“Hey, remember that friend I have who’s having a baby?”
Me- Crap I was supposed to knit her a hat. “Um, yes! I do remember!”
Friend- “Well I’m going to be in town Monday. Want to meet up for a beer and I can get the hat?”
So now I’m on Mission Baby Knits.
Here’s the thing… I love knitting baby items. They’re so cute and sweet and small – and we all know small means super-fast knits. I’m all for super-fast knits. There’s something so rewarding in starting a project one evening during an episode of Top Gear, and binding off the next night while your boyfriend watches Ultimate Fighter. (Ok, I admit, I’m completely hooked on it, too.)
But I’m wary about knitting baby things for people I don’t know, because I refuse to knit them in traditional baby colors. I think pastels, pale pinks, and dainty blues are way too frail and frilly. I create adorable tiny knits with bold, bright, saturated color choices.
So, friend-of-my-friend-who-is-having-a-baby, I hope you don’t mind, but I’m not creating anything with pale pink and lilac. It will be tiny, and cute, and oh-so-soft, but definitely not “baby” colored, and I hope you love it.
Kiwi Baby Llama
My initial plan was to knit up Cisco using a style more like Jared Flood and Ravelry user Saradenbo. I also needed their notes to translate the original pattern from English to Actually-Understandable-English. Sheesh! The plan was to use this beautiful little skein of Baby Llama that I’ve had in my stash for years, and do the outline in this leftover taupe wool skein that I’ve long since lost the label for.
Alas, that did not work out. It seems that I do not have enough Baby Llama yarn to make the adorable Cisco hat, so instead, I’m making 2 hats, and getting rid of even more yarn in my stash!
I’ve always been in love with these Baby Berry Hats, but I don’t want to make the whole hat green, and I don’t have enough of another bright color that’s soft enough for a baby hat. So instead I’m going to use the Baby Berry pattern as a start, and create my own kind of Acorn hat using this dark brown Ella Rae yarn to start, then transitioning to the random taupe wool yarn close to the top, and finally doing the I-cord and a leaf in Baby Llama green.
Then I found the Forest Pixie Hat, and remembered that I have a tiny bit of beautiful Angora blend yarn, leftover from my mom’s Christmas gift (which I never photographed, actually…). I’m using the violet Angora blend for the ribbed end, chin strap, and as a garter outline around the entire hat. Then I’m using the dark brown Ella Rae for the rest of the hat.
All of these yarns are so deliciously soft! I can’t wait to give these little knits to my friend, who will happily ship them to his friend, who will hopefully send back pictures of her new baby in soft, brightly colored, hand-knit hats. :)
I first learned to knit by taking a class at a local crafts store. Equipped with the skills of cast-on, knit, purl, and bind-off, I went home and knit a grey scarf in stockinette with a skein of Vanna’s Choice.
And then I was itching for more. What else could I do besides stockinette or garter scarves? A quick Google search, and I fell down a rabbit hole of seemingly unending knitting resources. I’ve listed my favorites below, in hopes that they will inspire you!
Ravelry – The Mecca of knitting sites. If you knit or crochet, join Ravelry right now. You can organize your yarn, needle, and hook stashes, look up thousands of patterns, manage your own library of resources, join knitting groups and post on message boards… It’s like a combination of Facebook and an online library for yarn lovers. You can even add me as a friend, if you’d like! :)
Knitting Help – This is the first site I suggest to new knitters, or knitters ready to learn something new. This site has a great Glossary (to understand those pesky abbreviations), Videos (to help you see what you’re supposed to be doing!), and Patterns.
r/Knitting – Reddit is “a social news website” (thanks Wikipedia). Reddit as a whole isn’t for everyone, but if you knit, the knitting subreddit is a great community to be a part of. We knitting redditers post our finished objects (FOs), ask questions and advice of other knitters, complain about shitty yarn our well-meaning friends buy us, and support others’ yarn habits.
Lion Brand, Red Heart, Caron, Bernat, Patons, Berroco – Most yarn companies publish their own patterns for free on their websites. Keep in mind that you don’t have to use their yarn to knit up their patterns! Just use a yarn that’s a similar weight, and it’ll turn out fine!
Knitty – An online knitting magazine. Read interesting articles, find out about new designers and yarns, and peruse their free patterns index!
Knitting Fool – My most recent discovery – an online knitting stitch encyclopedia organized by Name of Stitch, by Stitch Category, or (my favorite) by Stitch Count. I’ll search for stitches by stitch count when I want to make, for example, this All Day Beret, but with this Eyelet Diamonds lace instead of their suggested stitch. The only downside is it’s not the most user-friendly website… Any web designers want a little project?
“How Many” Knitting Tool – A tool for figuring out common knitting math problems. Very useful if you’re trying to adjust the size of a knitting pattern, or are trying to get the right gauge with different sized needles or yarn than the pattern suggests.
What are your favorite knitting websites for help & inspiration?