Thursday, March 20, 2014

Knitting with Baby

I finished a February Baby Sweater for my February baby the other day:

The yarn is Knitting Notions sport weight that I had picked up a couple of years ago, thinking to make something for Tadpole. That didn't happen so I thought to use the yarn for Sprout. I'd initially tried a bottom-up henley design of my own making (quick pic here) but ultimately decided that I didn't like the way the colors in this kettle dyed yarn flashed across the body of the sweater. So the yarn went back into the frog pond for reincarnation.

After I had knit the garter stitch yoke, I frantically searched through my Barbara Walker stitch dictionaries for a 7-stitch lace pattern to swap out for EZ's choice of gull lace. Nothing caught my eye and an hour later (precious knitting time gone), I settled in for gull lace after all. The knitting flew by - even the sleeves, which I might have complained about just a bit since I wanted this piece to be done - and the gull lace turned out to be the perfect stitch pattern for spreading out the slight variations in the yarn.

Miss Sprout even obliged for a photo shoot:

There she is with her serious face, contemplating the milk she's about to spit up all over her nice new sweater.

Here's how you can tell this is not my first kid: I wiped the spit up off the sweater and then picked the camera back up to continue shooting. Once we were done, I popped the sweater in the sink for the wash and wet blocking I should have given it in the first place.

My new little sweater model has obliged on a couple of other photo shoots, sans spit-up:

My Pomander cardigan fits reasonably well now with room to grow. I know I've said it before but this really is a delightful pattern, well written and full of thoughtful details. The designer has a gorgeous jumper pattern knit using Loft. I'm having visions of knitting coordinating jumpers for the girls. (Note to self: finish your current WIPs first!)

Another favorite: EZ's Baby Surplice Jacket.

These two may be my new go-to baby knits patterns. The EZ pattern has some of the same clever shaping as her BSJ and is also designed to grow with the baby. In other words, you don't have to worry so much about size - it should fit the recipient for a while (i.e. several months, which is quite a bit in baby time).

I've got another sweater for Miss Sprout on the needles right now and I'm making slow but steady progress with mostly middle of the night spurts of productivity. When her sister was this age, I found myself getting frustrated when she wouldn't go back to sleep in the middle of the night (or go back to sleep soundly enough to transfer to her crib so that I could go back to sleep, too). Looking back on that period, I wished that I had just focused on enjoying the snuggles and time with my small daughter. (I also realized that rocking a baby in the middle of the night was prime knitting time and the knitting might have helped me calm down a bit). I told myself that I would do better if there ever were a next time. Now that the next time is here, I can't say that I don't want to go back to sleep but the midnight wakings (and staying awake) are less fraught and I've had some wonderful times enjoying getting to know this new little person in our lives and making something for her to wear while I'm at it.


Jennifer said...

Miss Sprout is such an adorable model. I love her yawning picture. Too cute!

SDQuilter said...

She is beautiful! The sweaters are wonderful, too!

Stephanie said...

Wonderful modeled photos! I'm impressed you can knit and hold a baby. I will have to try, if I'm in the situation again. Agreed, I would view some of the challenging times differently. With DD at 20m, it seems hard to me to imagine splitting my attention from her to share with a newborn, but that's just me.

Jacey said...

Gosh, she's cute! And look at the adorable sweaters! Thinking of you!

Sel and Poivre said...

With my second prepping for a year abroad you have no idea how glad I am to have worked at appreciating every moment of their growing up years with me!

The colour of that BSJ is so perfect on her!