Thursday, February 7, 2013

Knitting for Tots

There have been a few new babies in my life over the past year, and more soon to come. When it comes to knitting for them I have a pretty standard set of go to patterns. However, I'm always looking for something new to try.

 I usually start with a simple hat (pattern found in this book - Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders, and here's the Ravelry page) and slippers done in the appropriate color sock yarn. They're both fairly quick, although the slippers drive me nuts until I get them right. It's one of those times when the pattern isn't written right but with a few adjustments it works. Unfortunately I never remember to right down the adjustments as I make them. The last time I tried to do the slippers (pattern found in this book - Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, and here's the Ravelry page) I knit both at the same time, one on a set of DPNs and the other on straight needles. That way I could make the adjustments to both slippers at the same time rather than finish one and wonder what in god's name I had done to the first one while trying to knit the second one. It also meant that when I frogged one slipper I had to frog the second slipper. I figured it out eventually...but maybe next time I should try to write down the changes ... :/

After the hat and slippers, I usually try for a blanket if I have enough time. Sometimes a blanket has to be skipped due to time constraints, but I try to fit one in when I can.  The Diamonds Are Forever Baby Blanket is especially quick in a pinch. Blanket sizes usually depend on the amount of time I have before I have to hand it over.

Then there's the stuffed toy. Sometimes when I know there isn't going to be enough time for a blanket I'll skip straight to the stuffed toy. Otherwise I'll stop after the blanket. It's something that can last for a while and grow with the child in a way that a smaller blanket would not be able to. So far I've done this teddy bear (also from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies) and this owl (from Ocean of Stitches).

The teddy bear was sort of fun and interesting but I found that it was oddly proportioned and hard to sew together. I'd have liked it more if the body was done in two pieces rather than two pieces for the front and back, and one piece for each arm. it made it squishy and flexible but it looked a bit weird. The head was also a bit difficult to shape accurately. You can't tell from the picture but it came out crooked and squished a bit. If I were to try to make another knit teddy bear I think I'll try a different pattern or maybe re-work the body so it was done in either two pieces or just do a whole body in the round. I'm not sure yet.

The owl was lots of fun once I settled into the pattern. I made the body twice as long and accidentally doubled the stitches picked up on the side which made it bigger than intended but it turned out alright. I had a   bit of an issue trying to figure out eyes. Turns out if you don't make them two tone and/or really large it looks a lot like a cat. Of course, it's always easier to add eyes before you stuff and seam it. Oops. My bad. I suppose I could have added feet, but I was worried they'd be pulled off too easily. I like him just the way he is.

What are your go to baby knits? Do you have a favorite stuffed toy or blanket to make or do you prefer to buy something from a store? 

As a reminder, if you'd like to talk with me directly about anything, you can send me a message here, or through email at teacupsandradios(at)gmail(dot)com .

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