To Welcome Baby Girl #2

Last summer, after eight boys born in the span of nine years, our family welcomed the ninth baby – the first girl in 32 years, born to our niece and her husband. She is a complete delight! I made her a wee cardigan, as well as a handspun dress. I love knitting for little boys, but I have to confess that getting to make tiny feminine items takes things up a notch.

And right before the new year, I got one more reason to do so: our nephew and his wife welcomed their own baby girl into the world. For her sweater, I tried a pattern I hadn’t made before, Scrap Sweater for the Small Ones. Y’all, this pattern is so sweet! (and fast) It comes in sizes from newborn to 8 years old, and can be made with either a heart motif or an hourglass motif (or substitute your own). I went with the hearts, and I only used two colors (the pattern calls for four), to keep the color scheme soft and simple:

baby pullover

I made this in one of my favorite yarns for baby knits – Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport (a superwash wool) in “whisper” and “natural.” It hardly seemed to use any yarn at all, but came out a nice newborn size. The colorwork is extremely simple and would be a great introduction to stranded knitting for anyone who might be a bit hesitant to give it a go.

The sweater itself was soooo quick to make. But then I pulled my usual trick of waiting a few weeks to get a button sewn on. But I finally found the right button, got it sewn on, made the little crochet tab, and shipped it off just in time for Valentine’s Day (like, literally, it was scheduled to arrive on Valentine’s Day).

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Pretty cute, right?

Welcome to the world, baby girl! We love you already.

 

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Something Else for Our Princess (Handspun Little Sister Dress)

Back in June, our niece had a baby. Back in July, I made her a sweater. Back in August, I got to meet her.

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And for the occasion, I made her a dress, out of handspun.

Handspun Little Sister Dress

Handspun Little Sister Dress

I’d had my eye on this pattern for awhile. It seemed such a perfect use of handspun – mostly stockinette with a great little A-line shape and a sweet garter neckline. It was a fun, fast knit, which was good because I had to knit it twice – the first time I made it, I’m pretty sure it would’ve fit a three year-old.

neckline

neckline, modified to use just a single button

If I recall, I kind of winged things a little, using the pattern as a suggestion and just working with the gauge I had and the amount of yarn I had. The neckline is clearly a bit modified, and I ended up only needing one button instead of two.

I made the dress using some leftover handspun (Hello Yarn Polwarth in “Troll”), the same yarn I used to make a hat last Christmas for my mother-in-law:

Troll Hat

Troll Hat

I thought it would be special for her and her first great-granddaughter to have something made from the same yarn. Coincidentally, I also had to knit my MIL’s hat twice, since I also made it too big the first time. Apparently, this is how I roll.

At any rate, I could not have been happier with how the dress turned out. And then I got to see the little princess in it, and I almost died.

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ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THE CUTE? Sorry to shout, but COME ON. This just kills me. I mean, this is seriously every knitter’s dream, to have a handmade gift look so perfectly adorable on its recipient. And the fact that my niece chose this dress as one of the outfits for her baby’s 3-month portraits just kicked it all up a notch.

And that neckline I loved so much?

sweetness

sweetness

Well, it looks pretty smashing with those baby blues, amiright? Though honestly, I’m so enchanted with her eyes, it’s hard to even glance at the sweater at all.

This is a great little baby knit, with growing room so that it can convert from dress to tunic. I am so, SO pleased with how it turned out, and with how it looks on this little darling. Perhaps I should hang up the knitting needles now, because I know it will basically never get any better than this.

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My Current Favorite Baby Knit, for My Current Favorite Baby

In June, our niece gave birth to the first baby girl born into our family in 32 years. That would have been exciting enough, but baby girl decided to arrive with high drama – she was born in the car on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. My niece caught her herself, as her husband was running to her side of the car; their 5 year-old and 2 year-old were in the backseat. Basically, our niece is amazing. So is her baby girl.

little princess

little princess

We are all in total love with her.

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I mean, COME ON with the cute.

