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baby knitting

  • One-Skein Baby Projects

    Please welcome our Guest Blogger, Sharon Silverman.  Sharon is the author of Crochet Refresher, Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets, Tunisian Shawls, and most recently One-Skein Baby Projects.  Her very popular Heirloom Frame Crochet Blanket ePattern gets rave reviews on LeisureArts.com.  She has two brand new ePatterns that you can be among the first to download.  They are a Mosaic Blanket ePattern and a Lacy Crescent Shawl.  Sharon is here today to tell us about her latest Leisure Arts Book: One-Skein Baby Projects.  

    “Good things come in small packages,” the saying goes, and that’s certainly true for babies and for crochet projects.  My goal for One-Skein Baby Projects was to create adorable designs that crocheters could whip up for a special little baby without a large investment of time or money. I’m delighted that Leisure Arts was on board with the concept and gave me the go-ahead.

    Photo 1, book cover One-Skein Baby Projects book cover.

    The first part of my design process was to decide what items to focus on, and to select yarn for each project. I was inspired by Bonbons and Vanna’s Palettes. Both are mini-skein sets from Lion Brand. So cute to have all of those colors in one package! Those seemed ideal for toys.

    Photo 2, Pretzel Rattle Pretzel Rattle

    I used Vanna’s Palettes for the Pretzel Rattle. Why a pretzel? I should probably confess that pretzels have fascinated me ever since I wrote a travel guidebook about my home state, Pennsylvania Snacks: Your Guide to Food Factory Tours. I learned that Lititz, Lancaster County is home to the first commercial pretzel bakery in America, and that the history of the pretzel extends as far back as 610 A.D. That’s the first documented instance of European monks rewarding children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers with a pretiola, Latin for “little reward.”

    A pretzel-shaped rattle has other advantages, too: lots of places for baby to hold on, and holes that are perfect for peek-a-boo.

    Safety is always my top priority when designing baby items. For the rattle, I used an unopened tube of beads completely encased in clear, waterproof packing tape. It’s positioned in the middle of fiberfill stuffing so it’s completely hidden from view, from feel—and from little teeth. Unless an elephant steps on the rattle and then a tiger rips the packing tape and the bead tube to shreds, the beads pose no danger.  (If you are in regular contact with an elephant and a tiger, omit the bead rattle—although a choking hazard may be the least of your worries.)  

    Bouncy Block uses Lion Brand Bonbons for a bright-colored, highly textured cube that’s fun for little hands.

    Photo 3, Bouncy Block Bouncy Block

    I think crocheters will enjoy making this because each side is different. Instead of fiberfill stuffing, I used washable cotton batting because it is denser and keeps the block nice and plump while retaining its shape.

    Every baby needs a “lovey” to cuddle and snuggle with. The Snow Bear Lovey (Bernat Baby Sport and Patons Astra) is a sweet bear-and-blanket combination. I chose a textured stitch pattern on the blanket to keep it interesting for crocheters and for babies. The head, muzzle, nose, ears, and arms are made separately, then assembled and attached to the center of the blanket. The ears are definitely my favorite part of the Snow Bear’s head. Something about them makes me go, “Awww…”

    Photo 4, Snow Bear Lovey

    Once the toys were finished, I worked on baby garments from head to toe—literally!—the Bubble Hat (Red Heart Anne Geddes Baby), Ribbed Vest (Caron Simply Soft), and Booties for Cuties (Red Heart Baby TLC).

    My own children are in their twenties now and hence no longer suitable models for baby gear, so it was thrilling to see the smiling little boy wearing the Bubble Hat and the Ribbed Vest in Leisure Arts’ photos. Way to make my work look good, buddy!

    The hat is sized for 0-3 months, 6 months, and 12 months; the vest is sized for 0-3 months and 3-6 months.

    Baby Bubble Hat Bubble Hat
    Baby Ribbed Vest Ribbed Vest

    Booties for Cuties are designed to keep little tootsies warm. High cuffs cover the ankle and keep the footwear right where it belongs. This project is sized for 3-6 months and 6-9 months.

    Baby Crochet Booties for Cuties Pink Booties for Cuties - Pink
    Crochet Baby Booties for Cuties Blue Booties for Cuties - Blue

    One other garment, the Hibiscus Top in Lion Brand LB Cotton Bamboo, has very recently been published as a stand-alone ePattern by Leisure Arts on its website.

