Carol Turner

Nursery Knitwear

Leave a comment

Knitting for baby – a few thoughts!

DSCN0768When knitting for baby, especially a new baby and even more especially for someone else’s baby, there are a few practical  guidelines to keep in mind. Although these tips are common sense they are often only realised after the project is finished when you wince and wonder ‘what was I thinking’!!

Size is an important factor when deciding on a knitting project for a baby. Small is always adorable and quick to knit up, but new mums are often inundated with 1st size baby items as gifts. Babies grow so quickly especially in the first three months that lots of babies never get to wear what has been made for them. You may want to create  something that is cherished for some time to come, like that special baby blanket, shawl or afghan, or you may want to consider a larger size baby item. If you do opt to knit an outfit in a larger size bear in mind the time of year it will be when the baby is 6 or 9 months old. A chunky hat, coat and leggings may not be needed in July and August (although with the British summer it might!) and on the other hand a short sleeved lacy shrug may not get much wear in December.

Consider the practicality and design of the pattern. Lacy baby jackets are always pleasing to the eye, but tiny fingers can get caught in the fabric. If you do use a lacy pattern make sure it is a small closeknit one and if knitting for a premature baby lacy patterns are best avoided.DSCN0864

For small babies a yoke design makes for easier dressing, less bending of little arms to fit into sleeves! Fastenings such as buttons etc. should always be securely sewn on. Use a  good quality cotton thread rather than woollen yarn as it is more durable. Babies from 5 months onwards do like to pull on thinks and anything loose will go in the mouth!

Choosing a colour for your project can be a tough decision when you are up against such a wonderful range of colours and self striping yarns. If the sex of the baby is unknown you can stick to the old neutrals white lemon and pale green to be on the safe side, or be bold and go for brighter shades. Babies do suit jewel colours as well as pastels and you stand a better chance of your knitted item being truly unique and eye catching!

Which type of  yarn to use for a baby is often a big consideration. The old chestnut, wool or acrylic is still a big issue amongst knitters! DSCN0847Natural fibres are always going to be superior to synthetic ones, but I’m no yarn snob, can’t afford to be! Pure wool and wool blends are a delight to knit with, they have a luxurious feel and the fabric drapes well. But the downside is they can be expensive, babies may have an allergy to wool and of course woollen items are not the easiest to launder, a busy mum may not have the time to handwash. Although acrylic can’t rival the natural properies of wool it is cheaper, the superior acrylics can be supersoft and come in a wonderful range of colours which are ideal for baby.

Whichever yarn you do use consider attaching a sample of the yarn to a label with the washing and drying instructions when giving the finished item as a gift.


1 Comment

Three Sisters

Just finished the three sisters, no not the Chekhov classic. Nothing Russian about these gals, but pure Lancashire lasses who claim a kinship to the Cumbrian trio Flopsy Mopsy and Cottontail! Let me introduce you to Rosie, Buttercup and Blubelle.


I’ll leave you to work out who is who! Since spring is upon us and Easter just around the corner thought is would be ideal to knit some rabbits and little ducks to keep up with the season. These well dressed girls are from a Debbie Birken pattern.

Really easy to knit up and each one takes on a unique character of her own. They can be knitted in an array of colour combinations and they have a removeable pinafore.  Make an ideal gift for Easter accompanied with an Easter egg or two. As friends on Ravelry have pointed out little boys like rabbits too so must make some with little boy outfits as well.


There is something so appealing about rabbits and mice dressed as humans, is this just an English trait or are other cultures the same? must research this! Well the poor girls are exhausted after their photoshoot, they need a little rest.

1 Comment

Vintage Baby

Vintage pram set

A favourite programme at the moment is ‘Call the Midwife’ a period drama set in the 1950s portraying the daily work of a group of midwives in London’s East End. Just love all the vintage 1950s handknitted jumpers and cardigans. I’ve always had a soft spot for a hand knitted cardigan and always will, probably the librarian in me! The programe has some  wonderful shots of babies in lacy matinee coats and little jackets, and allows you to wallow in nostalgia.

This baby boom period after the war saw most women staying at home while the men returning from the war took up full employment. Knitting and the needlecrafts were the main hobbies for most women with many relying on their skill to clothe a growing family.

This was the time when every high street had a wool/yarn shop and every Women’s magazine carried at least one knitting pattern. Baby 1950Where have they gone today? There has been a knitting revival of late with Ravelry boasting a membership of three million yet you have to travel a fair distance  to get to a decent yarn shop. No doubt online stores allow for easy purchasing of wool and synthetic yarns but they are little comfort to the tactile knitter who prefers to look and feel the yarn first.

But one great advantage of the internet for knitters is its access to free patterns. Found this wonderful website Free Vintage Knitting  with free patterns for 1950s baby knitwear all available as  PDF downloads. Some of the patterns are really sweet, and stylish enough for the modern baby! Classic designs never date.

Leave a comment

Mary Jane Baby Shoes

DSCN0887Had an intense week making these really cute baby shoes which I thought would make a  useful addition to my growing stock of baby items. A girl has to start her shoe collection some time so why not from birth! The pattern for these Mary Jane Shoes is free on the internet and so easy to make. They are knitted in garter stitch and knit up quickly, easy to run up a pair while watching a favourite soap!! or listening to a favourite radio programme.

They are a good project to use up those small amounts of yarn in your stash and you can have a lot of fun decorating them, so make each pair different to match her favourite little outfit.

I created mine in soft pastel shades and decorated with little ribbon roses and cute little buttons. There is something about tiny little shoes that bring on the ‘aaahhh’ response.


Leave a comment

It’s Coming Together!!

DSCN0634Feel so guilty, have neglected the front page of this site for so long, despite a promise to myself that I would update regularly! Last few months have been hectic, a lot of time has been spent building up a sizable and varied stock of baby clothes and nursery toys to display at craft fairs and completing the knitting orders that have come through. Etsy shop is stocked but not gone live yet, this will happen soon.

Feel like I have been knitting my fingers to the bone but it has been enjoyable. Can’t beat the feeling of turning a piece of yarn into a finished garment or little toy. Knitting is such a gentle reflective art which has a rhythm and spirituality all of it’s own.

Do feel more organised now with ideas and lists for future projects need to fit everything into a regular time-table. One of my great discoveries has been the social networking site Ravelry, once you login it can be hours before you resurface. There are so many groups to get involved in and so many projects to look at, the only downside is that it eats into knitting time!!