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Thread: baby sweater

  1. #1
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    baby sweater

    So I'm planning to make a sweater for my baby nephew. He will be six months old in December, which is when I'd like to have it finished. This will be my first sweater.

    I'm looking for advice from people who know more about knitting and babies than I do.

    I was considering making this little piece of adorableness, but I'm a bit concerned that it's a pullover. I thought it might be tough to get a wriggling baby into and out of a pullover. Also, I am inordinately excited about the prospect of buttons, because there is an awesome button store near where I live. Cardigans seem like a good showcase for buttons.

    So then I thought maybe I'd do this little bit of adorableness, the Trellis sweater from Knitty. But I'm worried that it might be above my skill level, and it's maybe a little fussy.

    Finally, I was considering Knitty's Haiku, which is probably a little less of a challenge than I was planning on taking on, but which is very cute and doable and unfussy.

    Does anyone have any thoughts? Do you know of any other awesome baby sweater patterns?

    My second question has to do with yarn. My sister-in-law is a bit nuts when it comes to fiber, and last I heard, which was before the critter was born, she was planning on only letting the baby wear 100% cotton. I'm sort of loathe to knit a 100% cotton sweater, because I've read that cotton doesn't hold its shape very well. But maybe that would only be a problem for the Trellis sweater, which seems to require some complicated blocking. And part of me thinks that I should throw caution and cotton to the wind and use some sort of cotton/ acrylic blend. Would I be a terrible aunt if I allowed my nephew's precious skin to come into contact with acrylic? (And will I be a terrible sister-in-law if a I knit something for my nephew that defies his mother's slightly neurotic baby rules?) Anyone have any recommendations of yarn for baby sweaters? [/url]

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  3. #2
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    If your sister-in-law is into cotton and wool, and has the patience to hand-wash baby clothes, I highly recommend Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere yarn or Rowan Wool Cotton for baby clothes. I made sweaters for my nephew from both of those yarns, and they worked perfectly (plus they come in nice, baby-appropriate but not pastel colors). But my sister is willing to hand wash.

    I think 100% cotton could be fine for a baby sweater, if you use a nice one. And if you use a pattern that won't require too much blocking, as you mentioned. The thing is, cotton is heavier than wool, but with such a small garment it won't make much of a difference.

    I don't think there's much of a difference between cardigans and pullovers -- my practically-newborn nephew wears a lot of pullover t-shirts and onesies and things. The thing to watch out for, more than pullover vs. cardigan tops, is the issue of pants -- lots of baby knit pant patterns I've found have no plackets to open the bottom for diapter changes! Not good!

    The only other advice I have about making baby sweaters is to think carefully about when the baby would be born and under-estimate sizes! I don't know where baby clothes companies get the sizing information they get, but when I was buying clothes for my nephew I bought things assuming that the "0-3 months", "6-9 months", etc. sizing would correspond to his actual age when he wore the garment, so I knitted him sweaters for 3-6 months since he was born in July in the hot and humid south. I was wrong. He is totally getting to wear clothes for 9 months now, at 11 weeks old! Sadly, the adorable little green Rowan Wool Cotton sweater I made him to wear in the fall, with cute little duck buttons, will probably be worn only once or twice in that brief window of time between when it's cool enough to wear it and before he outgrows it ... but he's the first niece/nephew, and I have three other siblings besides his mom, so it'll get used by other nieces/nephews eventually.

    Here are two other free baby patterns I really like. (I made the "Daisy" cardigan without embroidery but with cute buttons in Cotton Cashmere and it's so cute, and is luckily still several sizes too big for him ... my sister and I tried it on him and decided he looked like Orko from He-Man in it, so we call it his Orko sweater. The other pattern I haven't made yet.)

    http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer03/PATTdaisy.html

    http://www.interweave.com/knit/inter...d_Baby_Set.pdf

    (Um, whoa. That was a lot. I've been doing a lot of baby knitting lately, if you can't tell!)

  4. #3
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    If you want an acrylic/cotton blend that's washable, TLC Cotton plus is I think 50/50. Personally, I would stick with 100% cotton since that's what she wants, but if the sweater is not a surprise, go yarn shopping together. She might find a different yarn with a texture, color, etc. that she likes. Of your sweater choices, I like Trellis the best but Haiku is also cute. I don't prefer pullovers for small babies

  5. #4
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    It's not a surprise, but she lives on the other side of the country, so I don't think yarn shopping together would work. I think I'll email her and ask her if she has a yarn preference, both in terms of washing and in terms of the 100% cotton thing. I definitely don't want to knit something that the critter won't be able to wear!

    I have been warned about the size thing. The baby is apparently enormous.

  6. #5
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    I think it's always best to make something a little bigger than the baby is/will be. If the baby is enormous a 6-9 month pattern may be too small.

    As a mother I really prefer something simpler than a pullover for wee ones. At 6 months they usually don't like having the shirts pulled over their head because for that full two seconds that they can't see you they freak. Besides...it can be a pain to pull a sweater over the head then slip the active arms into the wholes.

    I have no advice about the yarn except just ask. I wouldn't want you to spend all that time knitting something that the mom just refuses to use!

  7. #6
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    So I have consulted my sister-in-law, and it turns out that she is completely mellow about the yarn. I'm either going to use Rowan All-seasons cotton or Brown sheep cotton fleece, both of which are mostly cotton but with some other stuff for structure. And on the off chance that my sister-in-law is reading this, I apologize profusely for implying that you were neurotic about yarn!

  8. #7
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    Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece is really nice yarn, but I am pretty sure it is hand wash only. That might not be an issue, or you could experiment with machine washing a swatch to see how it comes out.

    if you do decide to do Haiku, i can tell you that if comes out very cute, and looks great on. my mom made a Haiku for her grand-niece and it looked fabulous on her. she made it out of a good-quality acrylic for washability.

  9. #8
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    What I read about Cotton Fleece is that it's officially hand wash only, because the color fades, but babies outgrow clothes so fast that fading isn't a big deal. But now that I think about it, they'll probably hand the sweater down to someone, so I should probably use something that can withstand a lot of washings.

    I'm really torn on the Trellis vs. Haiku issue. I love Trellis, but I'm worried that I'll be biting off more than I can chew. I should probably start with Haiku and move up to something more comfortable later on, but I am always prone to bite off more than I can chew.

  10. #9
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    I would make Haiku now in the 1-2 size and save the 18 month size of Trellis for later. That way you'll have more time to work on it.

    Xuli - My computer balks at PDFs so I just got around to looking at that second sweater you linked and I love the offset buttons. Thanks - I've saved it in my to-do list.

  11. #10
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    Try a Sweater Vest....

    I really wanted to knit sweaters for the babies in my family & friends group, but i just decided i didn't have the patience for it. Though i did have the patience for vests. quick, easy, use minimal yarn and they are instant gratification.

    I made one of each of the following sweaters (found them on www.knittingpatterncentral.com so don't worry about copyright stuff). They were very nice to knit up. I made them while i was working (work for the cable company in the call center).

    I even tarted up the Cali sweater by adding a bit of eyelash yarn, it ended up being adorable.

    Also, if you want to make it easy to pull off & on, just leave one shoulder unseamed & add buttons to close the shoulder.

    Tres Easy

    http://lusciousgracious.com/cali.htm

    http://www.kerriesplace.co.uk/wigwamvest.html


 
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