 

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And after 8 boys born in 8 years, it was pretty exciting to get to knit for a little girl.

 

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So I went with something pink and cute. This is the Yoked Cardigan. I’ve made this pattern once before, a few years ago, and remembered it as a quick knit. And y’all. It is So. Quick.

Yoked Cardigan

Yoked Cardigan

I made it with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport Solid, in “Whisper,” (about half a skein) and some fun flower buttons from Joann’s.
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Along with some self-promotional propaganda.

 

For a little boy, a little late (Hap Blanket)

I finally finished the blanket I’ve written so much about (I can’t remember the last time I’ve blogged about a work-in-progress as much as this one). I started this blanket in September 2012, for my great-nephew’s 1st birthday. It’s the same pattern I made for his older brother in 2009, only in reverse colors. I knew from that experience that this was a fun, relatively fast knit – you basically just knit a garter square, which goes quickly, and then about the time you get tired of knitting garter, you add a feather and fan border, with stripes.

Only this time, I made a glaring mistake in multiple places in the lace. I was about 12 rounds in (out of 36) when I noticed it. I tried to figure out how to fix it without ripping all the way back, but I never managed to get it sorted. I set the blanket aside for a bit, and then “a bit” became a few months, and then the next thing I knew, it had been about a year-and-a-half since I worked on it. Ridiculous, I know. I shouldn’t let little mistakes create such big obstacles to completing projects, but sometimes I do.

He and his sweet family came for a visit a couple of weeks ago, and I at least got to show him the blanket, almost done.

I think he likes it

I think he likes it

He’s two-and-a-half years old, and the sweetest little guy. The nice thing about giving a blanket to a toddler is that they do seem to appreciate it more than a baby can.

I loved making this the second time around as much as the first (which is nice, because in general I’m not big on making blankets – they seem to take so long! and then I obviously make them take way longer than necessary). But I’m very pleased with the final product.

Hap Blanket

Hap Blanket

I made it a little more rectangular than square, which I believe is how I did the first edition:
YIP.7.19 - Hap Blanket

The pattern calls for stripes across the body of the blanket as well, but I don’t care for those at all, so I omitted them in both of the blankets I’ve made.

scallops

scallops

I’m so glad I kept reasonably good notes the first time I made this (thanks, Ravelry!), so that I remembered I didn’t care for the bind-off included in the pattern – it made the edges too tight for me. So I did the Russian lace bind-off, purl version: p1, (p1, slip both sts back to the left needle, p2tog)*, till done. The edges turned out perfectly.

love those corner points

love those corner points

The yarn is Socks that Rock Heavyweight, which is the same yarn I used on my other Hap Blanket. I used 1.5 skeins of In the Navy and a skein of Stonewash. I love this yarn as much as ever y’all. It is a dream to work with, the semi-solid colors have so much depth, and the final product is squishtastic.

squish!

squish!

Because the yarn I used is not the aran weight called for, I did as I did last time, and cast on more stitches than the pattern indicates, and then just knit until it was the size I wanted. (If you do this, make sure to knit in multiples of 12 so that your lace pattern turns out right).

The blanket has been a big hit in our household. One of my big guys is now asking me if I’ll make one for him…

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I suppose if I start making it now, it might be done by the time he’s in middle school. Wait, that is now less than 18 months away (gulp!), so I’m guessing it wouldn’t be done by then.

This blanket is going in the mail to its sweet little recipient, whom I hope will enjoy it for years to come.

love this munchkin!

love this munchkin!

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Just a few more rounds

A little knitting with my apron on

A little knitting with my apron on

This Hap Blanket is for my sweet little munchkin of a great-nephew. He’s two years old and visiting this weekend, and I wanted so much to have his blanket done in time for his visit. It didn’t happen, and I won’t be able to finish before he’s gone, but I’m getting close. It’s been fun to knit this while he’s here, and hear his sweet little voice say, “my blanket?” Yes, baby. It’s your blanket, and it’s thisclose to done.

