posts tagged: babies

churn dash quilt

This is a story about a Churn Dash quilt whose promise was dashed to hell. All because I got the address wrong and now the quilt is lost to the streets of San Francisco. Read it and weep. (I already have.)

churn dash |

A friend from college had a baby girl in the spring, and I thought Churn Dash blocks, in a variety of bold colors, would be great, as my friend likes bold color combinations. I was slightly unsure about the amount of pink—death to the patriarchy!—but figured it was tempered by the green and the yellow. I liked that it was an old, traditional block done up with fun fabrics, unlike what you’d have gotten in the past.

churn dash |

For the back, I made 1 additional block that coordinated nicely with the simple polka dot print. I quilted it in diagonals, because my luck with quilting is such that if I cross lines, I get puckers. This worked out swimmingly, and after a wash it got nice and puffy and squishy.

Speaking of my issues with quilting, I thought back to when I’ve had success with quilting, and I realized that the times it had gone the best, I’d glue-basted with the sandwich hanging on a wall. But every time I did that, the spray glue distributed itself all over the entire room and EVERYTHING ended up sticky. And seeing as how I’m in a Brooklyn apartment, I only have the bedroom/office (with computer) or the living room (with TV) to choose from, really, and I didn’t want all my screens getting coated in glue. So this time I cleaned my shower and glue-basted in the bathroom! It worked really well, and even though this made the rest of the bathroom sticky, that was a cinch to clean up. Does anyone have a trick for dealing with drifting glue that doesn’t involve a bathroom wall? I can’t figure out how to deal with it otherwise.

glue basting in the bathroom

I really love the label I made for this one (sigh, whoever took it doesn’t even GET IT). Our alma mater has a tradition of singing songs together, and this line is from one of the songs, called “Good Night.” I have always thought it was such a perfect sentiment to send to new parents and their babies! It’s such a pretty lullaby. (I can’t find an audio of it to link you to, just trust me that it’s super pretty.)

quilt label |

Here’s hoping whoever stole this package out of the foyer of her old building (because yes, I sent it to the wrong address, but she quickly contacted her old landlord, who said there was no box) is using the quilt and didn’t simply discard it when it turned out not to be the pair of shoes the Zappos box might have led them to believe. (Could I have done even more to make this package ripe for disappearing??) I’ve learned a shockingly terrible lesson about mailing my handmade items. But it means I get to make something new and fun and different to give to the little one!

two hats: “one for now, one for later”

My backlog of finished things is out of control right now, and I plan to get them documented ASAP! now that we’ve tackled the hacking of the site and corrected the outdated “pointing” information, I think we’re back in business. First up, a combined knitting and sewing gift for a wee one!

purl soho hats | pepperknit

When I sent these two hats back in March, I told the mom it was “one for now, one for later.” Because she lives in a cold climate, I figured she’d still get some use out of a knit hat, and the bonnet was sized to be a few months older so that the little one could wear it over the summer. Of course, I know nothing about baby head sizes, and the weather stayed iffy well into late spring this year, so it seems the knit hat got a lot of wear–it wasn’t as small as it had seemed to me! And the bonnet is in full summer rotation already.

purl soho garter earflap hat | pepperknit

The knit hat is the Garter Earflap Hat from Purl Soho. I think this is such a cute pattern, and it knits up very fast. I used Malabrigo Rastita, which is DK weight, so I needed to knit one of the larger sizes in order to end up with a baby-sized hat. I used the final measurements for the baby size and coordinated that with my gauge to determine which size to me. (I now cannot remember the stitch count I used.) I did garter in the round (working a wrap and turn at every end of row) rather than alternating knit and purl rows in order to make it even faster. I ended up knitting a few extra rows because it looked impossibly stumpy to me; after seeing pics of the baby in the hat it seems that was unnecessary!

purl soho baby sunbonnet | pepperknit

The sewn bonnet is also from Purl Soho (they design such consistently great basics): the Baby Sunbonnet. A friend had made several for her baby, and I was eager to try the pattern. It was very simple and straightforward and I had no issues, other than picking two fabrics to work together! I used very lightweight interfacing for the brim, because it’s what I had handiest, and two quilting cottons, and I sort of wish I’d had a slightly heavier interfacing to give the brim slightly more body, but it’s fine. It was done in one evening.

And it seems to be well enjoyed by its recipient. I mean look at that face!!

purl soho baby sunbonnet | pepperknit

wee envelope for william

wee envelope | pepperknit

Another cousin is expecting a baby! This time, I decided I’d do something other than the basic Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover that I like so much. But when you research baby sweaters on Ravelry they’re just all so much the same. I favorited several but ultimately I chose Ysolda’s Wee Envelope precisely because it’s completely different from all the others.

