Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back to Knitting!

Sorry, folks, the blog got hijacked by the Phillies for a while there. But since they seem to be sinking fast, let's talk about something knitting!!

Yesterday on Facebook, Kris mentioned that she was about to become a new grandma (yay!) and asked, "...Anybody have any great but simple ideas for new babies from their grandma?"

Funny she should ask because I am in the middle of the same dilemma (as a friend and sort of great-aunt-in-law rather than a grandma). My usual go-to project for new babies is this, the Easy Baby Cardigan:

In this case (I think this was for my nephew), I also made the matching hat. A few weeks ago, after a baby lull of a year or so, I found out that a dear friend of mine was welcoming a new baby boy into her family and also that my husband's nephew's girlfriend had just had a baby girl.

I wanted to make something special for each baby, but didn't have enough emotional energy to make sweaters for both. So I poked around in my patterns and suddenly had an epiphany! What if I took this:

(Easy-Peasy Washcloth) and expanded it into a blanket? Light bulb! I love a garter stitch blanket and I love the simple eyelet edging on this. So I unearthed some cotton-blend yarn from the stash and started these:

What's great about this pattern is that it is the ultimate no-brainer. You can just put down and pick up without constantly checking a pattern. You can also control exactly how much yarn you want to use. I had 2 balls of cotton-blend yarn with 207 yds on each ball. So I increased until I had used up one ball and then started decreasing with the new ball of yarn.

I started these at the corner, but instead of increasing up to about 50 sts or so (can't remember exact #) for the washcloth, I continued until I had 126 sts, which was also when I ran out of yarn from the ball. I was shooting for a stroller blanket of about 24" x 24". 126 sts on a #7 needle got me to about 21". I only want to use the 2 balls of yarn for this, so I'm going to make up the difference by crocheting a 1.5" border with cocoa brown at the end.

I love these blankets because just as the rows start getting long and boring, it's time to start decreasing! That's where I am with the pink one; the blue one needs about 20 more rows.

So there you go, Kris. A couple of ideas for that precious new grandchild. Plus here's a whole page of baby patterns. And here's a page with some sets on it if the sweater/hat combo appeals.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much I love the simple blanket and my mom used to make those dishclothes. She died a year and 1/2 ago and was my daughter's favorite grandma, what a perfect blanket for her new baby.


Maggie G said...

You know... a no-brainer is sooooo great after a mind-bending pattern... like... oh, I dunno... the not a drop scarf pattern.
I'm just sayin'!!
Your knitting for babies fits the task completely: simple, unfussy and stylish. Love 'em!

diana said...

Oh Kris - that's so moving about your mom. I'm so happy that the new baby's blanket will have special meaning for you and your daughter.

Maggie - yes, I was verrrrryyyy happy to pick up these blankets after a tough class!