Steve and I had just driven out of the parking garage at Walter Reed, where we’d been discussing my upcoming cancer treatment with my endocrinologist, when my cell phone rang. I was surprised to see it was the older of my twin brothers, Joe–he’s been keeping close tabs on how things are going with me, but he hadn’t known I had an appointment, so I wasn’t sure why he was calling.
He didn’t leave me wondering for long. “I just have a second before I go back in and talk to the doctor so I wanted to call,” he said, a bit breathlessly. “It’s a boy!”
It’s a boy!
I would have been delighted with another beautiful little niece…but I was really hoping for a nephew. My younger twin brother and his wife aren’t planning to have kids, and I’ve no idea what my sister-in-law and her husband are planning…so I wasn’t going to have many chances for one. Now Jeffrey won’t be the only boy! And now I’ve got another little boy to knit for.
I didn’t knit for Jeffrey when he was a baby. I’d planned to. I even bought my first yarn and needles when I was expecting him–the quilting store I bought some of my fabric from carried knitting supplies as well–and then we found out we were moving to Texas. It was not pleasant news for a number of reasons, and I completely gave up any plans to learn to knit during the 18 months we were going to be there–who needed knitted clothing in south Texas? Obviously, my plans changed, and I did finally learn to knit while I was carrying Lexie, who had some of my first knitting creations inflicted upon her (fortunately, she was too young to remember, so those won’t be added to the list of things causing her teenaged angst in 11 or so years).
But now I’m a reasonably skilled knitter, capable of creating attractive things…and I want to knit them for my nephew.
Of course, I do have to admit that there are a lot more cute patterns out there intended for little girls than for little boys, but that just means I need to accept it as a challenge! I’ve already picked out and received approval from my sister-in-law for a few patterns:
- Mossy Jacket – I’m not usually a big fan of asymmetric patterns, but this one is just so charming in its simplicity, and without the asymmetry, it would be too plain. I haven’t figured out what yarn I’m going to use yet, but fortunately I should be able to find coordinating trim pretty easily either through a swap or from some of the yarn spawn I’ve got stocked up.
- Snug – Another very simple yet very classic looking pattern. This one will take a bit of work and thought though, because my sister-in-law discovered that hoods were trouble than they were worth to her with my niece, so I’ll need to figure out how to size it up, and it’s a sideways knit. But the designer kindly included some links to either places where people did just that.
- Henry’s Sweater – If you haven’t discovered Petite Purls yet, and you knit for little ones, you’re missing out! I think of Petite Purls as being a sort of Knitty for little ones–both are knitting ezines that come out seasonally with gorgeously worked free patterns and informative feature articles. Henry’s Sweater looked like just the thing to put on my little nephew.
In the meantime, I’ve already done some knitting–I just couldn’t resist.
Part of the inspiration was that I’m doing a Stashdown KAL right now, where we get points for how many yards of yarn we knit…but we can’t count a skein as “knit” until the entire skein is knit. I’d finished a sweater for myself that took 3 1/2 skeins of yarn, so I had a half skein left. So I went looking for patterns that would take 125 yds or less of worsted weight yarn…and I found the Button Beanie. I loved the faux buttoned brim and immediately set about looking for the perfect button.
Despite my husband’s emphatic pronouncement that boy’s hats should not have buttons on them, I think it looks adorable. And my sister-in-law agrees, meaning Steve is out voted. The only problem I had with this pattern was that I’m not sure it’s physically possible to get the gauge called for, certainly not with the yarn/needle combination the pattern used (4 sts to an inch with US7s on worsted weight yarn). I got up to US10s while knitting gauge swatches and decided I didn’t like how loose the fabric was becoming. Also, when I posted about this on Ravelry in one of my groups, someone pointed out that the listed gauge and cast on number didn’t match up with the given dimensions anyway. So I modified the pattern by adding 18 sts to the cast on to get the dimensions I wanted with the fabric gauge I liked.
Tell me that’s not the cutest button for a boy’s hat ever. Go on–I dare you. It took some searching, but I found that one at As Cute as a Button. Of course, shipping for a single button was more expensive than the button itself (which, really, is ridiculous since they could have slipped that button in a standard envelope and put a stamp on it), so I took the opportunity to stock up on some more cute child buttons for future projects.
Now, the hat pattern claimed to use 122 yds, and I had about 125 yds when I started. I finished with…50 yds. Back to the advanced pattern search on Ravelry, this time looking specifically at baby patterns for something to coordinate with the hat. Socks? Thumbless mittens?
Project: Bubby for my Nephew
Yarn: Three Irish Girls Springvale Super Merino in Toffee, 30 yds
Plymouth Encore DK in Royal Blue (for trim), 15 yds
Needles: US7 and US6 (ears only) 6″ bamboo DPNs
How about a tiny teddy bear? And yes, he’s pretty small!
But he makes the perfect size teddy bear for a baby’s fist…and a baby’s mouth, because dear Bubby is going to get chewed on a lot, I foresee, in the year to come.