A Quartet of Baby Knits

A Quartet of Baby Knits

One of the things I’ve found myself fanatically doing the past few months is knitting again. Which is a lovely change of pace since I hadn’t been able to do it for so long. Turns out those weird amounts of worsted and fingering weight yarns I’ve been carting around for years (years) were the perfect amounts for baby knits.

The first thing I cast on was Hanami by Lisa Chemery. How friggin adorable is this little dress? I actually had some (what I believe) is a merino and silk blend that I’d had for over a decade. Normally I would have donated that skein eons ago having not used it for so long, but it was so soft and the colours so lovely I couldn’t part with it. it was actually a gift from another knitter, and she had lost the ball band eons before that, so my yardage was a guess based on some quick and dirty math, and the fibre content was also a guess, just based on years of yarn usage.

Turns out my complete guess of about 550 yds was correct, because that’s what the 12 month old version called for, and I finished it off with less than a yard to spare.

The next project was another knit by Lisa Chemery (I’m really digging her baby knits, and the patterns are written very intuitively), this time a hooded coat called the Latte Coat. While my gauge was the same, she used a bulky yarn to make a substantial coaty feeling knit. Mine is more like a cardigan weight because I only used a worsted weight yarn at recommended gauge – Valley Yarns Northampton which is a workhorse worsted weight yarn I really like and have used many times before. It’s what I had and I wanted to use the yarn I had damnit.

After those two I was browsing to see what other knits I could make with the turns-out-baby-knit-amounts of yarn I had, and I came across Lazy Sunday just recently released by Tin Can Knits. I’m normally not a buy a whole collection person, preferring to just buy the two or three I know I’ll knit out of a collection. But Tin Can Knits makes awesome patterns, and I could easily see myself knitting several of the patterns in here.

The first I knit was Storyline, which is a really fun cable knit. This was the other colour of Valley Yarns Northampton I had in my stash, so it’s what I used. There is a balance to cable motifs, and sometimes they sit so perfectly together they are a dream to knit. They become intuitive, you never have to look down where you are in the pattern, and you can knit them for hours without becoming bored. This was one of those knits for me. I actually ended up liking the baby’s so much, I bought yarn to make myself one out of Northampton in a deep green.

The next knit was Cider, this one I made out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes sport in the currant colour. I liked this knit, and I love the look, but it wasn’t quite as fun to knit as Storyline. I’m not sure why to tell the truth, maybe it’s because it’s a lot of the same kind of cable just in slightly different configurations. But damn is it not a cute little sweater. This one might be fun to spin for in the future, but I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to buy yarn for it. I will say the neck hole could use some work for the smaller sizes – babies have large heads in proportion to their bodies and I find this one a bit of a struggle to pull over.

Wool of the Andes isn’t not as soft as Northampton, and it’s definitely not as soft as the mystery merino/silk. It’ll just be worn over top things so I don’t imagine it’ll irritate delicate baby skin, but I’ll keep an eye. I’ll also likely wash it with some lanolin or a lanolin wool wash to soften it up a bit. I still have some Wool of the Andes left – I have no idea what I had originally planned to use it for since it was so long ago. I’m thinking the remainder will likely get donated though; it’s not quite enough for another baby knit and I can’t see myself making anything with it.

I purposefully knit all of these a shade too big, knowing that we were heading into summer when I made them and they wouldn’t get a ton of wear. All of them should last through fall and into the beginning of winter. Storyline is getting the most wear (although the Latte Coat is still too big, so that will likely get more wear into fall). It’s easy to put on and take off and it seems to be the baby’s favourite too.

Hanami isn’t an every day wear, certainly not if we’re going to the park or playing in the back yard, but it is good as something slightly “dressy”. I’ll definitely be knitting her more of these as she grows. The bottom half is a bit of a slog with all that straight stockinette, but if you’re looking for something mindless it works.

The number one thing I’ve learned: baby knits are incredibly satisfying. You get a finished garment and instead of it taking 800-1500 yards of yarn and a month or two (if it’s me anyway), it’s a week or two and you can use up stash.

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