As I mentioned in my previous post, I have made a parenthesis in my year of finishing to allow for a baby project. Or two.
For my tiny new niece, born barely a month ago, I finished a blanket which I hope will get plenty of use.
The pattern is Anita Jaensch's Bébé.
It's a simple, classy blanket that feels just right for a tiny Parisienne. The baby's mother is partial to neutral colorways, so I cast about for the right kind of grey in a superwash dk wool or blend. My hunt started at Stitches West this past February, but wasn't successful until I stumbled upon Berroco Vintage yarn during my visit to Knitty City in New York. Of course a Manhattan yarn shop would carry the right kind of grey baby yarn.
To my surprise, in spite of the acrylic content, I loved working with Vintage DK. The yarn always felt fresh under my fingers, never clammy as blends sometimes do, and most important given the seed stitch designs which are the point of this pattern, the stitch definition was really good, even after a good soak. I feel strongly about using superwash wool or blends for babies, as I intend to have my gifts used without any concern rather than kept pristine and unused on a shelf. I don't know how well Vintage would fare in a dryer, although the comments on Ravelry are fairly positive. French households rarely feature dryers, so I don't expect this will be an issue. In my experience, blankets knit with superwash wools do get more fuzzy if machine-dried but perhaps the acrylic content will keep the fuzz to a minimum.
Once blocked, the blanket drapes wonderfully. Bravo Berroco!
This was so much fun (yes, even the boring stockinette part) that I immediately cast on for another baby project for the same baby. More on this next time.
We all love babies around here, and my granddaughter Lola is no slouch when it comes to parenting her baby dolls. She handles them with infinite care, positioning their heads just so, pushing around her doll stroller or proudly parading through the house with a baby carrier strapped on her torso. I have been putting together a few items of clothing for her favorite vinyl baby, most of them store-bought, but with a few additions of my own making. I wish I could call this a stash-busting project, but it hardly makes a dent. This one took four evenings: two to knit the body, sleeves and band, one to soak and block, one to sew the sleeves on.
The pattern, which I found on Ravelry, was so-so. I made several changes as I could tell the sizing would not work if I followed the instructions to the letter. Sewing the sleeves in was fiddly; I much prefer knitting sleeves down when I knit for dolls; it is easier and ends up looking better. Still this will look sweet once I get around to sewing on buttons. I loved how fast it went, how easy it was to try things on my model and how satisfying it felt to turn a few yards of yarn into something that will be worn and played with.