More DIY baby wardrobe

This fall I was shopping for baby L and found myself rejecting an entire rack of holiday dresses because “frilly things look weird on her.” Something about that is true…I think? When I’ve put her in super girly stuff R and I agree that something seems off. Maybe it’s her lack of hair? I have a picture of myself at around 18 months in tiered ruffled lace, and it looks so odd underneath my glaringly bald head.

It could also be that I’m projecting wardrobe preferences onto the baby, because I’ve looked through her clothes drawer and it’s verrrrry familiar. No browns or tans. Hardly any pink or yellow. Lots of black pants with bright tops, bright pants with black & white tops, etc. Oh and a cat shirt with sparkles, which I would wear if I thought coworkers would take me seriously in it.

She’s built kind of spindly and narrow, so I’ve taken to putting her in leggings. I even sewed a couple pairs this fall so that I could make them extra narrow and extra long.
DIY baby leggings

DIY baby leggings
And what looks better with leggings than tunics? I knit a dark teal version of Like Sleeves for Babies. It’s a little short and wide, so if I knit it again I’d lengthen it so that it could start as a dress and become a tunic as she grows.

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The other thing I’ve been busy making is hats. This kid’s head circumference is >99% on the CDC charts. It’s a seriously impressive noggin and it’s required a set of progressively larger garter earflap hats. I love the pattern though – it’s everything you want in a baby hat but nothing extra, and it’s a great use of handspun or partial skeins. She just doesn’t always want it on her head.

Garter earflap hatOther posts about DIY baby clothes:
Handspun poncho
Two tiny newborn sweaters
Double-thick mittens

Yukon ho!

It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and although my office is closed, daycare is not…at least not until 1pm. I dropped off baby L and am enjoying some coffee-and-computer-in-pajamas time. Using the laptop anywhere near baby is impossible right now as it leads to shrieking, grabbing, pressing of all the keys, and tantrums. So I’m really basking in the luxury here.

I finished up edits on the pattern, which I’m calling Yukon ho! in honor of my favorite cartoon strip, Calvin & Hobbes.

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Baby L loves the outdoors, but after a year in Mexico we’re coming up on her first real winter. Most of the baby mittens I’ve seen in stores are cute but sorta flimsy, so I designed a pair that were truly adventure-worthy. The extra long cuff ensures they stay put. Every time I take them off after a long stroller ride, her hands are super toasty.

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From now until the end of Thanksgiving weekend, Yukon ho! is 50% in the ravelry shop. It comes in three sizes – newborn, baby, and toddler – and is a great way to use up partial skeins you’ve stashed.

A little more yarn, a little less fiber

Still plugging away at the bags of spinning fiber. I miss the old couch+movie setup that always complimented spinning so well. Have I complained enough about these apartment futons yet? Or the slow and erratic internet?

Obviously I just need to figure out a new entertainment setup. Podcasts, perhaps. My favorite is Judge John Hodgman, and then a coworker clued me into Serial, which I binged through in just a few days of bus travel to/from Mexico City. Any other winners I should try?

The yarn with a colorway inspired by the Oregon coast photo is all finished. So pretty. If we have a girl it’ll make a great baby sweater, so I’m just setting it aside while we wait out this last month.
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In the meantime I finished a baby kimono sweater in a more unisex colorway.
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Family visiting for Christmas are scheduled to bring me another stockpile of yarn plus 2 lbs. of Haribo sour grapefruit gummies. Hard to say which I’m more excited about.

Lining a knit blanket with fleece

We’re seeing less of the horrendous Laura-Ashley-esque flowered cushions on our two rental couches. One has been wearing the mini-quilt and the second is now draped with this big squishy knit blanket. Both irrefutable improvements to the look of the living room.
Big knit blanketI started with Purl Soho’s pattern for Fluffy Brioche Baby Blanket and a bag of closeout Yearling by Juniper Moon Farms. The pattern was easy and mindless, a welcome respite after the cables upon cables in Stonecutter.

Big knit blanketI added a 7-stitch icord border with some stashed thick/thin cotton, which¬† helped hold the blanket’s shape and provided nice contrast.

Then I blocked the blanket and was surprised at how much it grew. And draped. And became something not nearly as thick and squishy, which was the original appeal of the project. So I decided to attach a fleece backing. If there’s one thing you can find oodles of at Mexican fabric stores it’s fleece, so I had my pick of about 99 different colors and patterns. Bears? Roses? Apples? Bears holding roses and eating apples? Good or bad, I ended up with just a nice deep blue.

TECHknitting provides (no surprise) a great post on how to attach fleece to knits, complete with illustrations of the right type of hand-stitch to use. The only change I made was to fold the fleece under 1/2″, since I mistakenly chose a type that, while soft as a baby bunny, was prone to fraying along the cut edge (don’t make the same mistake…one of the biggest benefits to lining a blanket with fleece is that you shouldn’t have to treat the edges like you do with woven fabric).

Big knit blanketI sewed the fleece not to the blanket, but to the i-cord (see below). Once the thread was pulled snug, the lining tucked right against the i-cord edge. It looks very nice and the fleece layer definitely replaces whatever “big and squishy” properties were lost in blocking.

Big knit blanket
Big knit blanket

Familiar yarns

After monster knit I needed something portable and quick. Baby knits are good for that. I whipped up this little cardigan in a few days using the shawl leftovers.

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My friend is due in late September. They’re not finding out the sex of the baby ahead of time. Super surprise. If it’s a girl I think she’ll still dress her in gray and blue because she’s cool like that.

I started the cardigan according to Henry’s Sweater, but after splitting the yoke for the sleeves I just kind of went my own way with it.¬†Gave it 3/4 length cuffless sleeves, a garter stitch hem, and a garter stitch shawl collar. The collar looks good up or down.
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I crocheted a little button loop for a collar button and then the rest hangs open.

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