    Crochet Hibiscus Top Hibiscus Top

    Every parent will tell you that you can never have too many bibs or washcloths. The final three projects in the leaflet are two bibs and a set of washcloths.

    The Bright & Easy Bib (Patons Grace) is worked in single crochet so it’s nice and dense. The ties are worked as part of the neckline so there’s no chance they can come loose.

    Crochet Bright & Easy Bib for Baby Bright & Easy Bib

    The Pullover Bib (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton) has a stretchy neckline that makes it easy to get on and off. A variation on single crochet produces a tight weave to keep messes from getting through. This bib is sized for head circumference 14” and for 16”.

    Baby Pullover Bib to Crochet Pullover Bib

    Sunshine Washcloths (Lily Sugar ’n Cream) brighten up baby’s nursery or bath. Thick and thirsty cluster stitches make these quick cloths pretty and practical. Make a few, roll up and tie with ribbon, and pop them in a basket with baby toiletries for a charming shower gift.

    Baby Crochet Sunshine Washcloth Sunshine Washcloth

    It was a pleasure working with Leisure Arts on One-Skein Baby Projects. Along with doing the editing and photography, they added helpful video links to the patterns. What a great way for crocheters to learn something new or to get reacquainted with a technique they haven’t used in a while. In the past I’ve written Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets, Tunisian Shawls, and Crochet Refresher for Leisure Arts; another leaflet, Easy Afghans, will be published this spring. They also offer some standalone ePatterns of my work on their site.

    My hope for One-Skein Baby Projects is that relatively new crocheters will find easy items to suit their skill level, experienced crocheters will enjoy exciting stitch patterns and techniques to hold their interest, and that the finished projects will put a smile on the faces of babies and their parents.

    One-Skein Baby Projects Table of Contents Table of Contents

    To tell you a little bit about me, I’m a lifelong crafter who switched gears from travel writing to crochet design after I rediscovered my love of crochet about ten years ago. I’m a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America and a design member of The National NeedleArts Association. I was a featured guest on HGTV’s fiber arts program, “Uncommon Threads,” and have been interviewed on numerous radio podcasts. Recently I expanded my crochet work to include large-scale museum installations, indoors and out. I love to travel and explore the outdoors, especially with my husband, Alan, and our two grown sons. So far I have visited 48 states, 5 Canadian provinces, and 9 European countries. You can find me on Facebook and Pinterest at Sharon Silverman Crochet; on Ravelry at CrochetSharon; and on my website, www.SharonSilverman.com. I would love to hear from you!

    Happy crocheting!

    Photo 14, Sharon Silverman Sharon Silverman
  • Pumpkin Hat

    100 Hats to Knit & Crochet

    I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday. I have a friend with a new baby. So, I thought I would crochet him a cute little Pumpkin Hat. I used Crème de la Crème 100% cotton. I used three different colors orange, brown, and green. This pattern will fit an infant/toddler. I didn't get this pattern from a Leisure Arts book. 100 Hats to Knit and Crochet has hats that you could modify to work for your needs.

    Pumpkin Crochet Hat

    With a size G hook. Chain 60 stitches. Join in the round with a slip stitch. Be careful not to twist!

    Row 1: With main color (orange) chain 1, single crochets all the way around, and slip stitch into the chain 1. Row 2: Chain 3, double crochets all the way around. Continue Row 2 until the hat is about 3.25(3 ¼) to 3.50(3 ½) inches tall.

    Decrease is chain 3, 7 double crochet, and crochet 2 together, then 8 double stitches and crochet 2 together. You are going to continue decreasing by 1 stitch until you finish the chain 3 and 3 double crochet and crochet 2 together, 4 double crochet and crochet 2 together.

    Color change/Stem: To join the brown yarn slip stitch where you slipped the last stitch, chain 2, double crochet around. I didn’t crochet 2 together on the first round, because I did 2 regular double crochets into the next two stitches. The 3rd and 5th stitch a double into the middle of the lower stitch, and the 4th double crochet I went into the lower stitch. Continue this all the way around. The next round start your decreases chain 3, 2 double crochet and crochet 2 together, 3 double crochet and crochet 2 together. Continue decreasing by 1 stitch until you get to six stitches left and do double crochets until you get the stem length that you want then crochet 2 together 3 times.

