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Entries in Babies (73)

Sunday
Aug072011

Whit's Knits: Little Baby Sweater

My son Bear is a rowdy, mysterious, extremely silly two and a half years old. I love his toddlerhood, its questions and observations, its vicissitudes and surprises, but there's one thing I really do miss about his infancy. Those amazingly tiny little clothes! With their itty bitty sleeves and miniature proportions, they seem to me now like they were made for enchanted elves instead of babies! This irresistible cuteness makes baby gear almost everyone's favorite thing to knit, me included.

And so to satisfy this hankering, I designed this charming Little Baby Sweater. It's a simple knit, inspired by the no-nonsense engineering of knitting great, Elizabeth Zimmermann. Its inset sleeves pay homage to her genius Tomten Jacket, and its easy, low maintenance finishing would maybe please the guru herself! If you love Elizabeth Zimmermann's style but have always felt a little intimidated by her approach, this is a very friendly place to start!

I was happy to have a great excuse to try out our newest yarn from Anzula, Sebastian, because it includes sea cell, a fiber I had never heard of.  It turns out that sea cell is a seaweed and cellulose blend with the rigor and breathability of a plant fiber, the feather lightness of wool, and the soft shine of bamboo. It also turns out that sea cell plus superwash merino makes Sebastian the perfect choice for a baby!

 

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Sunday
Feb272011

Whit's Knits: Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan

I love to knit for babies. Not just for the usual reasons of it being fast and immediately gratifying, but because I love while I'm knitting to think about the baby herself, her budding life and the amazing road ahead of her. I love to think about the explosion of feelings the baby's parents are experiencing and the cocoon of love they are busy creating for their little one. And I love to think that all of these thoughts and good wishes are soaking right into the gift I'm knitting!

I wanted to design a sweater that would reflect these thoughts, that would feel almost as precious as the baby herself.  I wanted it to be delicate and pretty, but practical too, a small version of something that I would want to wear. In short, I wanted to design a super special baby sweater!

Of course a super special baby sweater would have to be made out of something incredibly soft and beautiful and so I turned to Blue Sky's Royal Alpaca. Spun from a very rare quality of luxury alpaca fiber, this yarn is as sumptuous as cashmere and as singular as the baby herself! Royal Alpaca comes in a vintage palette of gentle colors, from petal pink to warm cocoa, perfect for heirloom baby gear. (You'll only need one skein for the newborn or 6 month size and two skeins for the 12 month size.)

So things didn't get too serious, I decided to add a burst of happy color around the yoke in a simple fair isle pattern. When just a little bit of yarn is needed, we love to use mini skeins of embroidery or needlepoint yarn, like Gumnut's Blossoms crewel yarn. It's 100% wool and comes in such a huge array of rich and sophisticated colors that choosing four is a real pleasure.

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Saturday
Feb192011

Oilcloth Placemat from Laura Normandin at Wren Handmade

While looking through our favorite blogs last week we were inspired by Laura Normandin's beautiful recent post over at Wren Handmade. It's a beautiful oversized placemat made from Nani Iro oilcloth, a pretty and effective way to keep things clean when a baby is just learning to eat. We liked it so much that we wanted to share it with our readers!

Laura Normandin is one of our favorite designers, her work always gets us excited. (You may remember her crocheted bracelets pattern from last year right here on The Purl Bee). In addition to her great blog Laura also has a wonderful Etsy store, she currently has some amazing crocheted flower barrettes available there that would be so sweet for Easter gifts! You can probably tell by the charming image above just how lovely and inspirational her sense of style is.

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Sunday
Nov212010

Whit's Knits: Winter Hats for Everybody

Our customers are always looking for simple, no-nonsense winter hats. Some people don't want floppy or funky or trendy or slouchy or sassy. They just want "a hat, you know? A hat...". This Winter Hat is a classic, timeworn shape and design, good for babies, kids and adults; boys, girls, men and women; country and city.

But, for us, of course, "a hat" is not just a hat. It is a stage, a quiet place for yarn to soliloquize, "I am gorgeous and special yarn gracing the head of this wearer!". We consider such a quiet place a wonderful opportunity. We dive into our shelves for some of our truly most beautiful yarn, and often we surface with Jade Sapphire's 100% Mongolian Cashmere.Jade Sapphire's cashmere is the softest yarn I know, a crucial point because nothing is more irritable than a scratchy hat; unless it's a too bulky hat, one that overzealously does its job and leaves the wearer with a sweaty head and a red overheated face. That's why the Zageo 6 ply is the perfect hat yarn, thin and lightweight, but, because it's cashmere, toasty warm and guaranteed not to scratch!  The colors pictured above from left to right are: Ivory, Creme de Menthe, Pebble Beach and The Blood Orange. 

We made all three of our Winter Hats for Everybody with theses 4 skeins, and had enough yarn left over to make two more Baby Hats, or one more Kid Hat or one more Adult Hat. If you would like to modify the pattern with your own ideas of stripes or embellishments, or switch to a different yarn altogether, here are the yardage requirements for each hat:

  • Baby Hat uses 85 yards
  • Kid Hat uses 130 yards [not including the pom pom]
  • Adult Hat uses 165 yards. 

You can find our pattern right here, you can find Jade Sapphire's Zageo 6-ply Cashmere right here (or, if you would like to explore some of our less expensive yarns for these hats, you can use any light worsted/dk weight yarn at this link).

Our Winter Hats For Everybody pattern includes easy-to-follow directions for three sizes of hats: Baby (3 months to 15 months), Kid (toddler to preteen), and Adult (everybody else!). It also includes instructions for making the stripes just like we did here and also for making three different toppers: an I-cord loop, a pom pom and a little tassel.

I love the idea of giving the same thing to everybody in my family, from oldest to youngest, from grandpa to niece. I think it's a wonderful symbol of the season, that we get the same thing because we all have the same needs and desires and that we are, after all, one big family.

If you would like to keep everybody on your list warm this holiday season with our Winter Hats For Everybody, you can find the pattern right here.   Thanks! - Whitney

P.S. For perfect pom poms, we suggest you give our new Pom Pom Makers from Clover a try!

Friday
Jul302010

Me-in Baby Alphabet Block Kit

With the arrival of Jen and Ray's new baby girl this week (welcome Bobbie Rae!) as well as the early arrival of our designer Brooke's new baby 2 weeks ago (welcome Baby M!), we've been taking a fresh look at some of our favorite baby toy kits.  It feels really nice to make something by hand for a newborn,

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