Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

Baby boots

I seem to be at a point in my life where more and more of my blog posts are starting with “a friend/colleague/neighbour/stranger I saw down the street recently had a baby”. This may be a reflection on the frequency of my blog posts rather than the birth rate amongst my friends and acquaintances. Whatever the reason, I’m making more and more baby things and enjoying how my crafty output is changing.

The most recent gift for a baby was a departure from my craft of choice. My friend was having her baby in North Queensland, so I was a bit hesitant to make the baby something that would be too warm. Instead, I sewed some wee booties from some fairly thin wool felt. This decision doesn’t seem nearly as logical when written down; it made complete sense when thinking about a suitable gift a couple of months ago.

baby boots

Felt Baby Shoes from The Purl Bee
Grey wool felt, red embroidery thread
Started: May 2012
Finished: May 2012

They were quite fun to make, and certainly came together faster than a knitted equivalent. I do, however, need to work on my blanket stitch skills because things got a bit wonky where the top of the boots overlapped.

The felt I used was from a jumper Matt wore many years ago. When fulled, it made a soft, thin and slightly fluffy felt that I think worked ok for baby bootees. My favourite part of the boots are the soles, which were from the fulled cuffs of Matt’s jumper. Hopefully it looks like faux-tread, because that’s the effect I was aiming for!


For me, the most difficult part of the project was sewing elastic in the top of the boot. I kept agonising over the placement of the elastic (and in turn, the little red crosses), but after a bit of trial and error, I think they look pretty even.

Since making these, I’ve made another pair from some Winterwool felt. Rhey look just as good in a more rigid felt, if not better. Conveniently, one of their 20cm by 23cm squares was just enough for one pair of boots. They don’t have the charm (if you can call it that) of the faux-tread, but having a simple ‘1 square of felt:1 pair of boots’ ratio is quite appealing to me.

If you’re looking to make a pair of baby bootees, this pattern is well worth considering. They’re cute, quick, and quite fun.

A wee vest for a wee girl.

I often wonder whether there’s a use by date for writing about ‘new’ FOs. For example, the vest mentioned in this post was finished in mid January. Now that it’s March, it feels strange to be writing about the vest, particularly when there was nothing stopping me from writing about it back in January (unlike Manu, where it was a gift that I needed to keep quiet about). I guess the moral of the story is to blog more often so I don’t have to ponder these things. Anyway, here’s a new/not really that old FO:

Baby Vest

Tummy Warmer by Angela Tong
175ish grams Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply, pink
3.75mm and 4.5mm needles

Start: January 2012
Finish: January 2012
Ravelled: here

In January a friend of mine had a baby girl. To celebrate this occasion, I wanted to knit a little something for the baby. Although I have knit a couple of things for babies in the past, I’m not really attuned to the patterns that are out there, so when I started looking at baby patterns this time round, the selection was slightly overwhelming. After some deliberation, I finally settled on Tummy Warmer from Petite Purls. As an aside, if you’re in the market for babies’ and/or kids’ knitting patterns, I recommend checking out Petite Purls, there’s some cute stuff there.

Knitting in pink feels a bit foreign to me. To be honest, knitting anything that isn’t grey, blue, red or brown feels a bit strange. What is probably even more strange is the fact that I had pink yarn in my stash. It was left over from my ‘selling knits at craft markets’ experiment, and even though it was a heavier weight than what was called for in the pattern, I thought it would work well as a nice warm vest. As it turns out, I made the 3-6 month size with no alterations to the stitch or row count, and the vest came out with more or less the same measurements as it would have been using a 5 ply. It’s definitely too big for her now, but I’m hoping that when the consistently cooler weather comes, it’ll be the right size.

The honeycomb stitch used for the body of the vest makes it thick and warm, and adds a nice bit of texture. However, I found it a pretty tedious to work up. The yarn and needle combination just didn’t seem to suit the stitch pattern; whenever I had to knit into the front of the stitch, I needed at least two attempts to get the needle through cleanly. I suspect that the relatively unpointy needle, the looser twist on the yarn and the tight twisted stitch created a perfect split stitch storm. If I hadn’t been so good at splitting stitches, I think it would have been an even quicker knit than it was.

My favourite part of the vest are the buttons. They’re not necessarily the world’s prettiest buttons, but they do suit the vest well. The thing that makes them my favourite part is the fact I accidentally happened across them during the Pransell Declutterathon 2012™. I have no idea when or why I bought them, but I had exactly the number of buttons I needed, they were exactly the size I needed and they matched the vest. Serendipity.

vest buttons

It’s really quite a cute little vest, and these photos don’t do it justice (my age old excuse for not taking good photos of something). I find taking photos of baby items quite difficult, as I don’t have a small person to model them for me, and I’m not a fan of using dolls or soft toys as models. I could possibly go down the Posie Gets Cozy route and use a little person’s clothes hanger… Any suggestions would be gratefully received, as I highly doubt this will be the last time I knit an item of clothing for a baby.

If you are looking for a little vest to make for a little person, it’s worth considering this pattern. It’s quick to knit up and the honeycomb stitch means that it’s not boring (although I do suggest avoiding non-pointy needles and yarn that splits easily). It’s been a little while since finishing it, but from what I remember the pattern is easy to follow. It’s a winner.

Little details

It’s astounding how seemingly quick projects can be held up by little, but important, details. A fine example of this is a couple of small baby items I started nearly two months ago. The knitting portion of the projects was completed very quickly, but finding the right buttons was really difficult. I visited all my usual haunts (and lamented the shrinking collection of buttons at the Elizabeth Street Clegs), but couldn’t find anything suitable. Finally the right buttons were found and the projects finished.


