Category Archives: Baby Gifts

Baby’s Bunny Blanket

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Baby’s Bunny Blanket

I have been knitting this blanket it feels like for for 100 years. Ever since we started trying for a baby I knew that when we were pregnant I wanted to make an heirloom item in the form of a blanket for the baby. Something personal that I can bring the baby home in from the hospital and the baby can keep. So when we discovered this baby was going to stay I hunted down a pattern.

I saw this on Love Knitting and it was perfect for this project. I wanted to do something with rabbits as my husbands family are slightly obsessed with rabbits due to their Grandfather, who is a big influence on my husband, being a very successful rabbit farmer. The family collect rabbit items like ornaments and things and I’ve started doing it too. Its like our spirit animal so I wanted to link that in.

The pattern was designed by Suzanne Strachan and is called The Four Bunnies. It is a blanket knitted in knit and purl with embossed rabbits in 4 different positions. For the pattern she used Rowan Baby Merino Silk in a grey. I chose a beautiful pale green colour callef ‘Little Duck Egg’ by Sublime in Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK. I know it’s different to the pattern but I found this in my local shop and I just loved it. According to the Sublime website the yarns in this type are designed for babies as they are ‘reassuringly delicate, soft and smooth yarn’ in the ‘gentlest natural blend next to baby’s skin’. I loved the gorgeous green colour and the feel of the yarn.

The pattern itself is pretty simple it is a garter stitch edge with the embossed rabbits made by purling on the knit side following a guide. The instructions however were not clear to me. I couldn’t figure out how to emboss the bunnies at first and it took my knitting extraordinaire Mother-in-law to take a look at the pattern and discover the key on the very last page. It just shows you what an extra pair of eyes can do to help a project. She also gave me some 4mm circle kneedles on a loop which made it a lot easier as it is a lot of stitches! It can be a difficult pattern if you are not concentrating as you must follow the guide at all times to get the bunny shape but once I was in a rhythm it became a lot easier. I have been knitting this bunny Blanket all over the place taking it with me. To my Mums house, out to the garden and in the car on longer journeys I’ve been trying to squeeze rows in here and there. I finally finished the main blanket whilst we were on our Babymoon in Wales.

This is the final finished main blanket. You can see the four bunnies; successfully embossed and I’m really happy with it. It’s just what I wanted.

To finish the blanket the pattern has images on how to overstitch the bunny tails to make them stand out so I tried this and failed at it. I can’t follow diagrams I need written instructions or to be actually shown. So I watched some YouTube on Duplicate stitch and did this over the tails instead. As it’s a different stitch it made them stand out more so I am happy with it. My final touch was to use duplicate stitch further in the corner of one of the bunnies and put in our baby’s initials. We have already chosen his name and had it ready for so long before he was even conceived. This really made the blanket special for me. I’m 24 and a half weeks when writing this and I’m really pleased I could knit something like this for him to keep we will use this blanket to bring him home from the hospital and its just really special.

Dougal the Dog

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Dougal the Dog

So one of my friends is having a baby in August. So I could not resist knitting a present for her and her baby boy to give to her at her Baby Shower. I love knitting toys, it is my all time favourite knit. They are just so fun to knit the little pieces and then build them together to make a 3D cuddly thing. So for my friend I used a Sirdar pattern from Hobbycraft.  This was great as I could download the pattern then and there for £3.00 and print it out. The pattern is called ‘Dog’ (original I know) and is knitted in Sirdar Snuggly DK and Sirdar Crofter DK.

I love Sirdar Snuggly for babies it is so soft and the colour range is amazing it’s perfect for toys and for little hats and boots. The Crofter range is very clever it’s Baby Fair Isle design builds colour in stripes and patterns. I chose the colour way ‘Dougal’ which is blues oranges browns and whites for my dog. (Thus the name Dougal the Dog.) You need 100g of Crofter and 50g of Snuggly to make the perfect the dog and it is knitted on 3.25mm needles.

I really like the pattern it was pretty simple to follow and I loved seeing the colours come out in the yarn. I knitted it up in about 2 weeks in the evenings after work.

Flat dog

The build was ok, I had to reattach the legs twice as I couldn’t get them to line up with the seams but I got there in the end. I used chocolate brown acrylic for the eyes, nose and mouth. Faces are usually the worst part of knitting toys for me but this came together nicely and he has a good character face.

 I love the crazy patterns and change in colours from the Crofter yarn. I think it’s a great toy for babies as it is so soft, so colourful and just so damned cute. It’s also a great size for cuddles but it is very light so is portable. I finished Dougal the Dog off with a yellow ribbon and gave it to my friend at her Baby Shower. I hope her new baby will like his doggy friend Dougal.

