Hey, baby!

Now that my work and study commitments have eased, my craft plans for 2019 were to try to finish some of my UFOs and tentatively dip my toes back into the world of dressmaking; however, the year barely began before these priorities changed. The focus for 2019 is now going to be baby things because my stepdaughter is expecting her first baby in July. Yes, I am going to be an evil stepgranny!

The knitting needles have already been given a workout, and I have more projects planned.

Debbie Bliss is limiting her yarn sales to online, and her yarns will soon no longer be available in the shop where I work on Sundays, Calico & Ivy, so I bought two balls of 5 ply (sport weight) baby cashmerino to make up the striped ‘Lovebug Bootie’ pattern I had admired for a while.

'Lovebug Booties' pattern knitted by Granny Maud's Girl

The stripes on the bootie pattern inspired the hats.

I then used the leftover yarn to make not one but two striped hats, which was a great way to practise knitting neat stripes in the round. (Suzanne Bryan’s two-part tutorial on YouTube is really helpful if you want to give this technique a go.)

Hand knitted baby hats

These striped baby hats would have been perfect for twins.

I thought the soon-to-be parents would choose one of the hats, but they liked and kept both. Apparently, a spare is good because babies are masters at getting vomit and other goo everywhere, including on the tops of their heads. (Never having been a mother, I am going to find grandparenthood a learning experience.)

I had planned to choose a cream or grey and a bright colour for the booties and hats, but because the yarn is being discontinued in the shop, some colours had already sold out. For a while, I struggled in indecision between these colours and some eucalyptus greens. We will not know the gender of the baby until its birth, so I have stuck with cool shades, especially blue, a colour that everyone likes and wears, including my stepson-in-law.

Hand knitted baby hats and booties

I did not have enough yarn to make a second pair of booties.

With four or five months still to go, baby’s knitted and crocheted haul includes a blanket, two hats and two pairs of socks/booties. The dark blue socks are made in the same yarn as the socks worn by the baby’s grandfather. I deliberately kept those aside for the one-day mini-me version of my husband.

My stepdaughter does not knit, but she has become a bit of a whiz on the sewing machine, making all sorts of cute things for friends and family – as her crafty Instagram feed shows – so the baby will be well kitted out with hand-made goodies.

I have some bibs to finish binding, and I will make a quilt at some stage, but I am waiting on confirmation of nursery colour schemes and themes, which will probably include whales and the colours blue and grey. If you have any tips on what new parents need, please share them with this novice grandparent!

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18 thoughts on “Hey, baby!

  1. That is going to be one stylish baby… I’ve never had children either, and my contributions have been limited to bibs and quilts too. How about a knitted whale to go with the nursery decor? You’ve got the right colour wool and everything…

  2. How gorgeous! The same thing has happened to me – only I became a grand Aunt last month and will become another one in June. I love to knit, crochet and sew for babies and, as my own two daughters don’t look likely to make me a grandmother any time soon, I’ll take my opportunities when they arise. It also stops me making any more clothing for myself which I really don’t need.
    It would be useful if you made some slightly larger items too because, when you first have the baby, you are showered with gifts in new born size and people tend to run out of steam a bit after the first two or three months. Blankets and quilts are always useful because of, as mentioned in your post, the various large messes a small baby can produce. Have fun!

  3. Wonderful gifts! My youngest daughter is also due in July with my first granddaughter and I’ve been collecting fabrics and patterns for sundresses as well as swaddles and blankets and burp cloths and bibs, sheets and quilts!!! I’m exhausted! Keep up the good work!

  4. So much fun for you! Tialys has great advice, things that range from newborn to 2 years are great ideas, as they can grow so fast, overnight they need a new size. It’s a blessing to have a closet with the next size already there. 🙂

  5. I would highly recommend LOTS of burp pads for the shoulders – those are always a hit with young mothers that I make quilts for & I often include burp pads. Also, a couple of changing pads to lay baby on to change the diapers (for home & one for the diaper bag), and several flannel receiving blankets are great (especially when swaddling a newborn, and for light coverings later on. Congratulations!

  6. What exciting times! How fantastic that you have yarn set aside for baby to match socks with grandfather. I am also someone who has never had children, so I’m not sure I’m one to advise on what is needed, but soft burp cloths are often given and well received here.

  7. You are going to totally fall in love with this little one! I am SO SO EXCITED for you! I never understood why women dote on being a grandmother until I became one.

    All parents are different in their needs and wants for baby. I didn’t want my babies to get attached to anything so I changed out their blankets constantly as well as toys and got rid of the binkies and bottle as soon as I could. If your daughter wants this, I suggest the baby have several blankets. Loads of parents “create” attachment problems by giving them only one toy or blanket. I feel my babies and grand babies were more confident and secure in themselves having not had to rely on “things” for comfort. They learned to self-soothe which was very healthy for them.

    My thinking on baby blankets is to keep them simple. I make one nice blanket for my grand babies, and keep the others simple because babies do make messes and stain them.

  8. Congratulations to you and your family! I second the commenter above that supplying clothing in size 6 months or 1 year is useful to the new parents, babies grow astonishingly fast. Also be very aware of seasons — the 6 month sleepers in fleece were not worn much by my daughter because by then it was summer and 30 celsius…some kind of carrier is useful–I had a ring sling, mei tai, and one of a backpack style (also worn on the front). A pop-up tent for naps while out and about can be used indoors or outside.

  9. Congratulations to you and your family! That baby will be outfitted in style with those beautiful knitted items. The colors are perfect and will look good on any baby. Fun to read this post–such happy news!

  10. How about a change bag? Dog under my desk has a beautiful pattern “time for a change”. Extremely well written.

  11. Totally agree with those who suggested a range of sizes. It depends on the baby, but both of mine liked to sleep wrapped up tight until they were 2-3 months, so I ended up with about 10 homespun wraps. Then I put them in sleeping bags (no hood) as they would kick off any other covers and we were living in an old weatherboard house where it got down to -5. If these suit your grandchild they are easy to make, basically a top with or without sleeves, zip opening in front, continuing down to the bag at the bottom. I used a zipped dressing gown pattern, extended it well past their feet and sewed the bottom as a bag. I made sleeveless ones in flannelette for summer and polar fleece ones for winter. Just something that worked for us, won’t suit everyone.

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