Thursday, June 23, 2011

The babies are coming! The babies are coming!

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No, not babies for me! Two good knitting friends of mine just had baby boys.

I don't know what it is about the news of impending babies that compels us to knit, but I knew I just had to make adorable Baby Surprise Jackets for both of them. Booties, too.

These are probably my two favorite baby patterns. The classic all-garter stitch BSJ is perfect for TV knitting, and the booties match fairly well and are quick to knit. They're also a great way to use up leftover sock yarn if you just want to make booties.



The top set is knit in Miss Babs Yummy 3-ply Sport in Spring Lettuce and Bruin; the bottom set is knit in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in... uh... two shades of sage green. I embellished my BSJ's with a little applied I-cord edging on the bind off and around the neckline; I did some crab stitch (reverse single crochet) on the sleeves.

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The booties are Christine's Stay-On Baby Booties, and from what I hear from parents they actually do stay on - important for wiggly babies. They are a little fiddly, but well worth it. The soles are knit in a separate piece, so it's easy to make them a contrasting color. I finished them off with some twisted cord - faster than i-cord, better looking than a crochet chain.

Because I can't find any instructions I like online for how to make twisted cord, here's what I do:

1. Determine the length you want your finished cord to be. [For example, two feet.]
2. Cut pieces of yarn (in this case, two) to a length THREE TIMES the length of your desired finished length. [For example, six feet each.]
3. Grab a friend or a secure hook or something else that won't move - put one end with your friend, and take the other.
4. Twist! Be very careful not to let go, and twist and twist and twist until you can't put any more twist into the yarn. You have to keep tension on the yarn as you're twisting, so hold on tight.
5. Without letting go... grab the halfway point and bring the two ends of the cord together. Let go of the center and the cord will twist up on itself like crazy.
6. Smooth out the twisty lumpy bits, and knot both ends. Ta-da, cord! If you need to shorten it, just tie another knot and cut off the excess.

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