Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bundles of (Knit) Joy

My facebook news feed is back-to-back baby photos.  I suppose it should come as no surprise considering about three years ago it was back-to-back wedding photos.  My favorite thing about babies (other than that baby smell and being able to hand them back to their parents when they start crying) is knitting tiny things for them.  While I usually knit sweaters using my grandma/mom's sweater pattern (seen here and here), I've accumulated quite a few other baby patterns in my Ravelry queue and decided to tackle some of them for this recent spate of baby gifts.

 Baby hats are a great project for using up partial skeins and can be done completed in just a single night - or on a flight to California, as was the case for this blueberry hat.  (It was a gift for the couple we were staying with, so I finished it in the car on the way to their house - thus the weird photo.)  I cast on as we took off and finished as we landed about three hours later.  As we were getting off the plane, the couple across from me confessed that they had been surreptitiously watching the hat come into existence over the course of the trip and were amazed, "It was just yarn when we left San Antonio!").

If you have a bit more time, maybe a weekend, you can knit a coordinating hat and toy.  I've had my eye on this panda hat forever, but found myself without black yarn, yet with quite a bit of leftover superwash wool in a froggy green, so I adapted it to be a frog hat and I love it!  I can imagine it being a sweet little Halloween costume this October, but isn't so costume-y that you couldn't put it on your baby the rest of the winter.  How cute are these buttons that I found for the chin strap?

I've knit this frog stuffed animal before and I think it is the perfect size for a toddler (it fits easily in the palm of my hand).  And the long arms and legs make it easy for a little one to grab and drag around.  The round belly can either be stuffed with a tennis ball or regular poly-fil.

Knitting for Texas babies is a little bit tricky.  There is only a brief window where they need warm and cozies, but it's hard to guess just what size they will be for those two months.  This cabled baby vest, knit in washable cotton, is a great solution because it can be worn over short-sleeves or long-sleeves.  I love the cables, but what really makes this a great pattern is that the left shoulder buttons to make it easier to get on and off - genius!

This is the sort of pattern that I'm slightly hesitant to knit because it looks sort of commercial - like something you could easily find at a store.  To personalize the pattern, I skipped one of the cables and then duplicate stitched an "A," the recipient's first initial.  Once I found those cute duck buttons, I decided to include a washcloth puppet, rubber duckie, and bath-time book as part of the gift.

One of my favorite things about all of these patterns is that they use only a single skein of yarn (or less) and I was able to use a lot of orphaned skeins from my stash (yay for de-stashing!!!).  I had two skeins of Lion Brand Homespun that I had absolutely no idea what to do with or what I bought them for originally.  Then, I came across this pattern for a toddler-sized kimono!  The kimono shirt is brilliant because it closes with ties so it can grow with the child.  I knit two in two different colors for a friend who recently had twins.  The pattern is quick and straight-forward which lets the fun yarn come through.  Phew!  That's a lot of baby knitting.  Back to knitting for myself for a while.

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