Nesting

It feels like life has slowed down to a crawl during these last few weeks of waiting for the baby. For awhile, I was keeping myself busy by searching out and completing the quickest knitting projects I could find out there. There's something really satisfying about knitting up something tiny. It feels like such an extravagance, because a baby can only wear something this small in the first few months, but it's testament to the love and anticipation that surrounds its arrival. The last time I did a lot of knitting was before my first baby was born 9 years ago, and it was a meditative experience for me – into each stitch of baby clothing was knitted all the dreams and hopes that a soon-to-be first-time mother feels. In all the years since then, it's just been too difficult to keep on knitting – little toddler feet getting tangled up with skeins of yarn, so much of life to be lived as another and then yet another child was added to our family. But I recently discovered Ravelry and found myself feeling completely reinspired to take up  my needles. 

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The knitting world has really evolved in the decade since I was last actively knitting. Knitting feels fresh and new for me. There are so many free – free! – patterns out there by generous and talented knitters. The baby dress above is called the Kaia Babydoll. I knitted the newborn size so it went really quickly, in Debbie Bliss's luscious Baby Cashmerino yarn.

I dream of someday spinning and dyeing my own yarn as well. In the meantime I can order handspun and/or hand dyed yarn from Etsy. This delightful skein of yarn practically danced in my hands as I knitted it up and the entire sweater took about 2 days to make.

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The yarn was made by Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio. It feels so good to use yarn that is handcrafted with personal care in this way. 

I've made a few things from commercial patterns as well, and been really happy with the results. These wee hats are from the book One Skein, by Leigh Radford.

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I've also been enjoying knitting top-down seamless sweaters.  Both the dress and sweater above are seamless and so are the ones below. Until I started knitting these I didn't realize how much I hated the process of sewing up afterwards. I don't think I will ever make another sweater again that isn't knitted in the round.

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The pattern for the sweaters above is available here for free.

And then this pattern, below, is Elizabeth Zimmerman's famous Baby Sweater on Two Needles from her Knitter's Almanac. It's the same pattern I used for the green sweater above.

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Finally, every new baby needs booties and hats. There are many, many free baby bootie patterns on the web, and I just kind of combined various ones and experimented. Here's a link to a bunch of baby sock and bootie patterns.

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I couldn't resist purchasing the pattern for this pilot cap because pilot caps just look so darling on little baby faces.

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I have been trying to keep up with knitting projects for the older ones too. They are happy with socks and hats as long as they can pick the yarn and designs, and Mia is still small enough to knit quick shrugs and sweaters for. Some things remain works in progress but the children really seem to enjoy knowing that something special is being made just for them. 

Wool and cotton receiving blankets have been made, tiny clothing folded and put away. So now…..we just wait, while cherishing our last special days together as a family of five. 

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20 thoughts on “Nesting

  1. Frugal Kiwi

    Someone I know just got a spinning wheel and I’d love to take a look at it. I’ve recently gotten into felting (wet and needle) and am discovering the wonderful world of wools. Love the photo of the booties!

    Reply
  2. Michele

    I loved reading this post. What an exciting time this must be!! Your knit creations are gorgeous and I think it will be so special one day when your littles ones can look back at photos and see the things you made for them.

    Reply
  3. debbie

    Christine, your new daughter is lucky to be coming into the world with such gorgeousness awaiting her. Love love love everything, that first dress especially. Please post a picture of her wearing it when she finally arrives!

    Reply
  4. Jenn

    Beautiful! I love knitting for my kids (3 and 6), but there’s nothing like knitting for a little baby! Ravelry is fabulous! I’ve been on for quite a while and can’t remember knitting before it… my name is Junepierre.
    Love your blog!

    Reply
  5. Francesca

    I didn’t realize a new baby was on the way! Everything looks so lovely, the dress (oh, that dress!), the hat and boots, the many sweaters – true, baby clothes get to be worn only for a few months, but babies have so many ways of getting in need of a fresh set of clothes! What a special time this must be for you and your family of five. Hugs.

    Reply
  6. Tall Kate

    Christine, this is so inspiring! I’ve only just picked up needles again, and am working on little projects. Still another reason I’m looking forward to you returning to this area–seeing your beautiful knitting in progress.

    Reply
  7. ReadyMom

    What beautiful work. If only I could knit. Sadly, my knitting expertise extends only to shoelaces and I’m not sure if that really counts. So beautiful!

    Reply
  8. Almost Slowfood

    I do not know how to knit, but I really really want to learn right now if only so I can make that dress!!
    Congratulations on your upcoming arrival!
    ps- and thank you for commenting on my blog:) Love yours too.

    Reply
  9. Alexandra

    “Into each stitch of baby clothing was knitted all the dreams and hopes that a soon-to-be first-time mother feel” – how beautifully you expressed this! The pink dress is amazing.

    Reply
  10. MarthaAndMe

    Sigh. So gorgeous. The only handknit items my kids had were a blanket and bootie set knitted by a male co-worker of my husband’s and they were such a loose weave the baby’s fingers would get caught in it. Yours are amazing.

    Reply
  11. Jennifer

    These clothes are so sweet! I have a little one and you have just motivated me to start knitting again. It’s so nice how quickly baby clothes can be made:)

    Reply
  12. Karen Bannan

    OK, can I say: I feel totally inferior after looking at all that! How absolutely incredible! I’m going to have to ask my mother, who crochets, to take a lesson or two from you. Can’t wait to hear all about the new addition!

    Reply
  13. Sarah E. Ludwig

    How adorable! I wish I knew how to knit, even more so after seeing these pictures. You are so talented, Christine.
    Maybe you should go into business? I’d definitely buy some! 😉

    Reply
  14. joene

    I have a sweater that my mother-in-law knit for my first born. I recently passed it down to my 4 month old granddaughter. You are creating heirlooms and the potential for wonderful memories.

    Reply
  15. Molly

    So beautiful, each and every one! Am just picking up knitting needles for the first time (well, since I was seven), and am loving the way it tucks into so many tiny corners of a day filled with small children. Thanks for sharing, Molly

    Reply

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