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Brandilyne
05-11-2007, 12:19 AM
I just found out that my very best friend is expecting and not only am I THRILLED beyond belief for her (they have gone through a lot to get here), I am selfishly happy because it means I now have a reason to knit baby stuff! :teehee:

So, being a relatively new knitter and one who has never even looked at any baby yarn, I ask you for your suggestions!

I know I will end up knitting a TON of stuff for her, but my first project is definitely going to be a beautiful baby blanket that is more on the fancy/heirloom side. I'm certainly not an accomplished lace knitter (HA!), but I think even I can handle this pattern (http://www.kraemeryarns.com/patterns/pdfs/lotsoflove.pdf). I think I will also do a colorful log cabin type of blankie later, but want something very traditional for her first.

I have absolutely no idea what yarn I should use. I have looked everywhere and have found no consensus on the best baby yarn. Please help me :doh:

Should I use a machine washable natural fiber? A super soft acrylic? A wool blend? I just have no idea. I want this to be a beautiful blanket that she can have forever and ever, so I don't mind spending a bit on the yarn. I would prefer not to spend a mint, but since I'm planning on making the smaller version, I should need around 1000 yds of something in a DK or sport weight, right?

Also, if you think there is another slightly fancy/lace pattern for a blanket out there that is PERFECT, I would love to hear your suggestions!

Finally (as if I'm not asking enough already!) I would just love to know what yarns you all recommend for general baby items such as hats, sweaters, booties etc.

Thanks so much!

eta: I've been eyeing Lorna's Laces in Layette, is it very gender neutral in color? I can't tell if it's more lilac or light blue from my monitor!

katiebug081504
05-11-2007, 12:23 AM
Not that my comment is going to help because I have never knit a baby item, but I am excited for you! I want someone I know to have a baby so that I can start knitting baby things. I was also looking at that exact blanket about 5 min. before reading your post. If I was going to knit a baby something though, I would probably end up looking at all the yarns that say baby soft...or baby something. I think Cotton Tots is a really pretty yarn.

mimi
05-11-2007, 07:15 AM
I am almost finished with the Grandma's Love Afghan you posted. It is a relatively simple pattern, just four rows, and easy to keep track of. If you decide to do it, let me know because I have some hints to help you so you don't have to frog it as much as I did in the beginning.

I am using the Kramer Summit Hill in pearl and it is a dream to work with. I bought it because it is machine washable - something you definitely want with a baby!

And Kramer was selling direct from their warehouse for $10.50 a ball, but I googled all around and came up with the same exact thing from alpacafleece.com for $6.00 a ball.

psammeadred
05-11-2007, 08:27 AM
Congratulations to your friend! A word of warning - babies come in flocks. So you may soon find yourself with a LOT of babies to knit for.

The most important factor in choosing baby yarn is that it be machine washable. Hand washing little sweaters is going to be the last thing on the minds of new parents. Besides, babies are messy!

If you're making a blanket, start early! Eventually, the blanket will get to the point where you knit for three hours, and the blanket's still an inch shorter than it was when you started. I made a Log Cabin blanket for my friend's baby last month, and I was thoroughly sick of looking at it by the time it was finished.

I've made a wraparound sweater, two little cardigans from the Five-Hour Baby Sweater pattern, and Anouk from Knitty. Anouk was my favorite knit for little girls.

As far as specific yarns go, I've used Sugar & Cream cotton for the Five-Hour sweaters, WoolEase for the wraparound sweater, Caron Simply Soft for Anouk, and Plymouth Encore for the blanket.

figaro
05-11-2007, 09:47 AM
I have also never made a baby item but I did have 4 babies! I would suggest making a stroller size of this afghan. Stroller size blankets are great because when you have to use a blanket in the stroller, a lot of times it will fall to the ground and get run over by the wheels even when folded. I would think that making a smaller version of this would be a nice intro to making afghans and if you still want to make a regular size one, you could and have it be part of a set for the new baby! Two of my girls have a blanket similar in size and they love them, one has become her "blankie".

