One should always be prepared with an arsenal of good baby patterns. Obviously, knitting for babies is fun because you get to make an entire sweater in a rather short amount of time. But the reason I like knitting for babies is COLORWORK!
Silly motifs like odd animals, other-wordly cartoon characters and construction equipment always look good on babies. On adults? Not usually.
(Ok, even a baby can't make that look good.)
The hipsters of the world have brought knitted colorwork animals back from the dark box they were stuffed into after the 80's. And they are GOOD, the animals are very good! Hipster faves these days: bird silhouettes, squirrels, and of course, foxes.
This pattern is Friedrich by Sarah Hatton, from Rowan Studio 30. Normally, the Studio series has a handful of modern adult tops. But oddly, this issue was devoted to kids. Sorry everyone, but this pattern is by far the coolest.
A couple of other hipster colorwork patterns to choose from in this issue:
For Friedrich, I wanted a vintage 70's coloring, and went with the brown, avocado, and orange I remember from the rug in our kitchen when I was young.
Tangent: YES, there was a carpet in our kitchen when we moved into our new house. (And you thought "wall-to-wall" wasn't meant to be literal.) When you spilled milk, it just soaked right in. (All of our appliances were mustard color, as well). Wait... is this my kitchen? Tasteful and practical indeed!
Funnily enough, I already had these vintage colors in my stash from the last baby hipster cardigan I made! This is an awesome Cowichan hoodie from a Phildar pattern, made with Berroco Vintage DK and Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK. My husband has requested this exact hoodie for himself many times.
This lucky baby had other hipster accoutrements in his wardrobe. <3
(Sigh, I always seem to be knitting for boys.)
This new foxy one is for my dear dear friend Eva, who escaped my clutches and moved back to France. :( She is due in July, so I chose 6-9 months, hoping that it would fit the baby for the winter.
She and daddy Laurent were our cherished witnesses (and only guests) for our wedding (September 2012)! They're going to have a beautiful SUPER-ACTIVE kid, I am quite sure. (Haha, Eva, good luck!)
(I must say that having had an 80-person wedding before, a 4-person wedding kicks ass).
Friedrich was a delight to make! It's really quite well put-together. I especially like the short-rows that shape the shawl collar.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When picking up wraps for the shawl collar, pay attention to which side you show the wrap! Normally, you try to hide the wrap on the right side, but because the collar folds over, the wrong side will be what shows. This means that when you are knitting the wrong side, the wrap will be done in the normal way (to hide it). But when you are knitting the right side, you must work the wrap so it shows on the side facing you.
I'm not sure there is a tutorial anywhere on how to SHOW wraps. It may be something I will have to do someday for the betterment of knitkind. Please direct me, if you find a link!
There is one issue with the pattern that I would have liked to change, in retrospect. The fox chart just repeats foxes, probably because there are so many sizes. But, I really don't recommend that you make a partial fox that will get eaten up by the side-seams. For my size, I ended up with a warped bunny-rabbit. Just don't make that last fox, it will look great, I promise.
For the sleeves, you can have partial foxes though. This is because the fox face slowly decreases along the seam, making it just look like a sewn together motif fabric.
The final touch on this cardi is, of course, the embroidered fox faces! I dipped into my stash to find a fuzzy black mohair for a sleepy fox...
...and a bright blue and dark green for french knot eyes. Good news, I conquered french knots once and for all! (Thank you sublimestitches.) TAKE THAT FRENCH KNOTS.
I wasn't satisfied with just one french knot for the nose. So instead, I made two, one above and below, and then wound the yarn around the two to gather them together and secured the 'wrap'. This made a seriously high and pointy nose. Perfect for a fox!
And here is a better look at the buttons that just scream 'hand-made':
You may have wondered what mysterious item is my fashion model on my headliner pic. It's my funky humidifier! Isn't the belly perfect for a round little baby tummy? Also, I can't help but love the bling "necklace" he seems to be wearing.
And now I must pack up little Hipster Friedrich and send him to his mama. I hear they don't have a baby name yet. May I suggest Rowan? HA! ;)