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 Knitting for Babies and Children
 advice needed - pattern and yarn
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newuanda
New Pal

24 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2006 :  8:28:00 PM  Show Profile  Send newuanda a Yahoo! Message Send newuanda a Private Message
Ok, I've made a promise to myself that I would make every child I have a blanket - first baby is a little over a year and we are planning to start trying soon - so I think I'm a bit behind LOL. However, I thought I would make him a bigger one and not just like a lovey.

Sooooooo....
I'm looking for first yarn that is going to be fairly durable - and preferably machine washable. Something soft though.
Also, I'm looking for a nice pattern for a blanket. Nothing too complicated or girly (b/c he's a boy).

Any opinions and help would be greatly appreciated.

Leah

rather be knitting
Seriously Hooked

USA
954 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2006 :  8:57:23 PM  Show Profile Send rather be knitting a Private Message
A lot of people (myself included) seem to like Plymouth Encore for baby blankets. It is 75% Acrylic/25% Wool and is machine washable. There were some recent posts about other yarns suitable for baby items. You might want to read through some of the recent topics for other yarn ideas.

For patterns, try --
www.knittingpatterncentral.com
There are lots of free pattern links there. The directory lists a section for "Baby" -- and "baby blankets" are included under that.

claire
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knits_for_preemies
Permanent Resident

USA
1957 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2006 :  07:11:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit knits_for_preemies's Homepage Send knits_for_preemies a Private Message
Baby Ull by Dale of Norway is a soft, superwash merino wool that many people use for baby things. http://www.halcyonyarn.com/Yarn_pages/yarn058.html
Here is an adorableBaby Ull/Dale of Norway pattern book you might want to just look at, if not consider for later projects:
http://www.yarnbarn.com/patterns/designs.asp?partNo=KP-DAL-BK129
Dale of Norway has tons of patterns, just Google and see them. So adorable!

Baby Ull is a fingering weight yarn, so it might take a while to knit a blanket out of that.

Sirdar Snuggly DK is a very soft acrylic/nylon blend that hold up well and is washer/dryer safe. Comes in lots of great colors too.
http://www.nakedsheep.com/sndkknya.html Naked Sheep has free shipping too.

Blanket patterns in general: http://www.nakedsheep.com/bablknpa.html

Here are some Sirdar Snuggly DK patterns:
http://www.dreamweaveryarns.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22_76_86&products_id=504

This blanket has a cable stitch in it—not hard to do—and could be made with solid color yarn to show the cable off better I think. Also has precious sweater and hat as well.
http://www.dreamweaveryarns.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22_76_86&products_id=499

http://www.dreamweaveryarns.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22_76_86&products_id=899

There are lots of free patterns on the Internet as well.

Have fun knitting for that precious little one.

Barbara
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sjanova
Seriously Hooked

USA
963 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2006 :  6:24:32 PM  Show Profile Send sjanova a Private Message
I adapted a "college" pattern I found on line for a windmill design -- it's reversible -- and used a single strand of worsted instead of a double -- and used #8 needles -- in a bright primary color -- purple for a purple lover. Of course, I made it too wide (10 repeats of the 20 st pattern) so it's also too long (had to be about as long as it is wide, right?). And then used the same color plus white to make a stuffed animal to go with it. I guess it's a toddler age gift. Oh, right, that's what you're making. <smile>

OK, the blanket pattern was based on the SARCA (solid and reversible college afghan) pattern (google SARCA and it'll come up). I made a matching little cow from Debbie Bliss' Kids Country Knits (but with worsted weight yarn, it's a little bigger than her result, which is fine since I've made one that size in solid Jersey cow color, aka brown, also). I also made a little non-cow based on a vintage pattern for "petite pets" from a magazine from, I think, the '60's (that was infant size, great to grab -- lion, tiger, leopard, bear, and panda -- I made them too, but that's another story). This one to match the blanket is about double the size of the pattern. Not sure how it will hold up; I used Red Heart Soft Yarn. So far I've made all the baby stuff with acrylic yarns to ensure that they're machine washable.