And I would think that a yarn that is recommended for baby items, washable and soft would be great for this.

jpenguin
05-11-2007, 10:14 AM
AHHH, A topic that I actually can help with. I also am new to knitting, August 2006, but have been a crocheter for over 20 years. I have been crocheting baby afghans/blankets for that long as gifts. I got into knitting for baby layettes & I am working on my 11th one since Novemember. All of these for church members & two more to go!

I have found over the years that wash & dryable are the best for young new moms. My favorite yarns to use are Red Heart Baby Soft, TLC Baby, & Bernat Softee Baby Yarns. Yes, these are acrylic but very soft yarns and very washable & dryable over & over & over. Not to mention they are inexpensive & I have found that some of the more expensive yarns bought in LYS don't hold up as well. My oldest is 16 & still has her baby blanket I made her with a Bernat yarn on her bed & is in great shape with many washings over 16 years.

I get these yarns at my local JoAnn's, Michael's & Hobby Lobby stores. They mostly carry the basic colors so when I want something different then I order on line from Herschner's.

I hope this helps & congratulations to your friend.

Jody in Powder Springs, GA
Mom of 2 teenagers & 2 spoiled rotten Chihuahua's

Leah22b
05-11-2007, 10:57 AM
Congrats to your friend, and to you... I've just started knitting for my friend who is due in 11 weeks. One really cute pattern and a really easy knit is the Cuddly Bunny from Lionbrand. You can change the ears and make several different animals. No ears = Baby Seal; Triangle Ears= Kitten etc. I've attached a picture of my Bunny and Seal. And the link to the pattern. I substituted Twirl from www.knitpicks.com ($3.99 each and 1 was more then enough for 1 animal. If you use this yarn decrease your needles to a 7 or 8 for the head.)

Another thing to look at is the book "50 Baby Bootees to Knit" by Zoe Mellor. Great patterns!

http://cache.lionbrand.com/patterns/60635.html?noImages=

auburnchick
05-11-2007, 11:05 AM
I just made a bunch of baby stuff. Here's (http://knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31605) a link to what I posted on the "Whatcha Knitting" forum.

I really liked using the Lion Brand Microspun. It was very soft and has a little stretch to it, making it good for hats and booties. If you're a new knitter, making a hat should not be too much of a challenge.

Good luck!!!

threesmom
05-11-2007, 11:26 AM
Oooo babies! I love babies (I think that's why I have 3 kids - I just kept wanting more of those kissable cheeks! :heart: ) I really like that pattern for the blanket - I'd like to try that myself. As much as I like natural fibers, I'd use acrylics (something soft and washable) for the blanket - I used Caron's Simply Soft for an afgan for my mom, and it knits up much nicer than I expected. I'm doing a log cabin for my dd, and I actually wish I had used it for that too :doh: Something I would have done for my kids too - had I seen it - is a bunting thing in the Yarn Girls Guide to Simple Kids Knits - I never used buntings because they are useless in a carseat or front pack, but this one had a hole for the strap, making it actually useful and cool.
Good luck and happy knitting!

threesmom
05-11-2007, 11:31 AM
Oooo babies! I love babies (I think that's why I have 3 kids - I just kept wanting more of those kissable cheeks! :heart: ) I really like that pattern for the blanket - I'd like to try that myself. As much as I like natural fibers, I'd use acrylics (something soft and washable) for the blanket - I used Caron's Simply Soft for an afgan for my mom, and it knits up much nicer than I expected. I'm doing a log cabin for my dd, and I actually wish I had used it for that too :doh: Something I would have done for my kids too - had I seen it - is a bunting thing in the Yarn Girls Guide to Simple Kids Knits - I never used buntings because they are useless in a carseat or front pack, but this one had a hole for the strap, making it actually useful and cool.
Good luck and happy knitting!

larudden
05-11-2007, 11:50 AM
Oooooooooh, I love babies!

My very first knitting project was this hat, which I saw on DIY Knitty Gritty. Of course, If you look at my signature, you'll notice that I haven't sewn the seam because I don't want to ruin it! HA!

Here's the link:
http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/na_knitting/article/0,2025,DIY_14141_4826209,00.html

Also, here's the link to the Stitches From the Heart site and some easy baby patterns:
http://www.stitchesfromtheheart.org/knit.html#hats

Of course, you'll show pictures, right?

Have fun!

