I would describe myself as an intermediate knitter, I have tackled cable knitting, intarsia, most stitches, 3D structures, socks, animals, teddy bears, blankets and teeny tiny decorations. What I have failed at however has always been knitted garments, but I stumbled across some yarn that I had bought right at the beginning of my pregnancy, which was a gorgeous, Sirdar Snuggly Crofter in shade 145 Hattie. I absolutely love Sirdar’s snuggly baby yarns, they have a gorgeous amount of shades as well as the lovely Crofter yarn series which create a Fair Isle effect. I have previously made a knitted dog for my friend’s baby in the shade number 157 Dougal and it knits up so well and has a really soft but colourful effect. So when I rediscovered the yarn that i had purchased I decided to order a further 50g and just go for a cardigan. There is only so many booties and hats you can knit before boredom sets in. I chose a pattern for a pretty simple Sirdar cardigan from Hobbycraft. The pattern has two types of cardigan in it a Moss stitch and a Garter Stitch decorative cardigan. I went for the garter stitch type as Moss stitch, although lovely when completed, is a bit too tricky for my baby brain to remember right now. The pattern is knitted in sections of 8 rows with the first three rows being knit only to create a garter stitch stripe which runs through the cardigan and the rib edging is a 1×1 rib. The pattern itself was relatively simple the tricky bits came in when dividing the stitches into the back and the two sides, and then reconnecting these above the arm holes. Then the border itself posed a problem for me as you pick up stitches along the edge and then rib these as well to make the edge. I had just enough yarn to finish the cardigan and had the yellow buttons in my crafting supplies. I’m really happy with the final cardigan, I love the colours and the effect of the fair isle pattern alongside the garter edging. The cardigan is knitted in size 3 to 6 months and is not perfect and could be a bit boxy but it is my first ever cardigan for my first ever child so it is a small achievement. Even if it just gets covered in sick I will feel a touch of pride when I dress him in it in a few months time.
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.