Have I mentioned the baby boom at work the last 12 months or so? Seriously. I feel like it may merit some kind of research study or something. Anyhow, lots of little gifts flying off my needles of late, and I'm nowhere near keeping up. With gifts, nor with the posts to chronicle them. I always pitch in on the group gifting, but for the peeps I work closely with I also like to make a personal gift.
I won't do repeats, so I've been having fun trying out new patterns and new techniques and doing some stash deep dives too. This post focuses on the classic gift every new baby needs no matter the time of year (I think?), a toque!
Lid the first
This one was for a baby due mid-January, so I needed a fairly quick-knit pattern in a winter-appropriate yarn weight. Plus, I wanted strong, interesting colours that were not readily coded for either gender as the parents were waiting for the surprise.
I chose Patons North America Classic Wool DK Superwash, which I've used a bunch of times and it's just super reliable. Holds up really well over time too. This colourway is called Welsh coast. It's pretty great, huh?
The pattern is the Simple Baby Hat, available for free on Ravelry. It is, indeed, simple, making it perfect for the multi-coloured yarn I wanted to use. The pleasing way the colours pooled was a happy accident, and the natural curling up of the brim is due to the stockinette stitch. Lovely, lovely.
As an aside, I should introduce you to the fabulous model. This is Mi Hermano Pepe. He is from Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Chiapas state in Mexico. We travelled there, to the bride’s homeplace, many moons ago for a family wedding. Absolute magic.
Lid the second
The next two hats are both for girl babies, both due in July. I was a little unsure about hats for summer babies. Seems like it’s maybe not a given anymore that summer babies need hats. But they’re so cute! And I wanted to make gifts, and they needed to be something manageable especially when they’re coming two at a time. So hats it is.
I wanted to try something quite different and as “summery” as a knitted cap can get. The Swirl Hat pattern, free on Ravelry, requires some attention. If I recall correctly, I put in a lifeline after an oopsie required me to frog back a few rows once or twice. I like the swirling look, and the holes give it a lightness.
The yarn choice also contributes to the lightness, of course. It’s fingering weight, CashSilk Sock (75% merino wool, 15% cashmere goat, 10% silk) from Expression Fiber Arts in the limited edition Baubles colourway, which was available just before Christmas. I bought it because I luuurved it, and I knew I would find a something for it. When I look at the fibres in the yarn, I guess it’s kind of decadent for a baby hat? I dunno. I figured sock yarn would be perfect. Seems kind of decadent for feet too. Anyhow, hope the wee baboo loves it.
I needed to block this hat a bit to bring the swirls to life, and the balloon was a great idea that I borrowed from someone else. It worked liked a charm, but I blew it up too big so it overstretched the band a bit. There’s not much sproing to this yarn – surprising for a sock yarn – so when it stretched it stayed stretched. That would be the one thing I would like a redo on. Oh well, live and learn.
Lid the third
Finally, this yarn came from my stash and has a special place in my heart. It was a leftover skein from a sweater I made for Lily when she was tiny. Like 0–3 month size tiny. Awwwwww, poooooky. Anyway, it’s Patons Beehive Baby, which is apparently no longer available but was just lovely yarn to work with, then and now.
I wanted a pattern with a little personality to balance the simplicity of the yarn, and I wanted it to look different than any other hat I’ve made. Enter the Camden Twist Beanie. I had to modify some of the instructions as I got near the end or I would have been knitting for a very long-headed baby (think SNL coneheads), but other than that, the pattern was great.
And isn’t she just beautiful? She'll maybe be able to wear this hat as a proper toque in the fall, she seems so tiny. (I know, they grow sooooo fast. Yes, I've turned into one of those ladies. What can I say? I'm embracing my crone years and loving it.)
A few more baby-related posts to come, and I’ve made some non-baby stuff too. One thing at a time.
I’d had this post all written a month ago and hit Save & Publish, and my computer froze with the screen greyed out just hanging there. Anyway, long story short – it was gone baby gone. From now on, I write in Word, then copy to Squarespace. So sad.