Big ‘Barry’ Bear

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Big ‘Barry’ Bear

There are two things I love in this life. One is babies and the other is knitting toys for presents for babies. (Well all people really)

For this particular baby I wanted to make something quite big and just for him. So I thought what is the one thing that every child needs? The answer is a teddy of course. So I searched the Internet for a pattern as I have made all the other bear patterns I own and I do get bored. I came across the Big Berry Bear Teddy pattern by Lorraine Leathem on Ravelry. It’s such a cute and proper bear. With a big fat tummy and head. 

Just the head and body

The pattern uses a self striping wool but I went for a classic beige and I got stuck in. It’s such a lovely pattern, it’s very clear and lovely to just follow along in the evenings. I changed the face a bit as I believe every toy has its own face that comes through as you start to embroider it on. And I used some orange glass beads for eyes that I found at the bottom of my knitting bag. For its ears and paws I needle  felted some brown felt into the yarn for furriness and it worked really well.

Finished but naked Big Barry

When the bear was finished it looked a bit naked so I knitted a scarf in the colours of the baby’s Daddy’s rugby club that he plays for. Bright blue and canary yellow. It really finished the bear and he was renamed Big Barry. I hope he will be a good companion for Baby Callum as he grows. I was even more thrilled as I was asked to be Baby’s Godmother! Must have been because of Big Barry!

With his rugby colours

Close up

With his new owner

Twin Teds

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Twin Teds

As you will probably know I love knitting toys. I suppose because I am still a bit of a big kid but there is something nice about knitting a toy and adding character and personality. I love seeing it go from odd knitted shapes to become a fully fledged animal, person or ‘thing’.

A friend of mine is having twins. Which is very exciting. And to mark the momentous event I made two twin teddy bears. I keep patterns I like in a file and when an occasion calls I go through the file for inspiration. I came across a teddy called Henry Bear. I’ve kept it as it is so simple but so cute and I’ve been waiting for an excuse to make it.

It’s knitted on size 4 mm needles which is my favourite for some reason and is knitted in garter stitch which gives a lovely ruffled effect to its body. The wool I chose was a lovely cream beige colour by King Cole and is Recycled Cotton Aran and it is so soft but is also very hard wearing so the bears can be squeezed and carried around to the twins hearts content and can also be washed in the washing machine. 

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Bear skins

The bears knitted up in no time and were so lovely to knit in the evening. The only downside was the ears, I had to fold them in on themselves a few times as they were looking a bit like mice at one point! I should probably have made them on smaller needles.

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Finish bear one

What is interesting is how the two bears are not identical. It’s strange that two bears from the same pattern made by the same knitter and at the same time have completely different faces. But hopefully they will suit the individuaity of the twins that will get to cuddle them. To finish the bears one got a pink bow and the other a blue. One for a girl and one for a boy.

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Twins

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Non identical twin teddys

Wooly Little Babies

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Wooly Little Babies

I love babies. I do. I love everything about them including their little feet. So when I was asked to make some sets if boots and hat for a friend who had two showers coming up I couldn’t resist.

I actually struggled to find a pattern I liked I looked through ravelry but without having a laptop at the moment I find it hard to read and follow the pattern. I went through a file I have if cut outs and found a set I have made before. They are super easy but really cute and effective. The pattern was shown in Simply Knitting in July 2013 for the Royal Baby number 1. So it is a lovely pattern.

I wandered down to my favourite knitting shop Woolyknits of course in Diggle. I bought some pink Super Soft Baby 4 ply by James C Brett, as one of the babies mum’s knew she was having a girl. (I know gender stereotyping but I love pink!) I already had some cream from the Woolyknits Blue Faced Leicester 100% wool range which is so warm and so soft for the other baby as that one’s mum is having a surprise. The main thing that set off these hats was buttons.

Is there anything better then a big pile if buttons? I think not. For the pink set I bought some tiny pink ducks and for the cream these lovely wooden bear faces. So cute!!

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Bears

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Ducks

The pink set I finished in about a week and a half as I’ve been so busy at work so only have the evenings. I finished the pink hat with an I-cord sewn into a bow to add to the girliness. I loved how the buttons were the same shade as the wool and so we’re subtle. But who doesn’t like pink ducks?

