Knitting Baby Stuff: The delicious dressing gown I will never knit again.

I am not sure if you recall my first large scale frogging from several months ago, but I am absolutely delighted (and somewhat surprised at myself) to say it is finally done. Sewn. Blocked. The lot.

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Contrasting edging.

To recap, this dressing gown, from a Debbie Bliss book that I borrowed from the library, looked delicious and I was very excited when I cast on in her own thick soft cashmere and merino blend Aran weight yarn. I knew it would take a while to make and also thought a dressing gown on a pre-walking baby was likely to be impractical, so I bought enough yarn to make the 24 month old size.

Well, at least, I thought I did.

One weekend, as I approached the last two balls of my main colour, I reviewed the pattern and noticed there was an awful lot of knitting still to be done and, fearing the worst, frantically emailed the Loveknitting people about getting my hands on more yarn from the same dye lot. They has two balls in stock, but could only take dye lot orders over the phone and their phones wouldn’t open until Monday morning. Greenwich Mean Time.

Despite calling right on the dot, their stock had been depleted and there was one solitary ball left. I ordered it and optimistically knit on. But with still a good length of the second sleeve to go, I ran out of yarn and after totally frogging it, and leaving a slightly irritated comment on the corresponding pattern on Ravelry, the balls of Debbie Bliss sat neglected in a bag for several months until I could face this nemesis knit again.

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Dressing Gown by Debbie Bliss

Pattern: Dressing Gown

Source: Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss

Price: Free (I borrowed from the local library!) but you can buy the book for $45 AUD here.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in two shades of blue

Needle: 4mm and 5mm straight needles

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The successfully knit and grafted collar thanks to the help of a fellow Raveler.

I finally cast on again, in the 18 month old size, and despite my loathing of the awkwardly worded repeat instruction, and the need to ask for help from a fellow Raveler to understand the collar instruction (details on both issues here), I did quite enjoy the new-for-me technique of working a contrasting edging down the front. It gives the gown a extra toasty, cosy look, and makes me think of grandfathers pottering about in slippers by crackling fires. Which is really what dressing gowns are all about!

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The hems stuck out at an angle when simply turned up as per the pattern. So, I sewed them into place using slip stitch.

Once I’d knit all the parts, with a pleasing amount of yarn to spare, I got stuck into the seaming. Boy, was there was some seaming to be done! Again, the instructions were a little obscure. The pattern calls for the hems to be ‘turned up’ without any instructions to sew them, but they jutted out at an angle and to me this looked unfinished and strange, so I sewed the hems and cuffs into position.

So, while it is still a little on the big side for our not-quite walking 1 year old, the result is even more cuddly and cute than I had hoped.

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W tests out the dressing gown on a cold winter morning.

Knitting Baby Stuff: Raspberries & Cream

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Quaintly in DK weight yarn.

At risk of sounding like a broken record, I love Pekapeka patterns!

I had two little one-year-olds to knit for this year. The Little Boy Blue went down a treat and I’m hoping this girly knit is also a hit with the gorgeous Miss L as she celebrates her first year on this wild planet.

This gorgeous wild raspberry variegated skein from Gradient Aus had been sitting in my stash for a while and so I was delighted to discover this larger version of my old favourite, Composite, required just the right amount of delicious pink yarn to make the 12-18 month size.

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My last variegated knit with expanses of stocking stitch. Not a big fan of the smudge effect.

Pattern: Quaintly – DK

Source: Ravelry download from Pekapeka

Price: $5 USD

Yarn: Wild Raspberry from Gradient Aus (100g)

Needle: 3.5mm & 4.0mm circular needles

As for her Composite pattern, Kelly Brooker again has very clear and detailed instructions which make it difficult to go wrong. I used the charts to knit the lace sleeves (something I am still learning how to do well) and apart from one slight error, which would only be noticed on exceedingly close inspection of the capped sleeves, I managed to knit this while watching The Killing with subtitles. Though, I suspect I may have missed less crucial parts of the dialogue.

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The button band is written to be sewn together except for the top button. I’ve left it open so a large baby head can fit through without tears.

The button band is designed to only open at the top button and the remainder of it is supposed to be sewn down, however I left it open to allow for easy dressing. As the mother of a baby with an exceedingly large head, I am acutely aware of the issue of small necklines and I didn’t want to gift a garment that induced crying at every wear! If I’d noticed the mock button band in advance, I would have planned to pop and extra real button hole in. Hoping it doesn’t gape strangely when on.

Despite the gorgeous vibrant colour of this yarn, I think this is probably my last variegated project using big sections of stocking stitch. I’m not the biggest fan of the smudge look and have already been investigating other ways to use variegated yarn. Excited to try a linen stitch scarf and some cool socks, both waiting in my Ravelry queue as experiments in alternatives.

But first to finish that previously frogged nemesis knit.