Winter baby gift

It’s almost that time of year… Time for the sprint to the end of the year and the mad dash of Christmas knitting.

Before I started that, I had one more baby gift to do for the year.  This baby was actually born a couple months ago.  I’m not sure what happened, but no one announced a baby shower.  That turned out to be a good thing, because I really needed the time for Trellis.  The downside was that the shower was postponed so that it slightly overlapped with Christmas gift knitting season.

Ever since I bought the Baby Beanies book, I’ve been taken with the Pixie Hood.  It reminded me of a hat that Little Grump had back when she was a baby.  She wore that hat all winter, and she always looked so sweet in it.  So I really wanted to make that.

Rather than go shopping for yarn, I went stash diving.  With the size of my stash, I usually can find something that I can use!  This time was no exception.  Buried in the bottom of my stash was one ball of Lion Brand Wool-Ease in White Frost.  I purchased it so long ago that I forget exactly what I’d intended to do with it, but I remember being charmed by the soft, glittering fuzziness of the yarn.  Since it’s 70% acrylic, 20% wool, and 10% nylon, it would be washable.  So I thought that would do quite nicely.

Pixie Hood - Small

Small Pixie Hood

I set out knitting the smallest size.  As I was knitting, I started to get concerned.  It looked really small.  When I got to the last row of the pattern, I knew it wouldn’t be big enough.  It would fit a newborn perhaps, but not a two month old.

I started to frog the hat and realized that this is one yarn that doesn’t like to be frogged.  The pretty fuzziness caused the stitches to stick together, which made frogging a nightmare.  Being lazy (and knowing that the yarn was pretty darn cheap), I put the hat back on the needles, reknitted the last row, and finished it off.

Pixie Hood - Medium

Medium Pixie Hood

So I knitted the medium size Pixie hood next.  The advantage of having knitted the smaller size is that I had some idea of things that could be done better.  This time, I slipped the last stitch on all of the rows to allow for easier pick-up of stitches for the neck.  I’m really pleased with the way it looks too.

To top off the hats, I made a pom pom for the small hat and a tassel for the medium one.  I finished them off with crocheted ties.

I really felt like the hat needed something to go with it.  At first, I thought I’d make booties, but when I saw the sparkly cute hat completed, I envisioned a snuggly little sweater instead.

I didn’t have lots of time though, so I started thinking what my knitting pals have made.  A couple years ago, my friend Wendy had made a little Kimono sweater from the Mason Dixon Knitting book, and it was so cute that it left an impression on me.  So I decided to whip one up.

Problem was that I didn’t have enough yarn.  Even if I’d only knitted one hat, I wouldn’t have had enough.   (My stash-busting exercise was a bust… I ended up buying yarn anyway.  C’est la vie!)  So I made a quick trip by Jo Ann’s and bought a couple more skeins.

I made quite a few changes to the pattern.  The original pattern was for 0-3 months size.  I remembered Wendy and I talking about how small the sweater was, so I wanted to make a larger sweater.  I did some research and found someone who had increased the number of stitches to 44 (rather than the original 40).  I extended the length of the body to 5″ and extended the sleeves so that there were 96 stitches from the end of one sleeve to the opposite end of the other sleeve.  The sleeves were widened to 5″ from the original 4″.

I knitted the entire sweater in stockinette, which was beautiful but caused the bottom of the sweater to curl severely, even after washing and blocking.  If I had this to do again, I’d add a couple rows of garter stitch at the bottom.  However, I didn’t see how accept how bad it was until I’d seamed and washed everything.  (I think my middle name is ‘Denial”.)  Rather than frogging (because this yarn does not frog easily), I decided to give the bottom of the sweater a decorative edge.  I ran a row of single crochet around the bottom and then followed it with a row of sc, ch3, sc all the way around the bottom.

The result was frilly and girly.  It still curls a little at the bottom but nowhere nearly as bad as it did before.

Baby Kimono

I’m very, very pleased with how this gift turned out.  Everyone who saw it today (as I was madly trying to sew the ribbons on at lunchtime) thought that it’s beautiful.  I can’t wait to see pictures of the baby wearing the hat and sweater!

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