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The second set I finished in about a week again.  It’s the sewing up of the boots that takes the longest. Just because I wanted to make sure it was all very neat and sturdy. I left the hat plain for this set I didn’t want to do a pom pom as that makes me think winter and it’s a summer baby. They are slightly more chunky then the other set but they are actually my favourite due to the yarn it is so lovely to work with and it also smells so good!!

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When I have a baby one day (hopefully) I’m planning on knitting some of these myself with lots of novelty buttons in a few different colours. Little wooly babies!

The Animals went in 2 by 2

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A good friend of mine is having a baby. I am so happy for her and so excited! I really wanted to make something special for her and the baby and I have always loved a BIG project so I decided to knit Noah’s Ark. Fiona Goble designed the patterns for the Knitted Royal Wedding which were amazing so I knew her Noah’s Ark pattern would be pretty special too.

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I probably started far far too late as the baby shower was in December and I think I started on page 1 with Noah in September but I always love a bit of pressure. The patterns are wonderful and I would recommend the book for every knitter at all stages.

Noah and Mrs Noah I customised to look like my friend and her partner so she has blonde hair and her partner does not have a beard so I didn’t include this! But they are great because they stand up and have removable hats, anoraks and boots.

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The animals are all different and at all levels of difficulty but my favourite were the crocodiles with their scaly moss stitch back and the soft white polar bears which were just gorgeous. Also the stripy tigers were fun. In the end it became obvious that I was not finishing the animals in time for the shower so I roped in my Mother-in-Law who is a talented knitter and all round crafter to help with some of the animals. She also really enjoyed it as she has never made toys before and found it really enjoyable seeing the animals cone together. They are all knitted in sections then sewn together which is the time conduming part so I started making all the pieces for each pair and then putting them together.

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Billy Goats

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Polar Bears

In the end I had polar bears, tigers, monkeys and crocodiles, aswell as goats, pigs and tortoises. There are more to make which I have promised my friend I will make as baby grows so after the birth, christening, first birthday etc so I hope baby comes to like the ark too as the present grows with the baby.

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The Monkeys

The actual Ark is another story. The ark in the book is a cardboard template which you can fold out. Now I wanted a more permanent structure so I enlisted the help of my Dad. My Dad is an artist. He has always been a performer in street theatre but more recently has discovered a flair for art and makes. He can make giant puppets for parades out of paper and has designed some if his own ornaments using creosote and layers of paper. He set to and made me an ark out of soft plastic and paper which is similar to a hat box to store the animals in. It looks gorgeous and really finished the project properly its also soft so if baby does fall over on the Ark it would just collapse and not hurt the baby. My Dad’s website link is below: http://www.gordonkbanks.com/http://www.gordonkbanks.com/#

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I was very proud to give my friend the Ark at her baby shower. It was a real family project and a goid challenge for me which I will keep adding to over the years but next time I would start it WELL in advance to give myself time to finish it!

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Oh Boy a boy!

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I hbear boots and hat bomoave been knitting for babies again, this time I wanted to do a set of matching boots and hat. With the birth of the Royal baby boy there were suddenly lots of inspiring knitting patterns in magazines and I decided to knit a set for my sister’s nephew who was born in August recently, He was tiny at 7 pound 2 ounces and is a beautiful little boy. I found a pattern in Simply Knitting magazine which is closely becoming my favourite for a set in a really light cream for a bobble hat and boots and decided to make this.

I chose a cream from the Sirdar Snuggly range in shade 0303 which is a very similar buttery cream colour that was in the picture and I thought it would suit a very new born baby. The hat itself was quite simple stitched in garter stitch which decreased in rows to make the round shape. I finished it with a bobble that I made using my fingers and trimmed to shape.

the boots were made in 3 pieces, first making the solboots and hat bomoes using garter stitch and following the shape the second part making a piece that went over the top in garter and the third using stocking stitch to make a soft inner lining. the boots are then all stitched together and I am always surprised when the pieces come together to make an actual boot!

I couldn’t resist also adding a toy to the present and I called on my favourite pattern for a traditional teddy bear. Using the same wool I knitted a small cream bear. The pattern I really like is by Laura Long from Storytime Knits, one of the 3 bears. I made the Mummy bear one on size 4 needles so it was quite small. After I stuffed the bear I used baby blue wool to embroider the face of the bear and gave him a little belly button for character. I also stuffed the ears and put in a small piece of blue, pink and lilac striped material. This added a bit of a colour and texture to the bear and I think it worked really well.

I think they were slightly too big for him but i’m sure he will grow into them and they will keep him really cosy. I really enjoyed using Sirdar Snuggly wool its so soft and so easy to work with I will be looking for it in the future for my other projects for little babies.20130813_212942