Simply Cotton Baby Set

Warning: more baby clothes ahead!

I’m due June 17th, so I thought I should slow down with all of my 100% wool projects for the kiddo unless they were sized a bit larger.  Still, I wanted to make some super-tiny newborn clothes, so I pulled out some Simply Cotton Sport from my stash.  

I looked up some free sport weight baby vest patterns on Ravelry and used the sizings listed to estimate a good width for my own pattern.  I only had bits of Simply Cotton Sport in Basalt Heather leftover from another project (about two skeins worth), so I thought I’d stripe it with some of the Marshmallow that I had saved for some knitted face cloths.  I used the Marshmallow for the thin stripes while I worked the body in the round, then after I sewed everything up I picked up around the arms and neck for some ribbing.

Baby heads are huge relative to baby necks, so for baby knits it’s important to either a) have a large, forgiving opening for the neck, or b) create some kind of placket or closure that will allow you to cheat.  For the left shoulder of this sweater, I just knit two small bands out of Marshmallow, one with three button holes.  After I finished the ribbing on the right arm and neck, I picked up stitches for the left arm edging but didn’t join in the round.  I bound off the left arm ribbing, then sewed my two button bands to either side of the shoulder.  I did end up tacking together the button bands at the left arm opening edge, just so that it was a little neater and didn’t gap open too much when buttoned.

For the buttons, I dipped into my stash to find the perfect accent.  I had a few more vintage buttons from my trip to Stitches West in 2010, and I’m a sucker for a grey-yellow combo.  After the vest was complete, I had just enough yarn to make a newborn sized cotton cap to match.  The finished set is super-soft, lightweight, and ready for a model.

One last thing: don’t be afraid to make up a pattern of your own!  When I first started knitting I made a ton of small projects – scarves, hats, even mittens – just by making things up with basic increases and decreases.  As I got more skilled, I learned how to read patterns and started following them religiously.  It took a bit of work to wean myself away from the “I must find a pattern!” mindset and start planning from scratch on my own, but I think designing projects this way has really helped me grow as a knitter and learn to adapt patterns to my own (sometimes exacting!) specifications.  

Do any of you routinely make up your own designs?  If you use patterns often, how often do you change things up to suit your preferences?