A Year of Baby Knits

I realised this week that it’s about a year since I first presented my sister with a hand knit for Alice. She was about eight weeks old when I first felt the the urge to make something and I remember I chose two skeins of palest blue koigu and really, I’ve never looked back.

In my mind, I’ve made loads of stuff but when I gathered the photos, I realised I’ve not made as much as I thought. I couldn’t even come up with twelve individual items for a twelve-photo mosaic. I had to double up. Not that anyone’s going to complain, I’m sure. But I really thought I’d done more.

A year of Baby Knits

1. Alice in the Helena Cardigan, 2. Elijah Stampy, 3. Alice’s dress, 4. Alice – new dress1, 5. Alice’s pink dress, 6. Garter Stitch Bib, 7. Modern Bib, 8. Smiley Alice, 9. Adele and Alice, 10. Alice in her Baby Kimono, 11. Alice – Feb Baby Sweater Set, 12. February Baby Sweater set

Some of those items she outgrew quickly, as babies do. And I’ve learned a lot about what to make in future for any other babies I get to knit for – how to spot what will work and what won’t. How to decide what will have the longest shelf life (ie more than 6 weeks).

But most of all, I’ve had fun. I wish I’d been as avid a knitter when my nephew was born. Willem definitely lucked out on the cute newborn knits due to an overwhelming lack of confidence on my part at the time.

Looking back, I’m curious to see where the gaps are. I’ve not made Alice a blanket; I’ve not made her any pants. Lots of knitters are keen to make soakers but I’ve never been sure about their purpose. I think she needs more hats; I could certainly make her some little socks.

And crochet! I’ve not crocheted anything baby-wise for her and I’ve got plenty of baby crochet patterns. I know there’s a school of thought that says they grow so fast, it’s not worth making special stuff because they just outgrow it, but at this stage, baby knits are so fast, so full of instant gratification and precious cuteness that it’s just about impossible to resist, and because I see her several times a week, I get the ultimate pleasure of seeing her wearing the stuff all the time. Her mum has shown herself to be not remotely bothered (not that she’s said!) by handwashing, so it’s a win win.

There’s a new cardigan for Alice freshly off the needles. I’ll show it off in a few days.

Bells

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27 thoughts on “A Year of Baby Knits

  1. Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous knits for Alice Bells! She is lucky to have such an awesome Aunty! I love knitting for littlies, its so much easier and you can see your project coming along rapidly…not to mention the fact that its helping me level up skill wise for the adult cardies i have on the go!

  2. Wow! I have recently had my second boy and still have a baby jacket I started ages ago with beautiful wool that I fear will never get finished. You are just amazing! Have been trying to get to a stitch n bitch for ages as I miss all you creative and lovely ladies.
    Cheers
    Katerina

  3. Reading your blog over the past year, it’s certainly felt like you’ve made a lot – and looking at your retrospective it still looks like loads to me! 🙂 And they’re all adorable. Can’t wait to see what the new one is like.

  4. That’s a lot of baby knits & Alice is so lucky to have you. I am sure there will be more to come & Alice will never run out of hand knits.

  5. I think you’ve done a splendid effort. A blanket is always lovely to keep but you should be very pleased with your efforts so far.

  6. man I”m impressed! In fact I’m lucky to have made 1 finished knitted item for my own ‘babies’

    good work and it’s all gorgeous work too

    Corrie;)

  7. How can you say you haven’t done much, there a lots of lovely things there that Alice wears (she wears them beautifully too I must say). I have made nothing for the past year for my son, so you’re streets ahead of me.
    Hats are a good idea, might have to try and get a couple started myself soon.

  8. Soakers are wool covers for cloth nappies – they soak up excess wetness and keep baby’s skin dry. Can’t use superwash as it doesn’t really work very well and they need to be lanolised (treated with lanolin) so that they do work properly. They are wonderful if you are using cloth nappies but if baby is in disposable nappies then no need for them (other than for decoration, some of them are CUTE!

  9. I think it’s actually quite a lot of knitting, especially considering all the other stuff you’ve done, too! Baby knits are so great – like you said, quick and darned cute, too.

  10. What a beautiful post!! I love all the photos of Alice and all, in her beautiful clothes. And she has grown up to be such a lovely little person in her own right now, not just a baby.
    Alice is so lucky to have you as her aunt!!!

  11. I knitted soakers because I was told baby would be in cloth nappies (the soakers – aka pilchers – soak up the extra that the cloth doesn’t) but, in fact, baby has been in disposable almost all the time! No need for soakers!

    And, I’ve discovered, there’s not much room in baby clothes these days for cloth nappies! They seem to be designed for the slimline fit of disposables or at least the “new” shaped cloth nappies – the old square towelling ones are very bulky!

    I hope there are many more pretty knits in Alice’s future!

  12. Alice is a lucky, lucky girl, and she looks so adorable in those knits! Hats – yes! Kids hats are quick and fun. You can embelish with crocheted flowers to your heart’s content. Beautiful photo montage. Great knitting. Go Bells! Chime on!!

  13. I think that’s a mighty impressive output – and you’ve only really doubled up once that I can see! Alice is very lucky to have you as her personal designer/coutourier! (spelling??)

    I’d love to know what you did learn about knitting for babies – what works, what doesn’t, shelf life etc. It might come in handy!!

    • Basically that the delicate yarns are nice but don’t really go the distance. The Pear Tree 4ply was not very durable. The sturdier yarns lasted longer (this doesn’t necessarily mean only machine-washable in my book either).

      The wrap tops weren’t a great success. The two I did never really sat right and I thought more traditional, plain, straight forward cardigan shapes were better.

  14. I think this is an enviably impressive output! And the growing slows down, Knitting for 2 and 3 year olds is (in my view) even more pleasurable.

  15. When the school nurse complimented my son on his handknit hat & mittens, he told her that the reason his mama had another baby was so she could knit for her. (LOVE those chatty 5yos!!) How could anyone NOT knit for a baby? You’re right, the knits go so quickly… and you can’t tell me the babies don’t appreciate it. Of course they do!! My girl adores her handknit items and I bet Alice does, too.

  16. I’ve heard the “they outgrow it too quickly” school of thought, too. But, so what? They outgrow everything so quickly and don’t babies deserve some handknit love?

    Alice has been the lucky recipient of Auntie Bells’ love in the form of soft, wooly things to wear and play with. She’s a lucky gir.

  17. too gorgeous! and that’s a decent lot of knitting for a year. i think i’ve only knit about three things for my girls in the same period. i’d like to make some dresses next, inspired by yours.

  18. It’s all so beautiful. I took inspiration from your candy-apple (the pink & green one) set when I knitted a baby blanket for my best friend recently. Hopefully she’ll keep your knits and hand them down years from now. Well done Bells!

  19. I think you’ve made heaps of stuff in a year, and most importantly, they are all beautiful thoughtful and well made things, that will be treasured long after she’s outgrown them.

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