Things for a baby that I haven’t met yet

I am sure that there are plenty of new arrivals into the world every single day, but this has been the only that I have been aware of recently. The relationship is a little distant: a friend’s brother’s wife’s baby. Whilst, like babies’ arrivals, there are many knitters in our midst that go unnoticed, I did not detect a knitter within this baby’s midst and on the whole, thought it best to be on the safe side and make sure there was at least some handknits in its vicinity when it arrived.

Isn’t it small! The pattern is the Classic Cardigan (link to the website) from the Basics Collection by Tin Can Knits. I like TCK patterns very much because each pattern has a huge size range, from newborn to very XL. In this case, the size range is from newborn to 6XL. They give the numbers for a 4-ply/fingering weight, DK and aran weight gauge, so even if your gauge somehow falls outside of that range, you should have enough options to be able to manipulate the numbers of another size to get what you’re after. For this pattern, I knit the 3-6 months size, because the recipient was born in September and I figured that it will be 3 months by the time it needs something woolly.

Needles: 4mm for the body and 3.5mm for the collar, hem and cuffs.

Yarn: Drops Merino Extra Fine in Cream (2.5 50g balls) for the main colour, and in Red, Yellow and Green for the stripes (2g each). The blue stripe is Drops Baby Merino in Electric Blue.

Alterations: I didn’t add a button band afterwards, rather I knitted one in as part of the body, as you can see. I think I added 10 stitches on both fronts for that. I slipped the last stitch on each row with the yarn in front to make the edging nice and even – which it did, but it doesn’t work as well with stripes, as you’ll probably see as well. I added button holes every 5 ridges or so, but I didn’t think ahead as to how many flipping buttons that would add up to be. Hopefully the mum will just use it as a jumper and the upper buttons can be used to allow more room for the baby’s head, which is always much larger than one would expect, according to the frequent reminders I receive from those who have given birth.

The other item I made was the Beloved bonnet, also by Tin Can Knits. I have long considered making one of these for myself because, like all other TCK patterns, it comes with adult sizes, and it looks very snug! So I thought a baby version would be a good way to see if I enjoy the experience of knitting it. It is an extraordinarily quick knit!

I used the same needles (4mm) and yarn as I did for the cardigan. For the main colour, I think I managed to get it out of less than a ball. I used up the remaining half ball from the cardigan, and supplemented it with a bit of another. As you can see, it’s a great type of project to use up lots of leftovers.

The stripes looks pretty neat there now but the edges were fairly misshapen when I initially had it finished. It took some careful sewing in of ends and a vigorous steam blocking by the iron to get it all smoothed out.

This was my first time knitting from either pattern and I can recommend both highly. I am looking forward to making myself both a bonnet and a cardigan in the near future!

As for the yarn, it was my first time using the Drops Merino Extra Fine and I was really impressed. It is extremely soft and blocks out wonderfully, so crisp. I cannot imagine that it’s all that durable or resilient to pilling, but since the cardigan probably won’t fit the kid for more than a few breaths, I’m not overly concerned. I don’t think I’d knit an adult’s garment out of it, but it would be perfect for accessories and gift knits of all kinds, given its softness, price, and colour range.

I really surprised myself with these knits! My experience with babies is that you hear about their imminence, then the following week, they’ve already been born a few months, and then the week after that, they start secondary school. I knit both of these items on a whim between the first and second stages and it’s just as well that I did, as it showed up unannounced. I cannot describe the bizarre mixture of feeling smug and like I had unwittingly outwitted my unyielding procrastination as I posted the items off.

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