Pebble by Nikol Lohr
1 ball Freedom Sincere DK, grey; a skerrick of Freedom Sincere DK, yellow
4mm needles
Start: November 2010
Finish: December 2010
Modifications: slightly larger needle, small row- and stitch-count changes accounting for gauge, striped garter stitch section
Ravelryed: here

Now that it’s all done and photographed, I’m a little disappointed with how this version of Pebble turned out. Pretty much all of this is down to two decisions I made when first starting Pebble.

The first problem is the yarn choice. As my friend’s baby was due in November, I thought using a cotton yarn would be more practical as we’d ordinarily be heading into warmer weather. So far, this summer can only be described as tepid, so a wool-based yarn might have been ok. It’s been quite some time since I’ve worked with cotton, and had forgotten how unforgiving it is relative to wool. So, the fabric’s probably a bit more uneven than I’d like, and some of the weaving in of ends shows through a little bit on the front.

The second problem is my dogged insistence to have a striped yoke (if it indeed can be called a yoke). Initially I wanted to make the garter stitch section blue, yellow and grey. As it wasn’t possible to hide the edge where I carried the yarns, it looked really messy and was quite bulky. By this stage my friend’s little girl was born so the blue was ditched and the garter stitch section consisted of grey and yellow stripes. Even with one less colour and strand of yarn it still looks a bit messy and bulky.

Despite my mild disappointment with the end result, I think, and hope, it’s still wearable.


One thing I should mention about the pattern is the number of ends it produces. This wasn’t helped by using two colours in the top section, but it still seemed like quite a large number for such a small garment. The photo above shows how many ends were woven in… So don’t be fooled by the fact it requires no seaming. You will be paying for that privilege in the form of weaving in ends.

Happily, the other quick project for my friend’s baby girl turned out quite well. As it happens, there’s a free bib pattern out that roughly matches the pebble vest.


Easy Peasy Baby Bib by Michelle Acuavera
Scraps Freedom Sincere DK, grey
4mm needles
Start: November 2010
Finish: December 2010
Modifications: smaller needle, small row- and stitch-count changes accounting for gauge, striped garter stitch section, press stud closure
Ravelryed: here

press stud

These were very quick to make and a good use of leftover grey yarn. Small modifications were made to the number of stitches cast on and rows worked because I used 8ply instead of the recommended worsted weight. After a small amount of market research, I opted to use a press stud as the closure rather than a button hole. According to a friend with an almost 2 year old, a buttonhole closure might prove a bit fiddly. It looked a bit plain with the hidden press stud, so a button was added for purely decorative purposes. I did toy with making some bibs using the yellow cotton, but decided pretty quickly that it wasn’t nearly as practical a colour as the grey.

It was quite a relief to get something, no matter how small, finished. It felt like quite a while since I’d triumphantly snipped off the last woven in end of a project!

Restless knitting

I’ve been a bit restless with my knitting lately. Swatches have been knit, but I don’t feel particularly drawn to any one pattern. This is a bit of a problem because it creates a small knitting vacuum; besides one secret squirrel project, I don’t really have anything on the needles, but I feel I should be doing something.

The current knitting situation seems to be a good reflection of my non-knitting life of late. I have niggling feeling, that I can’t articulate and can’t work out why it’s there. This means I can’t work out how to fix it, which starts the restlessness all over again. ‘Tis quite a frustrating cycle.

All of this started soon after finishing these knitterly morsels, and thus it’s only fair that they are blamed for this bout.


Umbilical Cord Hats by Jennifer L Jones
Small amounts of Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply, in cream, pink and bracken
4mm needles
Started: April 2010
Finished: April 2010
Modifications: Used a lighter weight yarn, and slightly smaller needles
Ravelryed: here

A couple of the guys at work recently became fathers for the first time, which presented a prime opportunity to knit baby hats. I suspect the hats are a bit big for newborns. However, I have it on good authority that babies grow, so the size shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

The yarn, Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply, is really good for baby knits. It’s lovely and soft to knit with, has a good range of colours and is machine washable. I think Luxury 4ply would work well with some of the vintage patterns I have earmarked as future projects.

The pattern is from Stitch n Bitch, the first knitting book I bought after starting to knit again. Although the book is really well worn, I’ve only made a couple of things from it and was recently contemplating giving it away. These hats prove that reference books should almost always be kept (my second year Business Finance text book is an exception to this rule).

If only I owned a book on how to get my knitting back on track…

Small diversions

These are the small diversions I was referring to last post.


Tiny Shoes by Ysolda Teague
Scraps of 8ply Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury, Cream
3.25mm double pointed needles
Started: November 2009
Finished: November 2009
Ravelryed here

A friend just had a little girl, and I’ve been wanting to try this pattern for a little while. Quite fortuitous really.

I initially started with Grignasco Bambi, but was concerned they were coming out a bit floppy. So, I upped the yarn to 8 ply Luxury and the needles to 3.5 mm. Although the end result is a lot more structured than my 4 ply attempt, it’ll be a while before they fit. It pains me a little that the colour of the button doesn’t quite match the colour of the bootee, but as soon as I spied the buttons at the shop, I knew they were going to be the ones for this project.


I’m now building quite a collection of projects made from Ysolda Teague’s patterns, I think this is the sixth pattern of hers I’ve used. Beyond the look of the finished objects, I always learn something new about construction and find her patterns pretty clear and well written. In fact, there’s only two instances where I’ve struck trouble; the top button hole of Liesl (a fix for that exact problem was sent out this morning, as luck would have it) and the cast on for Elijah (required a bit of mental and physical gymnastics to get it to work, but the effort is worth it). I guess some would argue that these are two issues too many, but in both instances they made me think about how I knit in a different way, and not in an angry ‘I hate knitting’ way, which I think is a positive thing.