Knitted for a baby GIRL

So after eight boys in the span of eight years (just on my husband’s side – it’s been all boys on my side, too!), our family will finally be welcoming a little girl into the fold this June. My niece, who is expecting her third baby, had thought she might wait until the birth to find out the baby’s sex, but she ended up choosing to find out at her five-month ultrasound, and needless to say we are all thrilled (and we would also have been thrilled to welcome Boy #9!). My own little boys are very excited that they will have a little girl cousin at last. As Little Buddha put it, “This baby is going to be legendary in our family!”

And so, Operation All the Pink Knitting has begun over here. As soon as I got the news, I cast on for a pair of booties:

Oscar Booties

Oscar Booties

For the longest time, this pattern was my go-to baby bootie pattern, but then last year I discovered the Oh Baby! Baby Booties and knit a streak of those. I already made a pair of those, though, in green for this little baby, so I decided to go back to the Oscar bootie pattern. Obviously, I love the look of garter for baby booties.

so wee!

so wee!

You can make an i-cord tie or a single-crochet cord for Oscar Booties (which I’ve done before), but I especially love the look of a ribbon.

I made these in one of my favorite yarns for baby knits – Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport Solid, in “Whisper,” bought, as per usual from Angelika’s.

I have more plans for pink baby knits, but I’m curious – what are your favorite baby knit patterns? I have some standard go-to knits, but I’m interested to know what I might be missing out there.

can't wait to see these on sweet baby feet!

can’t wait to see these on sweet baby feet!

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Fashion Friday :: baby bumps, baby booties

Okay this isn’t really a fashion post, it’s just what I want to talk about today. And really, what is cuter than a baby bump or baby booties?

My gorgeous niece is expecting her third child, which we are all really thrilled about. And check this out:

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She did her third half-marathon in the fall – 13.1 miles at 13 weeks pregnant. How cool is that! She seriously rocks so hard.

This will be the first baby in our family in almost three years (my niece’s due date is the exact same as mine was! except my guys arrived almost two-and-a-half weeks early). In the span of eight years, our family had eight boy babies, starting with my two. Will this baby break the streak or be Boy #9? We’ll find out in June (but we’ll all be thrilled either way, of course). Since HK and her husband aren’t finding out the gender of this baby in advance, I broke out the green yarn to whip up a little Christmas present:

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Oh! Baby Baby Bootees, in Blue Sky Alpacas Sportweight. They are soft as clouds, and I can’t wait to see the sweet feet that will fit in them!

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knitted :: Oh! Baby Baby Booties

Oh! Baby

Oh! Baby

I’ve proclaimed a lot of baby knits to be my “go-to” patterns in the past.

For the longest time, it was the Baby Surprise Jacket. I made it a lot. And then I got tired of making it. Then I made a couple of Easy Baby Cardigans, and declared that my go-to, before moving on to a few others.

But my standard bootie pattern has always remained the same. The Oscar Booties are so sweet and fast. I’ve made them plenty: to match Baby Surprise Jackets,a couple of times, but also to stand on their own, just as sweet little booties. It’s a great little pattern, made sweeter by the addition of a ribbon for a tie.

But this summer, I was struck with the urge to try a different pattern. I love the look of garter booties, but this time I wanted something that didn’t need tying. I was delighted to find on Ravelry the Oh! Baby Baby Booties. Cute, right? I found them irresistible. So I grabbed some yarn leftover from my Narragansett Pullover, and whipped up a pair while traveling this summer.

So wee!

So wee!

Look how they both fit in one hand!!

These made perfect car knitting:

Travel knitting

Travel knitting

I made these for a sweet little boy, born on my birthday this year, to a couple of dear friends. I sent them along with a couple of books that were favorites in our house when our littles were little.
baby package

These were such a sweet and fun knit, and they took almost no time at all. I love how the cuff is made to keep them on perfectly without the need for any ties. And booties are just such a dear little thing, in my opinion. Perhaps I shall call them my new go-to baby pattern?

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