Knitting Baby Stuff: Strawberries from Scraps and a Swift from Santa

I spotted this pattern on the cover of a book while shopping for yarn with my mum many moons ago and then again whilst perusing the knitting books at the local library on one of my many long walks with the pram and just couldn’t resist knitting it up from scraps in my stash.

It’s a divine and quick little knit that uses next to no yarn and some simple fair isle with crocheted flowers and I’m itching for one of my expectant friends to give me an excuse to wrap this up and send it off for some little toes to snuggle. Sweetness and delight!

IMG_4875Pattern: Strawberry Shoes

Source: Cutest Ever Baby Knits by Val Pierce

Price: I got this free as I borrowed the book from the local library but according to Booko you can buy the book for $23.00 here. 

Yarn: I used 8ply cashmere merino stash scraps from my rainbow blanket in red and green, some pale yellow 4ply synthetic stuff from my experimental wedding bouquet days, and some 8ply white leftovers from Lars for the flowers.

Needles: I knit this up on 3.75mm needles as I was using 8ply rather than 4ply and my shoes are probably bigger than the pattern intended.

Santa bought me a wool ball winder for Christmas. The elves were a little slow on the swift so I’ll have to wait for that, but I’m told it’s on its way.

Now that I have a ball winder. I cannot believe I have survived more than two decades of knitting without it. It was only after I had a particularly traumatic experience with a skein of yellow silk during the experimental phase of my wedding bouquet that I even discovered ball winders existed. No actually, it was in reading the pattern for the Purl Bee Baby Chevron Blanket, when they mention not needing a swift and ball winder to make a centre-pull ball. Wait a minute, I said to myself, a ball winder?! As in, something that would have wound that beautiful skein of yellow silk into a neat ball before it became snarling mess? That’s the gizmo for me.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 12.56.59 pm

And so, like a child with a new toy, I spent most of the Christmas break winding every scrap of yarn I own into its own neat gorgeous ball with the option to pull from the centre or the outside. I even wound balls from yarn I bought in a perfectly good ball. I became a compulsive ball winder. And I loved it. Inspired by the beauty of the freshly wound balls — far far more inspiring than a box full of yarn scraps — I have come full circle and using the pattern that started it all, I’m now making a chevron blanket from all my odds and ends.

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