    Green curly cue: Chain 35 stitches or however many you want to do. Do 6 double crochets into the 2nd stitch and 4 more stitches into ever chain stitch. Bind off when you get to the end. With a darning needle or crochet hook attach where ever you want it.

     

  • Baby Washcloths Part Two

    Baby Washcloths to Knit

    Alright the knitting part of my baby washcloths is done. What am I going to do with all 9 of them? I am going to crochet them together and make a baby blanket. I got the pattern for the washcloths out of the book from Leisure Arts called Baby Washcloths to Knit by Melissa Bergland Burnham. It took me a few tries to get it all worked out and it to look how I wanted it to look. It only a couple hours to finish it once I sat still long enough. A lot of procrastination went into this project. I started this project back in May. Then my ADHD kicked in. I think that I was worried how it would turn out. I get ideas for projects some work out some do not. I am so happy that this one turned out so well.

    Crochet HookIMG_7889

    After I tucked in all my ends on the washcloths, I placed all 9 washcloths out and into 3 rows. Again I used white Egyptian cotton for this project. Then I began crocheting the sides of the washcloths together with a single crochet until I had 3 panels. I then crocheted again using a single crochet a panel on the top and the bottom through the cast on row and cast/bind off row. Make sure before you crochet together that once not upside down or wrong sided. When all this was done I then used a yellow Egyptian cotton to do a simple border. I did a single crochet around the blanket and 3 single crochets on the corner turn and 3 single crochets into the first stitch. This gives it a nice rounded edge. This is for a boy so I didn’t want to do anything frilly.

    FullSizeRender (28) Front
    Back Back

    There is another washcloth book that I want to make a blanket out of and that is Dishcloths for Special Days by Julie A. Ray. I thought how cool it would be to make a baby’s first blanket. Do it in all different colors like a patchwork quilt. The important thing to remember is to make sure that you buy and use the same type of yarn but in different colors. Why? It is important because all your pieces will be the same size and easy to piece together.

    FullSizeRender (31)FullSizeRender (30)

  • Baby Washcloths Part One

    When I found this book by Leisure Arts called Baby Washcloths to Knit by Melissa Bergland Burnham I wanted to knit them all for my new baby cousin. So I set to work with knitting all 9 washcloths it take me about 6-8 hours to knit a washcloth but doing all 9 took more time because I get bored, busy with everyday tasks, and/or I work on other projects. But the one thing that I like about knitting washcloths they are small projects and you can take them everywhere.

    IMG_7863

    When I started I used 3 stitch markers or place markers and placed them after the first 5 stitches on the start of the wrong side, purl until you get to the last 5 and place the second marker. The third I used to mark the right side that is the side that is your pattern side. I like using these because sometimes I get so busy knitting away that I will knit straight across or purl, when I am supposed to be doing the opposite, and then I have to back out and try again. My favorite out of all 9 is the Sailboat and the Butterfly. I used Egyptian cotton on all 9 washcloths. Stay tune for tomorrows post to see what I plan on doing with all of these washcloths. I am super excited. I thought about doing this the moment that I saw this book.

    FullSizeRender (27) All 9 Baby Washcloths
  • Getting Gauge

    When you are knitting, it is really important to get the correct gauge that the pattern calls for especially if you are knitting some sort of garment. I have a friend who once knitted a dress for someone and followed the pattern to every letter and it was 3 sizes too big. I have other friends that have knitted sweaters that were too small, too short in the waist or sleeves, or the pieces didn’t fit. So you want to do a gauge swatch and get your ruler out to measure your stitches. You want to know how many stitches you get within an inch.

    I used these Sailboat washcloths to show the difference in what I am talking about. I got the pattern for this adorable Sailboat out of a Leisure Arts book called Baby Washcloths to Knit by Melissa Bergland Burnham. I know with washcloths you don’t necessary need to worry about a gauge swatch. That said, the sailboat on the left is much smaller than the one on the right. I used two different yarns. The sailboat on the left was knitted in 100% Egyptian Cotton and the one on the left in regular Lily’s Sugar n’ Cream USA 100% Cotton. Both are cotton but totally different sizes of yarn. The sailboats were also knitted on different sized needles. The washcloth on the left was knitted using size 6 needles, and the one on the right was knitted using size 8. Why two different sized needles? I used the needles that the yarn specified. If I had used a size 8 with the Egyptian cotton, then it would have been really loose and you would not have been able to make out the pattern as well.  If I had knitted the Lily’s Cotton with size 6 needles, the washcloth would be really hard to have knit up because it would have been very tight.