Brandilyne
05-11-2007, 11:53 AM
WOW! Thank you everyone for all of your suggestions.

katie, who makes Cotton Tots? That sounds vaguely familiar but I canít remember if Iíve come across it in my all encompassing baby yarn research over the past week, hee.

mimi, Iím so glad you said itís an easy pattern! I thought the repeat looked short and sweet, but Iíve learned that even something that looks simple can be screwed up by my lack of attention! Iíd love to hear any and all tips youíve got. So, you love the Summit Hill? It looks very beautiful and soft, but I guess Iím wary of using 100% wool, even if itís a superwash merino. I know, I know, Iím likely being silly. I am sure that part of it is my own extreme aversion to wool in anything Iím wearing. I squirm and scratch like a whore in church if Iím wearing something that has the teeeeniest bit of wool in it. *sigh* Go ahead, tell me Iím being silly and that surely I can find a superwash merino that is soft enough!!

I would love to use natural fibers on this particular blanket, but I'm not completely married to the idea. I guess because I know my friend is very high-end in everything she does, does that make any sense?

What about Debbie Bliss cashmerino baby? Iíve read conflicting reports of the durability? But it sounds sooooo soft....

psammeadred, thanks for the suggestion to start early! Luckily sheís pretty early on, so Iíve got some time, but I know I need to get started asap as this may be a project that gets done in between other projects (even though I'm new I'm already in the habit of 3 or 4 projects OTN at the same time)

figaro, I totally agree with you about the smaller blanket. Iím thinking Iíll make the version that calls for casting on 133 stitches (noted at the very bottom of the pattern). That should be around 2 Ĺ feet wide Iím thinking?

jpenguin, thanks for those suggestions! I would have no problem using acrylic for the blanket (assuming people donít get freaked out anymore about the whole flame-retardant issue?? I have only a dog, no kids so I know squat about that kind of stuff), so itís good to know that they have stood the test of time!

Leah, those are adorable!! I saw the pattern and bookmarked it at home the other night! Absolutely the cutest. Thanks for sharing!

auburnchick, I love all of your baby items! I love the wash cloth patterns and how funny that I made that same pattern as an afghan square for WUA as my very first project! You and I seem to be on the same wavelength since we also both knit Branching Out, hee!

Ooooh, threesmom, how funny! I just got that book from the library. I'll have to go home and look up the hat pattern tonight :)

eta:
larudden, that hat looks adorable and pretty easy! I might have to try it this weekend. Thanks so much!!

I confess I couldnít wait and I did buy some Baby Bee Dream Baby Chenille last weekend at Hobby Lobby since it was on sale. I think itís going to be for my first practice baby hat, as Iíve not made a hat yet. Ooooh, and Iím also dying to make those adorable little angora baby booties from LMKG! They are so wee and fluffy and over the top on the cuteness scale.

melissa.atkins
05-11-2007, 01:30 PM
Congrats to your friend on the pregnancy!! It is so nice you will knit something for the little one... :)

I am pregnant myself and have knited somethings for my baby, I have found a couple of yarns that work the best for me... Bernat Satin is great, not only because it is extremely soft but because it has the non-traditional baby colors available; Pound of Love makes a great blanket and it is priced reasonable.... it might not feel as soft when you knti it, but once you wash it, I love it! Caron Simply Soft is good too... very soft and baby-ish... :)

Good luck!!

aineepooh1
05-11-2007, 01:40 PM
I second the Bernat Cotton Tots~ I first heard about through Ingrid on KH here.. It is SUPER soft cotton ~ 100% machine washable and dryable and it just feels great ( as a matter of fact I just made some washcloths for a friend of mine who is getting her chemo this week) she AND her mama just kept touching it :teehee:
I like the colors and I think cotton is good b/c because can get hot or cold and machine washalbe is s must b/c of the spit up, milk, food and other unmentionables that get on baby things..
I Just love the colors: they havee some nice varigeated purple, soft lime green and yellow, they have white with small splotches of color, they have purple :heart: :heart:, pink, green, yellow and you can always make a multicolored blankie if you want to play it safe ( like purple/ green/ white)
Bernat cotton tots gets my VOTE~! :cheering: :happydance: :cheering: :happydance: