A knitting pattern I use over and over again was published by Woman’s Weekly many years ago. It is a charity knitting supplement called Loving and Giving. There are patterns for a premature baby set, a hat and scarf set, fingerless gloves with a mitten top, an Oxfam top, a bed-jacket and bed-socks, men’s socks and a blanket made from squares.
I have not used every pattern in the leaflet, but I have used the premature baby clothes pattern more times than I can remember. A friend of mine, learning that I was knitting premature baby clothes, asked, “Who is expecting a premature baby?”
I explained that I donate the clothes to the special baby unit at the local hospital.
I used to knit Oxfam tops until I learned that the charity was unable to send all the tops they received and had to pay for storage of them. This situation may have changed. (Oxfam tops are T-shirts knitted in bright colours.)
The premature baby set consists of a cardigan, hat, mittens and bootees in three sizes. I do not always knit the cardigan. At present I have a partly completed set and plenty of yarn for more. I sometimes adapt the pattern to avoid side seams. As written the cardigan is made up of two fronts, a back and two sleeves. The button and buttonhole bands are a garter stitch border knitted as part of the fronts. More care is required with the knitting if the two fronts and back are knitted as a single piece, as in the photo. If mistakes are made with the buttonholes, for example, it takes longer to put them right than on a smaller piece of work. The extension to the bands is joined to the heads of the sleeves and the cast off edge of the back.
Fronts and back with bands and extensions
I also mentioned knitting avoiding a side seam in an earlier post.
I prefer to have my knitted items used locally than to send them to Knit for Peace. It is better for the carbon footprint. However it is good that there is an organisation, which matches knitted and crocheted items with those in need of them.
I enjoy knitting and find it a good leisure activity. My recent knitting projects have mostly been charity knits. For those of you, who may have been wondering, I finally found homes for my baby knits and the twiddlemuff.
When I offered to knit a sweater for a member of my family, I hadn’t anticipated such a big project. However, I wasn’t going to refuse outright to create something similar to the suggested picture. A compromise was required.
Detail of hem ribbing
Detail of neckline
Detail of raglan seam
Overview of front
A pattern I had used decades ago seemed suitable to adapt. The pattern was classic in style, but something more modern seemed to be required. Instead of a short 1×1 ribbed welt, I used longer 2×2 ribbing, which was echoed with a single layer neckline in 2×2 ribbing. The neckband was worked without a seam using a circular needle.
Instead of working the Aran pattern all over I restricted it to the front and back. After the matching ribbing on the sleeves, I worked the first row of the pattern and maintained an irregular rib throughout. The slip stitch pattern on the raglan seams was included to match the front and back.
The yarn was Hayfield Bonus Aran with 20% wool. The pattern was from The Aran Look by Patons No. 161.
I decided earlier this year that I needed to do some knitting without the pressure to finish it by a particular date. I bought some lemon baby DK acrylic yarn. Then I looked through my patterns. I realised I needed another 100 gram ball. The dye lot I had originally purchased had all gone, but I think it would be difficult to spot where I changed from one batch to the next.
The pattern, which had grabbed my attention, was the one I wrote about in a previous post – Peter Gregory designs for knitting 685.
I finished the coat I mentioned there and sent it to its intended recipient without blogging about it. Here is a photo of it.
Baby’s coat in white
This time I decided to knit the whole set – coat, dress, bonnet and bootees. No-one was lined up to receive it. I thought I would do it for charity. That is still my intention. It is complete apart from the ribbon for the bootees, which I have not yet managed to purchase from a real (as opposed to on-line) shop. I have an idea how to use it as a charity project without adding any more to its carbon footprint. An acquaintance is expecting a granddaughter. If she would like to purchase it with the money going to a church hall restoration project, that would be ideal. I shall keep it until the baby has arrived and then see what she thinks.
I am posting a picture of the dress, which fastens at the back with press-studs (snap fasteners). The yarn I substituted this time is Baby Care DK by Woolcraft.
Baby’s dress in lemon