Let me tell you the worst kept secret among knitters – knitting for babies isn’t fun just because baby knits are small and cute and easy to make and you can finish them almost before you’ve thought of starting them. It is all of that, don’t get me wrong, but if you’ve ever snuggled a baby in a hand knit jumper you’ll know there’s something just so squishably cuddleable about a wool-clad baby that you’d never want to put them down. Baby knitting calls for the softest of soft soft yarn and so for the second baby knit of the summer I returned to one of my all time favourites (Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran) in a deep blackcurranty purple that is utterly gorgeous in it’s own right, and will also go nicely with all the dinosaur handmedowns from its new owner’s big brothers.
It’s been a little while since I knit for a baby girl (and it was in purple that time too) so I spent many happy hours searching Ravelry for the perfect pattern, one that said “adorable baby girl” without being overly flouncy and frilly, one that was nice and practical both to knit and to wear, and one that would suit her mama’s excellent taste in children’s clothes.
I do usually make cardigans as baby knits because for newborns a jumper is a massive faff, you want to be able to get it off and on easily, and unbutton it if they fall asleep and get a bit hot, and leave it unbuttoned if they’re anything like my three and think milk is a gift to be returned as soon as possible. But once I started to realise that it wasn’t very practical to be planning baby knits for a nice hot English summer either, and that a six month size was a much better bet, suddenly the field of jumpers opened up again. At 6 months jumpers have always seemed more practical to me, for pretty much all the reasons that they don’t work so well for newborns, especially as my little ones had a well practiced habit of crawling out of their clothes whenever possible. And so I came back to Camilla Babe, the teeny tiny version of Carrie Bostick Hoge’s grown up Camilla.
I had so much fun knitting this jumper it took all my willpower not to dash out to buy the yarn to make a bigger one for Elma (in soft sea green – I’m already planning it for her birthday!). Even in the round garter stitch knits up a treat and the pattern was easy enough that I could memorise it and carry it around with me.
And so this little jumper has been knit in our garden, on the train to and from work, in the car, and even on the beaches of South Devon, and then it was washed (a lot), blocked, and left to dry. The blocking just pulled the feather and fan pattern into shape and gave it its lovely curvy front and then it was ready to be sent on its way south, to a little girl who, given the weather of the last week, is not going to leave it for some time to come!