’m calling it the Money Hat. I got excited to use up some stash yarn (Brown Sheep Company Lamb’s Pride Worsted with a border of Naturally Magic Garden Buttons) and decided baby would need a winter hat for next winter, and voila. Knitting such thick yarn on tiny (size 3) needles was hard on the hands, though.
And here is the baby blanket I decided I needed to make. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s (she’s kind of the rock star godmother of modern American knitting) Double Knitting Blanket pattern from her Knitter’s Almanac book. I don’t know why I did this. Zimmerman wrote, in her pattern intro, that double knitting (where you knit every other stitch in a row and then go back and knit the stitches you didn’t knit before, so you are effectively knitting two pieces of fabric at once) is a pain in the rear and takes forever. She suggested doing this pattern with bulky weight yarn, both for warmth and to make it go faster. I read all that and decided to make this blanket anyway, and went to eBay to order some baby-weight wool. The yarn I ordered (it came from Turkey – the UPS guy was highly suspicious) turned out to be super thin and 30% acrylic (not what I wanted) but lightweight and a fun color, so I doubled up my strands and pressed on. One month later, I bound off (way too tightly, making the blanket quite asymmetrical from top to bottom) and blocked the thing last night. (Blended yarns don’t take so well to blocking.) Then this morning I decided I absolutely had to embroider a bee on one corner, to raise awareness of Colony Collapse Disorder (and because it was cute). So, Sprocket has a finished blankie that is approximately 22″ x 30″, lightweight yet very warm, and even has a cute motif. Let’s all just ignore the asymmetry and fact that the borders and edges are totally wonky. I have great hopes of using this blanket to keep newborn Sprocket warm as s/he snuggles on my chest, and later as a floor pad for tummy time.
[I don’t think I did this on purpose, but I believe I took inspiration for the blanket from our nursery curtains – IKEA’s Torva pattern (brightly colored vegetables and bugs – how could I not buy them?).]