Continuing Threads

Our little one is four months old (how has that happened?!) and suffice it to say lots about our daily life has changed! Rare is the day, though, that I don’t manage at least a teeny bit of knitting, and even if my progress is much slower, I am really happy that there’s time for a few stitches (what will you think if I tell you that not being able to knit was one of my big anxieties prior to Miss W’s arrival?)

And of course, a whole new world of knitting has opened up … the number of possible adorable baby knits are seemingly endless. So today, in an attempt to catch things up a bit here, I thought I’d show some of the knits I’ve made for our little poppyseed and also chat about what I’ve found most useful in her little handmade wardrobe in case you’re on the hunt for practical baby knits.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I didn’t rush to start any baby knits … I wanted to make it out of the first trimester first. Once that happened, I still didn’t have any major urge to baby knit — I had plenty of my own projects I wanted to be getting on with! But I knew for sure what my first baby project was going to be … Elizabeth Zimmerman’s classic Baby Surprise Jacket.

I’d begun a BSJ over a decade ago as a purely academic exercise. My mom was knitting one for someone’s baby and, intrigued by the pattern, I decided to knit one too. But with no baby to gift it to, I lost interest somewhere along the way and the unfinished object has moved with me ever since! I decided to not even attempt to match my ancient gauge and restarted the project.

If you’ve not knit this pattern and need a baby knit, I highly recommend it! I know many others have written much more eloquently on the pattern’s magic — somehow a piece of knitted fabric that, for some reason, reminded me of something that you might find skimming the sea floor, magically folds up into a charming little jacket.

Photo by Morganna Monk

And I’ve also found it to be a knit that has some legs, even as Miss W’s grown quickly. She wore it as an oversized jacket home from the hospital, and I think she’ll manage to wear it for a month or two more as a shorter sleeved cardi (though buttoning it might soon be out of the question!)

Before her arrival, I was also dead set on making the little one a baby blanket — a challenge for me as I really dislike square and rectangular projects where nothing changes row after row (why I hate scarf knitting!) But of course, there are plenty of blanket patterns that leave you with a finished object that looks like a blanket but don’t involve thousands of tedious back and forth rows. After looking at a few patterns, I decided knit Gudrun Johnston’s lovely full Hansel Hap.

This is a lovely pattern for a traditional Shetland hap and perfect for the square/rectangle averse! The central square is actually knit as a diamond — just as the rows become unbearably long, you start decreasing again! You then pick up stitches in the most painless way possible, knit some stripes of simple lace, and finish it all with a knitted-on border. The result is a cozy square perfect for wrapping little ones up in — I think it’ll also be a really nice cushy blanket for W to play on as she gets older!

I knit the pattern in a mix of Jamieson and Smith 2ply Jumperweight and Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift and followed it exactly as written. As is my usual practice, I started off by dropping down a needle size from the pattern’s suggestion since I’m a loose knitter. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t have done this as I think I could have gotten away with the bigger needle size and ended up with a slightly bigger hap. But as it is, it’s nice and squishy and bouncy — perfect for warming little limbs and padding tiny bums.

And I had a few other knits for W on the needles when she arrived that I’ve since finished …

A pair of woolly overalls, knit in beautiful Black Isle Yarns Shetland Sport leftover from my Olivia:

Aimee’s Rainbow, knit in Susan Crawford’s Ghyll yarn:

A Beloved bonnet by Tin Can Knits which she wears constantly — this was such a fun pattern to knit, and I’ll definitely be making another in the next size:

(You can’t see much of it, but Willa is also wearing an Antler cardi knit by my mom which she is still growing into!)

And I’ve managed a few projects since she was born. I knit a teeny Wee Envelope when she first arrived as almost everything we had was too big — the yoke design is so clever and having the envelope opening makes it really easy to get on:

Sadly I think W has now outgrown this, but I have plans for a bigger one down the line!

A pair of woolly bloomers in beautiful Uist Wool Fras (also leftovers and also nearly outgrown) — next I plan to knit a version of this that can actually be used as a cloth nappy cover:

And some scrappy socks (no pattern) for keeping tiny toes toasty:

We’ve also been super lucky to have hand knits given us by family and friends. I won’t share them all here today, but here are a few that I know the patterns for!

The Norwegian Fir Cardi, knit by my mom in some beautiful Shilasdair Coara:

A Beginner’s Jacket from Jenni:

And a Baby’s Fair Isle Cardigan from Kate:

These have been really versatile cardigans, and even though I didn’t knit any of them, I’d definitely recommend them if you’re looking for a baby knit. They’re lightweight but warm, and she’s been able to wear them for months, first with the sleeves cuffed and as longer cardis, now as more neatly fitted cardigans. I think she has a bit of wear left in each of these!

And when she outgrows then she has some lovely cardigans waiting in the wings, including this lovely number knit by Jen!

And I think every little babe needs a statement jumper, don’t you? Willa’s was knit by my mom — it’s the Hedy pullover by Dianna Walla, knit in Quince and Co. Lark:

I’ve got many more baby knits planned, but will save those for another day. But if you’ve not had your fill of baby knits inspiration, I’ve made a pretty big bundle on Ravelry.

Thanks as always for stopping by — hopefully I’ll be back soon with some of the grownup knits that have been in the works!

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