This blanket is what I call car knitting. It's pretty mindless after you've gone through the pattern once. Someone else drives, I knit. Until it got too big, of course. The next time I make this pattern it'll probably be 8 repeats instead of 10.

sja
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2006 :  11:15:13 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message
Soft doesn't always mean durable. And soft doesn't always mean less irritating. Red heart wintuk or supersaver is still skein dyed and dry bulked. Get some and get a skein of some of the Lion brand and caron worsted. drag the yarn across your skin just under the nose and above your mouth. You'll find that the red heart feels smoother than the softer feeling (to your hands) yarns. That's because both lion and caron rail set and package dye. The yarn is often slightly burned and the fibers that stick out are very coarse to the delicate skin on your face. red heart actually feels better against the skin than both of them. I've got wintuk blankets and sweaters that are over 25 years old, survived 3 very active boys and still look new. They go through the washer and dryer with jeans and socks and nobody cares.

Me, I figure that unless the recipient is old enough and responsible enough to do their own hand washing, let alone whether they may pour finger paint all over the blanket or projectile vomiting or worse--it's acrylic all the way for anyone under 4'10".

Llinn
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knits_for_preemies
Permanent Resident

USA
1957 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2006 :  06:03:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit knits_for_preemies's Homepage Send knits_for_preemies a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by llinn



Me, I figure that unless the recipient is old enough and responsible enough to do their own hand washing, let alone whether they may pour finger paint all over the blanket or projectile vomiting or worse--it's acrylic all the way for anyone under 4'10".

Llinn



Well put. Babies are so sweet, but new moms don't need to be overly worried about having a pretty blanket ruined by "baby messes"--machine wash/dry is really helpful.

Barbara
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sjanova
Seriously Hooked

USA
963 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2006 :  5:01:14 PM  Show Profile Send sjanova a Private Message
I also was concerned about the possibility of allergies to wool, so didn't want to use wool even though there are "washable wools" (so they say). That's the other reason for acrylic yarn.

Llinn, that's very helpful info re the differences in manufacturing and the resulting differences in real against the skin feel. I should study up on yarns! I just finished three alligators using the pattern on the Lion Brand website and, because I wanted to keep approximately the gauge (which I didn't -- used one size smaller needle to avoid seeing the stuffing through it and was glad I did), the Lion Brand Homespun yarn. I will never buy that yarn again!! It looks lovely and feels nice and soft but sewing the alligators together with that yarn was pure *%&@. I also don't like the shortness of his tail, but I figure an 18 month old with a 26" alligator won't realize that non-reality much. He's in Miami Beach (6 months old now), so he "needs" an alligator. And made a second one for the second grandson, due in Oct. And a third for the third married couple, my niece, who is nowhere near planning a joyful event (well, just got her Ph.D. -- that was pretty joyful).

I've used the Red Heart Soft Yarn in purple for the windmill blanket, which is not at all "feminine" as a pattern -- could be any color, too. (And the purple cow and not-a-cow -- have to get that poem printed and framed before Chanukah.) Also used it in red (nice cherry red) for an afghan I liked -- made two now, along with a matching "critter" -- out of Leisure Arts Knit One for Baby (#3 with 2 different patterns running the length) - probably make another in red. That wasn't "car knitting" as much because of needing to keep an eye on the pattern but I liked it better than the others I saw. Also made various toys (penguin from a pattern on knitty.com, polar bear from Zoe Mellor's book Head to Toe Knits: 25 Colourful Accessories for Your Child and Your Home (from the library) -- easy pattern -- gave to a learner to make. Thinking of using the stash of white Soft Yarn for one of those pinwheel spiral looking blankets -- I found that pattern on line also.

Mostly I've been using Bernat Baby (fingering) and Softee Baby. Acrylic, no dye lot, and, as we agree, machine washable and dryable. I did use Bernat's Boa to make a boa constrictor from their little booklet -- he's lovely! Also acrylic, but has dye lots.

newuanda, I know you're running if he's a year old. So obviously you need to sit down and put your feet up -- that's knitting time. Let us know what you figure out to do and how you and he like it.


sja
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