For this you start with one sleeve, work across the front yoke, then knit the back yoke, then the other sleeve. At the end you pick up stitches and work the body. It just seemed so much more interesting to knit. I had a decent amount of Malabrigo Arroyo from my Spinster Slouch leftover, and I was able to get close to gauge and a nice fabric on size 6 needles. (I swear I’m not a tight knitter, despite the drastic difference in needle size from the pattern!) I debated what size to knit, since the little one is due in November—and he’ll live in Georgia—so I had to match up my best guess on the kid’s size (his parents are both very tall) with what the weather will be like plus how warm this sweater would actually be . . . so I knit the 3-6 month size. It looks impossibly tiny to me, but I don’t know babies, so I figure he’ll fit into it at some time.

wee envelope | pepperknit

As I’d hoped, this was an interesting knit. It’s not mindless like the Placket Neck would be, and there was some weirdness (you need to pick up across the front yoke, but there’s an I-cord edge there! How do you pick up for that?! The blog post to explain doesn’t address this at all, so I just fudged it, which I have to remind myself is totally the point of being the boss of your knitting), but there were nice long stretches where you didn’t have to think at all. I suspected I wasn’t really going to want/need 2 buttons on each side  (I basically hate dealing with buttons) but since I didn’t know the pattern—and there’s no actual schematic included—I just followed the directions rather than try to make modifications on the fly. In the end, though, the whole thing seemed so small that I just seamed the buttonholes shut. I am not sure that the parents would’ve even noticed the holes, but just in case, I made them go away. If I made the sweater in a bigger size I might include them, but future wee Wee Envelopes are more than likely going to be buttonless from me.

This definitely won’t be the last Wee Envelope I make: cute, fast (knit it in just 2 days), and the pattern includes a huge range of sizes. Yay for a new go-to pattern!

“beach ball” for Jack

Though I knit baby Jack a sweater, since I was getting to meet my first cousin once removed (I’m pretty sure that’s our relation—he’s my cousin’s son) at Beach Week, I had to make him something, right? The little stinker (on the verge of walking unassisted!) just turned one, and he took to the ball immediately. Success!

pepperknit | purl bee fabric beach ball

In fact, during a naptime session on the beach I watched him in the Pack-n-Play struggling with his FOMO but also distracted by his new best toy: he hugged, pet, and babbled to the ball. I dared not take a photo lest I distract him from napping, which was what he was supposed to be doing. But rest assured it was heart-burstingly cute.

pepperknit | purl bee fabric beach ball

The crab fabric was bought at Makers’ Mercantile when I visited in March. I knew I’d use it to make Jack-Jack something, but I wasn’t sure what until I spied the Purl Bee Fabric Ball pattern. I made the medium size, which was perfect for his little arms to wrap around. All the solids are Kona cotton, and I just used heat n bond to affix the red circles—I meant to stitch them down a little but didn’t, and that was probably a mistake. I’ll know for the future. Also I used the cardboard-and-foil trick for making the circles, with middling success. It’s still pretty hinky. But it works!

pepperknit | purl bee fabric ball

put a bird on it!

pepperknit | knit bird mobile -- group projectWhen we found out that one of our own was pregnant, the members of KBC started discussions of what kind of group gift to give. A quilt, sure, but not everyone sews. So we brainstormed an additional knit idea, and we eventually decided a mobile of knit birds would be cute and kind of funny—the parents, recently relocated to the East Coast after years in Portland, would be no strangers to the concept of putting a bird on it.

Finding a bird pattern led to much snickering when we settled on a free Blue Tit bird pattern from Lion Brand. Be warned: It is a finicky knit, and there was much swearing by all involved. The pattern is clear, it’s just a pain to knit. My bad; I am the one who found the pattern and decided it was the one! Ultimately one of us decided to knit the branches instead of wrestling the yarn into a bird (fine by me–finding random branches and ensuring they were bug-free was kind of stressing me out). Another took on the task of quilting and binding the group quilt (more on that separately), so in the end we had 7 unique birds!

pepperknit | knit bird mobile

Here’s my bird—knit using a random assortment of Cascade 220 from my stash. When I perched it on the branch I made it more “squished” than its natural state, so it got a little chubby. And maybe cuter than it originally was!

I set to perching them either in flight or on the branches so that they made a balanced mobile and oh boy was that a challenge. I used to make mobiles a lot in high school, so I thought it would be sooo easy. But hello, that was 20+ years ago, my skills were rusty, and most of those mobiles involved PAPER ORIGAMI. Not heavy, various-weighted knit birds! I did learn a fishing lure knot tying technique that I think is pretty sturdy and is good to use with filament thread (though I never really succeeded in making it look as taut and neat as in the video), and I feel really good about the finished mobile. I so badly wanted some birds to sit atop branches, but they were so heavy they’d flip right over; thinking to string the vertical supports through the birds was an inspired bit of genius, I thought!

pepperknit | knit bird mobile -- group project

We finally gave the mobile to the family at Maryland Sheep & Wool yesterday. And cutiepie Hazel, knowing it was her flock of birds, set to claiming it immediately—nomming on one right away!

pepperknit | knit bird mobile -- group project