Monday, August 16, 2010

Warning: Picture Overload!

Since today was the deadline for most of my recent knitting, I can finally share all my projects!  I've been aiming to get a "gift set" of knit items done for a friend's baby shower.  Since I found out she was expecting, I've looked over so many patterns it's not even funny.  I finally settled on a few I thought I could complete in the given amount of time.

So I have 5 projects to share with you.  I could share them one at a time, but I'm not that patient.  And since they're all sort of a set, it didn't seam right to separate them.  First off, the basics.  All items were made from Tahki Cotton Classic and Tahki Cotton Classic Lite yarn (exception: butterfly on the frog clip is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Yarn in Rose Petal - great use of some yarn remnants!).

The color scheme sprang from a few different things.  First, L & J are having a boy.  So, pinks and purples, etc. were ruled out.  I also decided to find out what preferences L had - some people don't like the traditional "blue for boy, pink for girl" color scheme.  She had told me she liked brown, combined with other colors.  Then I found out the nursery was painted brown & green and her cousin gave me more specifics on the colors (yellow-green, not blue-green).  With all that in mind, I knew I would use brown and a few shades of green.  But I was also really starting to like blue, green and brown together.  So there's a little blue thrown in here in there (rattle, elephant clip & baby sack).

So now for a few pictures.  I started with the Toadstool Baby Rattle.  This pattern was so amazingly simple and quick.  And I love that it's a cat toy used inside as the rattle (I don't know why this makes me smile).

The pattern gave several examples and suggestions of ways to knit the colors on this toadstool - obviously I opted for less realistic and more just fun.
This toy should be very baby friendly since the "stem" is fairly small and squishy. (I love the way the bottom of the stem is just blue.)
As is the cap.  Nice and plush for a babe to grab on to and goober on. :)
Second and third are pacifier clips.  I've made the elephant paci clip 3 times now.  I can't say enough good things about this pattern.  So quick it can be completed in a matter of hours.
Yes, the ears are crocheted, not knit.  This is probably my favorite of the 3 binky clips in Itty Bitty Nursery.  Maybe cause elephant baby stuff is cute (but then again what baby item isn't?).  And it's awesome that his trunk is the strap. :)

The frog clip was a bit of a challenge. A little project with lots of tiny, tiny pieces.
First off, every piece of the frog you see is a separate piece.  So 2 eyes, 1 head, 1 body, 2 legs, 2 arms, 2 hands, 2 feet.
Then you have the leaves, and the butterfly, and the stem, and the strap...well you get the idea.  LOTS of pieces.
In the end, though, it's worth all the work (as are most projects).  As I was knitting, I thought to myself, I'll never knit this again, dang little pieces.  Then I finished and though, "This is worth doing again."  Funny how quickly you can change your mind when you see it all together. Doesn't make me loathe the work any less...  And how fitting it's a frog since Baby's nickname is "Tadpole." :)

Fourth, a baby sack.  This is similar to the sleepers or gowns w/ the elastic bottoms that keep baby's feet warm or catch socks when they fall off.
This is my favorite of everything gifted.  I chose to use all 6 colors (3 greens, 2 blues, 1 brown) in the striping and I couldn't be happier. 
It seems REALLY long, but I had to make sure it wouldn't be shorter than the baby.
At the suggestion of a friend, I shifted the beginning of each round to the side so that the jogless jogs would be far less noticeable. It works beautifully.
I also chose to sew on snaps instead of create buttonholes because I wanted this to be an easy garment to use.  I then sewed some buttons on the top for decoration.  Deceptively simple. :)

The bottoms gets cinched shut like a drawstring bag, and tied in a bow.  I chose to use I-cord instead of store-bought cord or ribbon, it gives it a good weight to the bottom.  This could also be left open if L or J prefers.  And if ever used when traveling, pants would easily fit underneath so the sack can be pulled up to accommodate the carseat straps.

I knit the sleeves flat and then sewed them shut on my sewing machine instead of knitting them shut.  It seemed too messy and loose with just knitting it.  This was another good suggestion from the aforementioned friend! (Thanks, Melissa!)
Just a quick note on this pattern - it gives lots of flexibility on the little details to personalize it for a girl or boy.  And because I was knitting w/ a DK weight yarn and not worsted, I did the math and cast on extra stitches.  I hope it fits!! I chose to knit the cuffs, collar, and bottom edge in 2x2 ribbing for a sporty look.  I also omitted the stitches written into the pattern for the button placket.  Instead I picked up stitches and knit 6 rows of 1x1 ribbing on each side.

And finally, I knit a baby blanket using the Honeycomb Stroller Blanket pattern. This pattern suggests US size 10 needles with DK yarn.  I used US 9 needles and cast on 132 instead of 100 stitches, making it a little wider.

This pattern is also simple, although it looks a little complicated.  It's not at all.  I won't go into knitty, gritty details, but essentially it's just a lot of knit and purl rows, no stranding or anything!

The border/edging was a pain in my bottom but I got it done.  The worst part was picking up the stitches on each edge (I picked up about 500 stitches total - that's a lot!).

Although this isn't a big blanket (only 27" x 32"), it should make for a great baby/carseat/stroller blanket.
What's interesting is that this blanket is not reversible.  You can certainly tell front from back.  I do love it though and I'm happy to see it all done.  I worked triple-time this week to get this blanket done and blocked by this morning!
So that's the "gift set."  I'm pleased with myself, I love how it all came together.  Hopefully L & J find each item useful and fun.  It's not your typical baby boy colors.  Bold, vibrant, rich.  And best of all for a new mom & dad - it's all machine washable!


  1. Seriously, we should be friends so you can knit amazing things like this for my kid! Okay, I suppose I could do it myself...but I'm already working on a hat (one of Susan's Itty Bitty ones) and a baby blanket...and I have the pattern printed out for baby socks and...

    It's all great and I'm completely jealous of your knitting prowess :)

  2. Wow! What amazing gifts and amazing colors you picked. I'm very impressed.

  3. Rae Lynne,

    This set looks so Great! That is one lucky mama and papa! I love the blanket, will have to put that on my to do list. I want to knit another one of the baby bags now too! Everything is just so gorgeous. Congrats on finishing on time!

  4. Wonderful photos and beautiful knitting! That toadstool rattle is so unique! I love it. The colours you choose go so well together!

  5. Wow! I love everything you knitted for your friend's lucky son! The colors really pop. I found your site since I am looking to make the honeycomb blanket for my friend's upcoming girly bun. I appreciate that you showed a picture of the back of the blanket. Great work!