    Left Sailboat knitted in Egyptian Cotton and Sailboat on the right Regular Cotton Left Sailboat knitted in Egyptian Cotton and Sailboat on the right Regular Cotton

    Good Luck on your gauges. I feel your pain when you have to do a gauge swatch. I do not like doing them either. I like them like I like tucking in all my ends in at the end of projects.

  • Slouchy Beanie with a Twist

    I started this kids hat by Leisure Arts called Forward and Reverse from the book Knit Celebrity Slouchy Beanies for the Family three different times. The first time I either missed adding a stitch or I dropped a stitch. The second time I got two inches in and I didn’t really like how the pattern looked so I thought: “What if I didn’t leave off the purl stitch at the end of the second row knit the last nine? How would it look?” Hmmmmm!!

    IMG_7668

    So for the third time I cast on my 70 stitches and worked the rib stitch 1 ½ inches, worked my stitches off the size 6 circular needles to size 8 circular needles, and then the next round I added my stitches evenly around. Don’t forget to use place markers! I used 3 different place markers; the first, where I joined it in the round. The second,  to move up the hat so that when I do my decreases I know that is where I joined it and that is where I start decreasing. The third marker is the one that is going to continue to move around the hat.

    Since I adjusted the pattern slightly by a few stitches, I did a few extra rows to where I got to a purl 1 knit 1 at the place marker that shows where I connected it in the round and followed the rest of the pattern. If this knitting project wasn’t a success, well it would not have been my first or my last. One of the rules that I learned from my many art classes: you have to know the rules in order to break the rules. You have to at least try. You have to take a chance. All-in-all, this project was a success.

    FullSizeRender (24)

  • Fun Stripes

     

    I have been knitting and crocheting baby hats for Arkansas Children’s Hospital of several years now. I have one pattern that I know by heart and it gets boring so to shake things up every once in a while I pick a new pattern. I fell in love with this little slouchy beanie baby hat called Fun Stripes. I found it in the knit version of the Leisure Arts' book, Celebrity Slouchy Beanies for the Family by Lisa Gentry. I know that the pattern calls for different colored stripes, but I chose variegated yarn.

    The instructions are very easy to follow. It only took a few hours to knit up. Be careful that you don’t grab the tail to start knitting like I did today -  I was totally not paying attention to what I was doing! I also did an extra row of decrease and knit row. I just felt I still had too many stitches on my needles. The pattern called for two different sizes of knitting needles. Since I was doing a hat, I used my 16 inch circular clover needles. After I got to the decrease row 9, for row 10 I knitted off the circular and onto the same size of double-pointed knitting needles. I used Bernat Softee Baby for this project. I have never knitted with this yarn before, but I plan on using it again. It is very soft!

    FullSizeRender (17)

  • Loom Knitting

    I have been knitting for almost twenty years. I have never loom knitted. I have made small woven projects like a mouse pad and coasters, but no loom knitting. I did not think that I would ever want to try to loom knit. My friend bought a set of circular looms for hats. So I thought I would give it a try. I borrowed one of her looms. I chose a small one for a child. I knit hats all the time for Arkansas Children’s Hospital Knitting for Noggins.

    I used I Can’t Believe I’m Loom Knitting by Kathy Norris. I used the starter instructions to get started. I found them to be easy to follow. The book didn't have a baby hat pattern so I winged it. I just continued going in circles until I was tired of fighting the yarn and my hand was hurting. It may have been a combination the type of yarn that I was using and the plastic loom. I bent the hook because yarn was so tight. For my next hat I think I will use cotton. Hopefully it goes more smoothly.

    Baby hat knitted on a Loom Baby hat knitted on a Loom
  • Baby Washcloth

    I was working on a Baby Bunny washcloth from the book Baby Washcloths to Knit by Melissa Bergland Burnham. As I was knitting at my favorite coffee shop a friend who also knits made the comment that he didn't think that the bunny would show up on the white Egyptian cotton yarn. I tried to explain that lighter yarn colors show intricate stitches and cables better than darker yarns like black, navy, dark browns, and dark grays. These colors are very nice but your pattern doesn't show up very well.

