Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

Choosing Patterns – What to Use for My Baby Items?

Written by: Lindy

I have decided to go with a 100% cotton worsted weight yarn for my baby projects. The trick now is to find patterns that I like that work with my yarn choice.

Since I have been knitting for 46 years (yes, 46 YEARS), I have accumulated a stash of patterns equal to or greater than my current yarn stash. So – if I could find where I stored all of them, I might be able to find a pattern for my baby items without purchasing anything. (Large emphasis on the IF I could find them). Another option is to search for a pattern on the web – there are a lot of free patterns available. But I have also reached the point as a knitter than I am more likely to modify any pattern than to use it as it is written. Now days published patterns are a jumping off point – I always begin to see how I might use the patterning or the shaping or color palette in a new way.

So – as I begin my projects for baby items, I will be using a couple of patterns as my guide, but making changes as I go. I have decided to go with the “Dumb Baby Sweater” pattern in Maggie Righetti’s book: Knitting in Plain English. (One of my favorite reference books). This neat little pattern gives instructions for a raglan sleeve sweater with buttonholes and a seed stitch border. Now I will be modifying things here, because the yarn I want to use has a slightly different gauge. I will use the measurements for the sweater, but convert the number of stitches for my gauge.

For the baby blanket, I am using a pattern I found on the web as inspiration – but again, I am modifying the pattern. This lovely pattern calls for double-strands of a worsted weight superwash wool. I didn’t care for the colors available in this yarn, and had already decided I wanted to use a 100% cotton yarn for my projects. The yarn I chose is Peaches & Cream yarn in a teal blue. It is a worsted weight yarn – but when I double-stranded it for my swatch, my gauge was 2.5 Stitches per inch and the pattern gauge is 3.75 stitches per inch. (Meaning that if I knit this pattern with my yarn double-stranded it would be a larger size than the pattern). I didn’t really care for the way the pattern looked in the double-stranded yarn either. So – I knit a second gauge swatch using a single strand of yarn and I liked it much better. Thus, I am modifying the pattern according to my single-stranded gauge swatch.

Here’s the link to Barbara Breiter’s pattern:
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/babyafbear.htm.

I have a favorite pattern for baby socks that I will use and another for a simple baby hat. I find that baby bonnets are just not practical and cute little hats are much better.

I am wondering how many of you reading this: have reached the point where a published pattern is a guideline or an inspiration?

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