If you know me in real life and you are planning on having a baby any time in the rest of this year you may wish to look away right now. Because I am actually being rather organised. I know, the shock is overwhelming.
I love knitting for babies, but after (quick check on Ravelry) fourteen Baby Surprise Jackets, I think I need a good break before I knit another one. The last babies I knit for, the two that arrived just after Pip, one I knit for in pink, because I didn’t start until after she’d arrived and I knew she was a girl, and the other in white and later added pink buttons to celebrate the arrival of a first daughter for our friends. But this time I don’t know what variety of babies we are expecting, nor exactly when they will arrive. All I do know is that given the knitting time I have available, it would be much better for me to be prepared, than waiting for them to make an appearance before casting on.
So I am building myself up a little stash of baby knits, of all colours of the rainbow, and then when I hear the glad tidings of great joy I can simply choose which one best suits, wrap it up and send it off. It’s also the perfect excuse to knit some very very cute teeny tiny little cardies and jumpers without worrying about whether it would look too girly on a boy.
Because we’ve never found out the variety of our babies until we met them in person, everything I’ve knit beforehand has been gender neutral, both in colour and pattern. There have been reds and blues and rainbows, cream and the perfect pearly grey, and soft cosy patterns, with lots of nice squishy garter stitch and not too much frilly lace. And while I knit I’d stash away patterns for if it was a boy or if it was a girl and promise myself that the first thing on the needles would be something delicate in shell pink or lots of sturdy boats with red sails against a deep blue sky. I know I could have knitted them anyway but to be honest I was usually racing their baby blankets to the finish with only tine to dream of anything but fairisle and steeks.
And of course once I was holding my babies the knitting rather took a side seat while we wallowed in all things new baby, and the dreamed of patterns sat in an electronic pile in the corner, only a few every making it into existence.
It’s high time to let some more of them see the light of day. Starting with the Stacked Staghorn Baby Sweater.
Oh it’s just so cute. I knit the larger 6-12 month size because I think you need a baby that’s sitting up and wriggling around for an over the head jumper, and a baby that’s wriggling needs and over the head jumper to actually keep them warm. Technically by age alone this should fit Pip, and as I was knitting along I kept looking at it, thinking how big it was and wondering whether I was accidentally knitting something for my wee baby.
Well that was right until I held it up against Pip. It fits over his head, but on the rest of him, it’s a little bit ‘well fitted’, so on an ordinary sized 6-12 month old it’s going to be perfect.
And it was a lot of fun to knit too, it’s simple enough that for the most part I just memorised the next few steps in the pattern and then I could pick up and knit the occasional stitch whenever I got a moment, which makes it much more doable with my small assistants around.
The yarn is Rowan’s Baby Merino Silk DK, it’s a great yarn for baby knits, as it doesn’t contain any synthetic fibres but can go in the washing machine, and it comes in some gorgeous colours. This is Bluebird the same as the bottom half of Pip’s Christmas jumper, and as that has withstood my young man’s determined efforts to add some extra decoration I have no doubt that this jumper will prove equally sturdy.
I think I’ve chosen my next pattern, the Maile cardigan out of something lovely from the sock stash for a baby girl but I’m always open to suggestions for the list so if you have a favourite baby knit please do let me know.