Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Booties and Hat...I'm flying through this now!

For both the booties and the hat I have continued to use the King Cole Super Wash Anti-Tickle as it comes in so many thicknesses and is perfect for babies so I can keep my layette all looking the same!!

The booties were so fast I couldn't believe it!! About 2 hours per bootie tops!
I followed this pattern-Bernat Stay-On Knit Booties, which on first glance looked kind of complicated but really wasn't! The only bit I was a bit baffled by was the "turn" instruction as I have never come across this before but I followed my instincts and turned my needles around half way down the row and that must have been the right thing to do because they have turned out fab! The only other bit of advice I would give is that when I was working the top section I cut the yarn after an inch and then continued with the same yarn for the next inch and a half to remind myself where to stop stitching on the inside of the bootie and start sewing on the other side so that the stitches don't show when its turned over (see picture below)

For the bows on the front, I used some of the left over chunky yarn from the blanket and did 2 20st chains with the same crochet needle I used for the blanket...waste not want not! I'm going to add pom poms to the bottom of the bows...hence the long tails! We have just found out they are having a little girl so I need to start getting on with them now!

I only used around half the ball of yarn on the booties so I used the remainder of it on this hat:

The pattern I started from was this pattern - Cheery Scrap Hat and followed the newborn measurement, but I made an executive decision to change the way that the ties were done as I was concerned about the length of them and therefore the safety of the baby. I instead used the last of the chunky yarn and crocheted 2 10st chains and put them onto separate double point needles. I then cast on one stitch, knit the crochet stitch and then cast on another stitch so that I had could follow the pattern from the stage where she picks up 3 stitches from her ties (I hope that makes'll probably understand more once you've read the pattern). I also thought it would help the layette look more like a set with everything having crochet ties and pom poms on.
I then worked the hat up until the point where she starts her fair isle...I loved the boys pattern but I wasn't so keen on the girls pattern so I designed my own!

I then just continued with the pattern from there, making sure I remembered to knit 9 rows of plain knit after I had finished my pattern as the original pattern was 26 rows high and mine is only 17 rows. 

This pattern was more difficult than the previous two and took me around a day to knit...again the long tails are for pom poms haha. Also, this garment won't be able to be washed...major error on my part for choosing a contrast yarn that can't be machine washed (I used a Wendy Allegra incase you were wondering!) I am using this yarn for the pom poms still as I don't think it will matter so much if they felt or shrink and I can't see the baby fitting in the hat long enough for it to ever need washing so I'm not going to worry too much...

I have started the cardigan...but it is taking FOREVER as it is knitted on 3 1/2 mm needles! I'm using a 1930's vogue knitting pattern but I've made a fair few changes to try and modernise it and make it sit well with the other items so it could be a while until the next write up.

Ciao for now!!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Baby Blanket Notes and Photos

Ok, I finished the blanket a couple of days ago but I've been working so it's taken me until now to write it up! I would say I'm an average speed knitter and it took me a good 3 days.

(I'm waiting to find out if it's a boy or a girl before I add the pom pom to the fastening!)

I got the pattern from another blogger Stitch Me Softly-Baby Snuggle Wrap. The pattern was really straight forward, usually when I'm following patterns off the internet I find myself a some stage going 'eh?!' so that was great!

As mentioned in the first post, I used a 100% wool Chunky King Cole Super Wash, Anti-Tickle yarn instead of the recommended alpaca yarn as I want the item to be machine-washable and baby friendly! This did cause an issue with the initial tension as the needles suggested by the pattern are 7mm and the needles suggested on the yarn are 6mm. I ended up having to do the first row as a knit row, instead of in the moss stitch and controlling the tension on every stitch (real pain :/ ). I was also left with a good 15cm tail at the end of the row. I was fairly concerned that I might have to start again but the tension was absolutely fine from then on so I tied a knot in the tail next to the knitting, cut the folded over end to leave me with 3 strands and then weaved them in (see picture below).

The only other problem I had was learning when to start the new ball of wool, the blanket is deceptively wide! The woven in ends look really messy so I would suggest that when you get to the end of a row and have around 1m50 left of your wool, start a new ball and the ends will be woven into the edge (see picture below).

I'm super happy with the results and will be following more of this knitters patterns in the near future...thanks Stitch Me Softly!

Booties next...can't wait to start them!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Modern Baby Layettes...why do these not exist!!!

Ok, so I recently found out that someone I know is having a baby (yey!) and I have always wanted to knit a layette not that I have acquired the basic skills that I need to knit a garment, so I set about searching the internet for a suitable project.

Problem: the couple in question are in their 20's and are into the high street and labels side of life. Try typing in 'baby layette' into any search engine and all you find is super crafty, home-made looking designs, not that there is anything wrong with that but this would totally not work for the a-for mentioned couple.

So, I have set to work finding a suitable pattern for each of the key components (blanket, hat, booties and a cardigan) So far I have only been successful in finding a blanket project and the booties. As of yet, we don't know wether the baby is a boy or girl so I have decided on a cream base wool so that I can get started.

Problem 2: What yarn do you buy for a baby?! All they do is poo, puke and pee so it needs to be machine washable. It also needs to be 100% natural fibres for their skin and not malt too much so it doesn't get in their eyes/mouth/nose. I know alpaca is super soft and really fashionable right now but it is seriously impractical for the above what do you use?

After days (and I mean DAYS) of searching the internet (again) I went and visited my local wool shop Ramshambles, York. The guys in there are so helpful and pointed my in the direction of King Cole. They do a range of Anti-Tickle, Super Wash (mashine washable at up to 40 degrees :D) 100% wool. It comes in loads of colours and different weights and so its perfect for my layette!!

So, the blanket is started...I've hit a few snags already so once it's finished I'll be back to give you the low-down!!