    Bunny Washcloth knitted in Egyptian Cotton Bunny Washcloth knitted in Egyptian Cotton

    Thinking about his comment over the weekend I decided to look through my yarn stash and I found a cotton acrylic blend to knit another  Baby Bunny washcloth in black this way I can show him and who ever reads this what I am talking about. You don’t want to spend money and a lot of time on something and not be able to see and show off your skills as a knitter. When knitting these two washcloths keep in mind that I used two different types of yarn so they are two different sizes. The white washcloth is smaller than the black washcloth. Same amount of stitches and rows. On washcloths I don't worry about doing a gauge like I would on a sweater or socks where your gauge does matter.

    Bunny washcloth knitted in cotton acrylic blend Bunny washcloth knitted in cotton acrylic blend. See how hard it is to see the bunny.

     

    So choose wisely! I know a lot of time I fall in love with the feel and color of yarn. This sometimes makes it hard to pick the perfect pattern.

  • A Warm Pumpkin Hat for a Wee Noggin

    I'm sharing a recycled post with you today because it's about pumpkin hats.  Who doesn't love a good post about pumpkin hats!?  I made this Pumpkin Hat from Warm Hats for Wee Noggins and it's just so cute I had to show it to you again. Enjoy!

    Okay, I held off for as long as I could.  But we're nearly halfway through September, Arkansas's heat wave is nearly gone, and it is just plain time to start talking about pumpkin things.  Actual pumpkins, pumpkin-flavored drinks, pumpkin recipes--I love them all.  But it wasn't until I had my daughter a couple of years ago that I learned of the wonderful world of pumpkin hats.

    I love a good theme hat, obviously.  But a pumpkin hat?  Oh man.  Knock me over with a skein of sock yarn.  I cannot handle that kind of cute.  One of the very first times I successfully followed a hat pattern was when I made my little girl a pumpkin hat.  I was super motivated because there was no way I was going to take her to the pumpkin patch without a hand knitted pumpkin hat.

    Oh look, it's all my dreams coming true in one chilly afternoon.  Also, holy crappy decrease stitches, Batman!

    My little girl's hat still fits her, but I wanted to try out the Punkin' Patch hat from Warm Hats for Wee Noggins because this pattern has a leaf AND a tendril.  Besides, I rationalized to myself, I have a friend at work who loves pumpkins and this would be really precious on her granddaughter.  And you guys, this little hat did not disappoint.

    I love it! 

    As always, I went down a needle size (to a Size 7) because of my gauge, but that's it.  And that's not even really a mod.  Everything about this adorable little creation is perfect.  It calls for your standard worsted weight yarn, and I used some Red Heart and Vanna's Choice along with scraps for the leaf and tendril. 

    Oh, and that stem?  It involves just the tiniest bit of stranded knitting.

    It doesn't hurt a bit, I swear!  Since there's only three rows of knitting with two colors, and the hat itself is so small, this would be an excellent introduction to stranded knitting for a beginner.  And, it's adorable.  Just stinking adorable.

    As you can tell, this hat will fit a head slightly larger than a pie pumpkin.

    Well, probably a lot larger than a pie pumpkin.

    I knit this in the 12 months size, but Warm Hats for Wee Noggins includes instructions for 3 preemie sizes and 3 full-term sizes with each pattern.  This could be a lovely little hat for any small person--especially those little folks who need warmth the most!

    I really love this hat.  I love the way you knit the stem.  I love that the leaf is lighter than the stem.  I love that the tendril ..... exists.  Seriously, even if you don't have the yarn to make the leaf a lighter green than the stem, please find a tiny bit of scrap yarn to make this tendril.  It's an itty bitty amount of knitting and it's all curly and adorable and the perfect thing to add to a perfect hat for a perfectly adorable baby.  You just have to.  Promise me.

    I realize I sound a bit silly but I take my silly hats very seriously. It's nearly fall and the pumpkins are here.

    More importantly, so are the pumpkin hats!

    This post was first published on September 12, 2013.  And if you were wondering: my friend at work was thrilled with this hat and said it was her granddaughter's favorite hat.  She emailed me a few cute pictures of her little punkin wearing the hat.  I'm hoping it fits her this year as well!

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