Speaking of simple baby stuff and good old patterns, here are two patterns I keep going back to when I’m in need of gifts for new parents. (Excuse the terrible photos, these are really quite lovely in real life.)
I tend to knit Milo and Simple Baby Hat as a baby gift set. I’ve done three pairs so far and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. They both call for more or less the same yarn and gauge, and are equally simple to make. Moreover, they can serve as wonderful blank canvases to experiment with whatever you want – embroidery, colourwork, striping…
Finally, they are both extremely quick to make, and parents tell me they’re super practical. So, if you need a win-win solution for the next baby shower you’re invited to with a few days’ notice, I’d highly recommend these two!
This knit started in a fairly standard way: my friend’s 2-year-old son needed a good hat that would stay on. After combing through dozens of children’s hat patterns I went back to good old Thorpe – it is such a great shape for keeping warm and its top-down construction means it’s also very easy to modify the size.
However, I came to learn quickly that it is very difficult to imagine what a good size for a 2-year-old head is if you don’t have any 2-year-old heads nearby. I ploughed on through the pattern eyeballing the size, with the help of my mom, An Experienced Award-Winning Three-Time-Mother and Two-Time-Grandma. You’d think she’d know. We were quite happy with the outcome up until I tried to put it on my own head and found it to be too big even for me.
Luckily this hat has a top-down construction (you start from the crown of the head), so if you need to make it smaller, you just have to rip back a few increases, until you get to a more appropriate number of stitches and then re-do the rest. The most fiddly part anyway is the cast-on and increasing, so with that out of the way ripping and re-knitting is a breeze. The second version I knit ended up fitting the boy like a glove. I really cannot recommend the Thorpe pattern enough if you are aiming to make a hat with a perfect fit (especially if you have the recipient’s head nearby for trials)…
Stay tuned, folks, this issue of babies/kids and sizing is going to become a recurrent theme on this blog, let me tell you…
As I’ve struggled with my RSI, my knitting has been very on and off. With the emphasis on the off. But every once in a while I’d get hopeful again and give it a try. And in the process I discovered the key to not getting frustrated: simple baby stuff.
Simple baby stuff is usually knit in a smooth yarn so as to avoid scratchiness for the babies, but this has the added bonus of the yarn not giving much resistance for the RSIer. In a similar vein, a loose gauge is required: again, softness for babies, less tension for the knitter. Last but not least, baby stuff is tiny! This means that a project can be completed very quickly, giving your RSIer a quick sense of accomplishment even if they can’t work on it for long stretches of time.
Above is an example of the kind of simple baby stuff I’ve been knitting – a lovely pattern to knit up even if you don’t have a particular baby in mind at the moment of knitting. They’re very handy to keep around and quickly grab for a gift when an unexpected new baby shows up. Every baby needs a practical hat, and mothers love them. Pattern and yarn details on Ravelry.
Ok, so I’m willing to admit that whatzitknitz may have had a point when she said do I sense a love of fiddly toys starting ; ) two in a row is all I am saying. Though I still maintain that it is due to the fact that after the Fiddliest Fiddling Octopus, nothing can match the level of fiddliness, and thus many other toys seem super easy to make now.
And by many other, I mean, three in a row.
Yes, there may be something to it after all…
(In case anyone is wondering, it’s Mousie.)
A flamingo, of course!
This baby flamingo has just hatched. He is still lacking feathers and is having some trouble with balance, but nothing out of the ordinary for a newborn.
In the meantime, the octopus has finally got all its legs and is having a swim at the deep end of the blocking pool.
…but I got down to it last night and afterwards thought to myself contentedly: “Aaaah, now it’s at least done!” And then this morning I got up and saw this.
The knitting is fine. The button placement is not. ALL three will have to go out and in again (I’ve checked, moving just one won’t do it). Well, at least it’s ONLY three. Or so I keep telling myself. But it’s definitely not DONE.
p.s. Have a good week, everyone!
…and I have already made five and a half vows that I will never ever ever knit this again.
And don’t even start with that “But it’s sooo cuuuuuteeee’ stuff like everyone else. Let me just explain to you that this involves making 8 tiny little heel turns, with short rows and picking up wraps and everything. Knitted in the round on 8 stitches. And changing colours too.
And yes, it has occurred to me that a rainbow octopus would be super cool. But no way. No. Someone else can do it. Shush now.