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Choosing the Perfect Baby Pattern

Jul 22, 2014

Happy summer, everyone. I've been running around, working on several issues, traveling, directing shoots, going to press, helping friends with wedding plans, preparing to move, finding time to sit by the pool...and in the midst of all of it, one of my best friends had a baby in June. That baby doesn't need something handknit right now, in the heat of a North Carolina summer, but I would like to have something for her come Fall. 

At first, I was thinking blanket...something lap-sized and versatile, washable. I love the Tamarix Quilt from an older issue of Interweave Knits, but this little Baby Kimono is also pretty fantastic. The jacket would be quicker to knit, and being a cardi, I think is a practical kind of garment for a baby. But the quilt would be usable for longer and it would be fun to arrange the colors. What kinds of projects have you found well-received by new parents? Or what kinds of items would you have appreciated as a new parent? Is the Baby Kimono just too adorable to resist? Leave a comment and let me know what you think; I'm new to knitting for babies!

Cheers, 

 


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Tamarix Quilt

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Simple garter-stitch mitered squares and rich colorwork create the illusion of handquilting in this afghan.

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Baby Kimono

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Indulge your favorite newborn, or your favorite new parents, with a handknitted gift that will be cherished for years.

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Comments

snysab@2 wrote
on Jul 27, 2014 9:20 AM

I believe that everyone should experience being wrapped in love.  I would go with the blanket.  I always try to do something for now and something for later.  A blanket now a sweater that is size 2-3.  

on Jul 26, 2014 4:34 PM

I think, if you're going to knit a blanket, go for a big afghan, the kind that people sit on at picnics, or for hanging out in parks, and during outdoor events. Of course, it's a gift for an outdoorsy family. Plus, the knitter has to stress to the gifted that this project is meant to be spread on the grass and sat on, otherwise people might be afraid to sit on it, out of respect.

I have three kids, and it's true that, like most people, I preferred the kind of receiving blanket that can be thrown in the washing machine without a second thought. The exception might be the "learning" blanket, for an older baby (6-12 months), with squares of different colours and textures, embroidered animals, and "krinkling" paper hidden behind one square, and maybe a non-breakable mirror sewn on one square, etc.

So, my advice is this: knit the kimono. You seem to love it, and you're going to have fun knitting it. It might even become an heirloom to this family. Then, after the baby is there, you can decide if a "learning" blanket, or a picnic afghan (or both!) would be better for them. The afghan might see a lot more use, but will also be a bigger part of that family's life.

Happy Summer, Lisa!

sticklesmp wrote
on Jul 26, 2014 11:55 AM

I got a lot of knitted blankets with my first child and didn't use any of them.  The flannel receiving blankets my mother made were much more versatile and now my daughter is using them with her kids.  

The kimono is a very useful style and would be even easier to get on and off and could be worn longer if the sleeves were wider.

pn-novack wrote
on Jul 26, 2014 11:04 AM

I knit my daughter and her baby a cream wool & silk shawl/wrap that they both could use as needed.

pn-novack wrote
on Jul 26, 2014 11:02 AM

I knit my daughter & her new baby a shawl/wrap that both could use as they needed.

pn-novack wrote
on Jul 26, 2014 11:02 AM

I knit my daughter & her new baby a shawl/wrap that both could use as they needed.

pn-novack wrote
on Jul 26, 2014 11:02 AM

I knit my daughter & her new baby a shawl/wrap that both could use as they needed.

pn-novack wrote
on Jul 26, 2014 11:02 AM

I knit my daughter & her new baby a shawl/wrap that both could use as they needed.

pn-novack wrote
on Jul 26, 2014 11:02 AM

I knit my daughter & her new baby a shawl/wrap that both could use as they needed.

Kerry@19 wrote
on Jul 26, 2014 8:22 AM

Most of the people I know are gifted way too many baby blankets.  When my son was born I received two handknitted ones and an assortment of others as well.  So I, too, like to give knitted toys.  I prefer to make clothing items for slightly older children, since they can use them longer; my son got his first vest at 7 months.  That said, hats and mittens also make good gifts for babies.

on Jul 23, 2014 9:57 PM

I made 2 little vests that were short sleeved double breasted with twill tape ties for my daughter who wore them from birth to 18 months or so.  If the ties are long enough just do them up with a little less overlap as baby grows.  They were made in a lace weight wool.  You don't have to change them as often as diaper vests or onesies because they are out of the way of diaper leaks.  You would need many more sizes of the diaper vests.

wool diaper covers for cloth diapers really do work, but the baby needs quite a few.  When wet they need to be aired out not washed every time, and don't develop odours the way cotton does.

The best baby cap is one that I first found in the book Hand knit and Home spun or words to that effect.  It is Scandinavian originally and is sometimes called a Devil's hat in Europe.  It is garter stitch which grows with baby.  I will email the instructions.

happy knitting,

Wendy Leigh-Bell

NancyS@73 wrote
on Jul 23, 2014 8:57 PM

I like to give knitted toys as shower gifts. The parents appreciate them, they last longer than clothes and the babies grow into them.  In addition, the toys double as nursery decor until baby is ready for them.

texlady wrote
on Jul 23, 2014 8:23 PM

The blanket would definitely get more use, but knittyquilter3's idea of a matching set is very good.

on Jul 22, 2014 12:44 PM

Since it's one of your Best Friends, knit both up in matching/coordinating yarn or colors!

on Jul 22, 2014 11:30 AM

I would say the blanket is your more versatile bet. We go through a surprisingly heavy blanket rotation still with a 2yo. We keep one in the car, in the stroller, many in the crib, at daycare for naptime, at grandma's...and they all have to get rotated through the wash, so yeah, we have a lot!

I found that even in the midwest, I didn't use newborn or 3mo sweaters all that much. The baby isn't supposed to wear a lot of layers in the carseat, so we often just put blankets on top. And when we used a carrier, I felt like a sweater would be too warm with all that body heat, so again, blanket for the win! A hat might still be good as a garment for this winter. I'd consider a cardigan for NEXT fall/winter when baby is a bit more mobile.

That's been my experience!