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Knitting for Babies: Fun and Functional

Sep 11, 2013

First, the fun part!

Monkey Business Marionette by Stacey Gerbman, from Knits Weekend, 2011
Ever since I first saw The Sound of Music, probably 40 years ago (!), I've been intrigued with marionettes. They were so amazing, with their moving parts, and I wanted one in the worst way. I never did get one, but I got to play with them in grade school music class, and it was just as much fun as I thought it would be.

The other day, I was looking through Interweave Knits Weekend 2011, and what do you know—a knitted marionette; and it's a monkey. How wonderful! I've actually knitted from this magazine, and I never noticed the Monkey Business Marionette. How is that possible?

Well, I've seen him now, and I'm in love!

The monkey part of the marionette is a striped cutie, knit from whatever colors you or your child like. You can knit him in a solid, too; whatever your heart's desire. You could stop there and have a darling stuffed animal, but why not add the marionette manipulators and make a fabulous toy for your child?

Designer Stacey Gerbman provides complete, easy-to-follow directions for adding the strings and wooden handles to make the marionette come to life. She even makes it possible to remove the strings to untangle them and then put them back in place. She's obviously road tested this project!

I'm labeling this next knit baby pattern as functional, but I think it's also lots of fun, not to mention absolutely darling!

It's the Parker River Vest by Elinor Brown, and it might be my favorite baby vest ever! How cute is this?

The Parker River is knit from worsted-weight yarn, so it's a quickie project. It features a sort of fleur-de-lis colorwork pattern, and it has a button at the back neck to make it easy to put on baby.

The Parker River Vest by Elinor Brown,
from Knits Weekend, 2011

The main yarn used is a semi-solid yarn that changes from very light green to dark green. The pink contrast color also changes from lightest pink to medium pink. Designer Elinor offers a hint for knitting colorwork with these types of yarns: " When you use variegated or semi-solid yarns for colorwork, make sure that every shade in the contrast color is either much darker or much lighter than every shade in the main color." This ensures that you'll get the contrast that you want, just as Elinor did in her Parker River Vest.

Your babies (and older children, too) will love these projects. There are many more in Knits Weekend, too, so get our kit today and receive all three Weekend issues for one low price!

And have a great weekend (is it Friday yet?!?).


P.S. Are you knitting for baby? Leave a comment and tell us what's on your needles!

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Gramizknits wrote
on Sep 14, 2013 9:15 AM

Working on hoodie sweater for baby due in Jan.  have knit baby hats for newborns in three colors( don't know if boy or girl) one for baby, two to give to other babies born at the same time.  Need to knit baby blanket and a little sweater for new baby just born!  Not enough time to knit, knit and knit some more - darn can't knit, clean, eat and sleep at the same time yet, but trying!  

fiddlinfan wrote
on Sep 12, 2013 7:22 PM

I'm knitting bootees for my 14th grand child on the way.  They are the Stay on Bootees from an old WorkBasket magazine and they really stay on!  I'm using hand spun wool yarn, and I have already made EZ's Surprise Baby Jacket.

ESurton wrote
on Sep 11, 2013 2:24 PM

I just blocked a lace blanket for my overdue baby.  It's the last thing on the list-- I've done hats, soakers, longies, sweaters, coats, hoods, bonnets, a sleep sack, booties, socks, toys, lace edging for an antique-style gown-- everything on my nesting list is checked off now.  Sadly I forgot to put "give birth" on any of my to-do lists...that step is supposed to take care of itself!

So I'm moving on to make winter hats for my older children, who are nearly 3 and nearly 4, and of course since I'm not allowed to ever be ahead of the game, I expect to go into labor right in the middle of a complicated step that requires all my attention.

CaptainBlood wrote
on Sep 11, 2013 12:47 PM

I am currently finishing up a baby blanket and am working on some newborn hats. I once did a llama marionette for a swap and it turned out very neat. The monkey is too cute!