Monday, September 13, 2010

Baby Gifts!

FO pictures and a not-so-FO picture.

I knit some gifts for two colleagues that are having babies. I knit a bunting and a pair of booties for each. I was going to knit a matching hat, but that didn't turn out so well. The hat was knit out of the same yarn as the bunting, and I was going for the same striped effect, but either I have no concept of what a baby's head looks like, the pattern I followed was for a bigger baby, or my gauge was way off. The hat, or at least, the bit of ribbing and stripes I knit, fit on my head. Sure, it was very stretched out, but it still fit on my head. This leads me to believe that it would be too big for a newborn and wouldn't be worn with the buntings it matched. It soon got frogged. This was also a good thing because I would have had to go back to the craft store for more white had I knit the striped hats too. I probably could have exchanged one of the two extra skeins of grey I bought, but I still would have had to go back and deal with that.

I chose to knit a Comfy Angel's Nest because the worsted weight would make a quick knit, and I just thought it was freaking adorable. I'm not sure what sex the babies will be, so I was looking for a tan and white combination. The only browns they had were dark brown that wouldn't quite be right for a girl, or a puke tan that isn't right for this decade. I went with the only neutral pairing they had, a light grey with white stripes. Well, the only neutral pairing in the only decently inexpensive machine washable worsted weight yarn they had. It turned out pretty well, in my opinion. I love these little bear buttons! I was torn between white and brown, but the white seemed to disappear even though the brown isn't the best choice for it. It works, and I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Pattern: Comfy Angel's Nest (Ravelry Only)
Yarn: Wister Jolly Time II, two and a bit skeins of grey, less than half a skein of white.
Needles: US8/5.0 mm
Timeframe: Both were knit between October 20th and November 7, 2009 - would have both been finished by the 1st had I not been sick and then stalled on them!
Mods: Lots, actually. On Row1, instead of P2, I did a K2tog and kept only one stitch in between each row, changing to a knit instead of two purls. I don’t like the look of a seam where there isn’t one and the purls would pull the knit stitches in so would be better substituted with K1 than K2. 3 stripes instead of 4 because 4 is an unlucky number in Japan and the mothers are Japanese. For the sleeves, I picked up two stitches from the body at the underarm, knit them together, and knit that stitch together with one of the stitches next to it so there wouldn’t be a hole. For the sleeve cuff, I knit all for the first row of the CC to make a smoother color transition. For the second one, I did the sleeves right away instead of waiting until the body is done. Much faster and easier to do it when you only have the top of the bunting and not the entire thing hanging off of your DPNs. I put the cord into the eyelets before closing the hem so I wouldn't have to pull it through afterward also. I knit the body to 17.5” for a final of approximately 18” instead of 16.5”.
Problems: A couple of errors were found in the pattern, but nothing I didn't catch right away. I believe Row 1 should be: Sl1, K5, M1, P2, M1, K4, M1, P2, M1, K18, M1, P2, M1, K4, M1, P2, M1, K6, and the Final Increase Row should be * K8, M1 * to last 8 sts, K8 for 98 sts.

I am particularly pleased with the small details on this piece. Lovely matching M1Ls and M1Rs for the raglan shoulders, getting rid of the color change purl dots with a knit row instead of ribbing at the cuffs, and some beautiful KLLs for the Final Increase Row really make the bunting look good. I used a YO bindoff for the button bands so that they didn't pucker in. For this project, I did make knots when I changed skeins or colors so that if the woven ends do pull out someday, they'll still be attached. I also used the overcast method to weave in the ends as I went along. I find this piece to really be a bit of a work of art with all the little details.

I also knit a pair of Sneaker Booties for each. It's an adorable little pattern, and I was looking for a nice light blue like in the pattern picture, but the green yarn was a good price so I went with that, figuring it was decently gender neutral. I find it amusing that I went with the patten colors for the bunting when I wasn't looking for that, and when I was looking for the color shown in the pattern, I couldn't find it. Ah well, at least I found decent yarn! I'm not too pleased with how it came out. The booties will probably look good on little feet, and I put a dot of glue on the tied laces so they won't come undone, but the soles of the booties are obviously done with a thinner yarn and that isn't so hot. I'm so pleased with the bunting that I'm not going to complain about the booties and I'm sure that they'll like them anyway, but it's just one of those things. If they had a white in the sport weight yarn I got, I'd definitely have purchased some of that too, but alas, they did not.

Pattern: Sneaker Booties
Yarn: Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn in White, bits of a skein that's been used twice already before, and about 1/4 of a skein of Wister Color Palette in green, a sport weight yarn
Needles: US2/2.75 mm, DPNs
Timeframe: October 29 - November 5 for two pairs, would have been done in 2 days but I stalled from being sick.
Mods: None.
Problems: Not really, I'm just not all that pleased with how the sole looks on these.

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