Even though there's no official "baby season," I seem to have friends with due dates in the spring and summer more than any other time of the year. In fact, I have three friends who are expecting in the next four months—I need to get my needles clicking on shower gifts!
Baby items are some of my favorite things to knit, partly because they're so precious and the design choices are endless, and partly for sentimental reasons; I became an intermediate knitter while knitting baby clothes and toys for my nephew, Henry. These small items gave me a chance to practice more advanced skills on a small scale. I found it easier to wrap my head around a difficult cable, stitch pattern, or construction technique when I was working on a smaller piece.
I love working on baby sweaters the most, but only one of my four buddies is finding out the sex of her baby. Even though I could make some unisex sweaters, I decided to make socks and a toy for all four babies and after they're born I can knit a sweater for each of them (after I meet them I can decide what they would like best!).
Baby socks are a mom favorite; I've make dozens of pairs of booties and there are only a few that actually stay on; socks, however, seem to stay put. Using a really special yarn for baby socks is fun, too. I have a ball of lace-weight cashmere that I've knit several pairs of baby socks from (I usually use 0s or 1s, but you can hold the yarn double if you want to work on 2s or 3s). You only need 100 to 300 yards of yarn for baby socks, so you can stretch that luxury yarn into many pairs.
The Interweave staff developed a bundle of baby and child sock designs for the special children's project section in the Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Knits
. These socks are all based on the "choose your own sock adventure" basic pattern from Ann Budd's book The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
. Click here to download the free pattern
And if you'd like to knit a toy, too, check out these free toy patterns!
Have fun with these, and happy baby season!