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What to Knit When You're Expecting
Simple Mittens, Blankets, Hats & Sweaters for Baby
Formats and Prices
Format:Trade Paperback $20.00 $23.00 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 9, 2012. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
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My daughter Maile was born on 16th December 2009. I spent the months before her birth knitting constantly to keep my hands busy and to help the time before her arrival pass more quickly, and to reassure myself that everything was going to be all right during my very difficult pregnancy. I knitted sweaters, blankets, burp cloths and stuffed animals. And I put my hopes and my love for my child into every stitch.
Every pattern in this book has a story. And while I confess that I did not knit 28 patterns in nine months, I did knit many of these for Maile, and the others were knitted over the years for those friends whose lives have touched ours.
In the course of Maile’s first year, I learned which knitted items are useful, and which ones are, shall we say, merely decorative – those that sat in her drawer, never to be worn – and I’ve included the best and most useful projects in this book. The patterns are all relatively simple, so that they can be knitted while your mind is elsewhere, and they are all practical: they can actually be worn, used or played with.
This book is organised by trimester: the ten patterns in the chapter The First Trimester are slightly more difficult as, during this trimester, your mind is still likely to be relatively clear, and you probably have plenty of time to finish a longer project, such as a baby blanket or a more complex hooded jacket. The Second Trimester focuses on patterns specific to gender, for those of us who choose to find out ahead of time. They are also at the intermediate level, but are on the faster side, as time grows short during this phase of pregnancy. The patterns in The Third Trimester are strictly easy and short because, by now, that ‘pregnancy brain’ is likely to have kicked in, and you are both distracted and impatient.
What To Knit When You’re Expecting is intended to satisfy, in part at least, that nesting instinct that can only be fully sated by creating things yourself. Whether it’s painting the nursery, putting together the cot by yourself (not recommended), or knitting an entire wardrobe for your baby, a pregnant woman’s needs must be honoured.
tips & techniques
It is an understatement to say that babies vary widely in size. A six-month-old baby can outweigh a one-yearold, and a newborn is smaller than we can imagine. These measurements are for your ‘average’ baby, and the garments in this book vary in terms of positive or negative ease. Ease is the roominess of the fit, so positive ease means a slightly baggier garment (like the Hannah Jacket) and negative ease means a tighter garment (like the bodice of the Emily Dress). If you’re not sure which size to make, knit the larger size – it will fit eventually.
A note on yarns
You won’t find much acrylic here. And while I know some of my suggestions are a little extravagant (cashmere? For a baby?), I have found that wool, cotton and, yes, even cashmere, are perfectly practical.
For many people, it is the washing instructions that come with pure wool, cashmere and cotton that are off-putting, but it’s not difficult if you use your head. I do all Maile’s wash as one load, using a mild baby detergent such as Dreft. I toss the knitted items in with everything else and run it all on the delicate cycle. I lay the knitted items out flat to dry, and that’s it! The washing requires no more work than garments made using acrylic yarns, and I get the pleasure of feeling something nearly as soft as Maile’s skin when I hold her.
CC contrast colour
CO cast on (using the long-tail cast-on technique, unless otherwise specified)
dpns double-pointed needles
k1tbl knit 1 stitch through the back of the loop
k2tog knit 2 stitches together (to decrease the number of stitches by 1)
kf&b knit front and back – knit into the front and back of the stitch (to increase the number of stitches by 1)
m1 make one stitch – using your left needle, pick up the bar between the stitch on your left needle and the stitch on your right needle. Knit into the back of this (to increase the number of stitches by 1)
m1p make 1 stitch purlwise – using your left needle, pick up the bar between the stitch on your left needle and the stitch on your right needle. Purl into the back of this (to increase the number of stitches by 1)
MC main colour
p2tog purl 2 stitches together (to decrease the number of stitches by 1)
p2togtbl purl 2 stitches together through the back of the loops (to decrease the number of stitches by 1)
pm place marker
pf&b purl front and back – purl into the front and back of the stitch (to increase the number of stitches by 1)
RS right side of the work
sl slip – slip the stitch or marker (as instructed) onto the right needle
sl 1 k1 psso slip 1, knit 1, pass the slipped stitch over – slip 1 stitch purlwise, knit the next stitch, then pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch (to decrease the number of stitches by 1)
sl 1 k2tog psso slip 1 stitch purlwise, knit 2 stitches together, pass the slipped stitch over the new knit stitch (to decrease the number of stitches by 2)
sl sl k slip, slip, knit – slip next 2 stiches knitwise. Put the tip of the left needle into the front of the slipped stitches and knit them together (to decrease the number of stitches by 1)
st st stocking stitch
WS wrong side of the work
x times (as in, repeat 3 times)
yb yarn back – bring the working yarn to the back of the knitting
yf yarn forwards – bring the working yarn to the front of the knitting
( ) repeat the instructions inside parentheses as many times as is indicated, for example (kf&b) x 2
* repeat the instructions following/between asterisks as indicated
Casting on stitches
There is a variety of cast-on methods you can use, each with its own benefits. The methods below are used in the patterns in this book.
Long-tail cast-on method (A)
Most of the patterns in this book use long-tail cast-on. If the pattern doesn’t specify a cast-on technique, long-tail is the one I had in mind, but feel free to use whichever method you like best.
Pull out a strand of yarn approximately three times the length of your first row. Err on the longer side to avoid having to cast on twice. Make a slipknot here, then insert your needle into the loop. *Holding the needle in your right hand, loop one strand of yarn around your left thumb, and the other strand around your left index finger. Keep your fingers stretched out, as shown. Slip the needle into the front of the loop around your thumb, then into the front of the loop around your index finger, then drop the thumb loop onto the needle. Pull tight. Repeat from * until you have cast on enough stitches.
Provisional cast-on method (B)
Using a crochet hook, chain four stitches more than need to be cast on. Break the yarn and knot the chain. Turn it over to the wrong side and insert your left knitting needle into the first or second loop on the underside of the chain. Knit this stitch onto your right needle and repeat until you have picked up and knit the number of stitches you need to cast on. When the knitting is complete, the crochet chain can be unpicked.
Backward-loop cast-on method (C)
Place your left index finger behind the yarn and wind it around your finger. Insert the tip of the right needle into the loop. Remove your finger and pull tight. Repeat until you have cast on enough stitches.
Cable cast-on method (D)
Make a slipknot and place it on the left needle. Knit into this stitch and drop the new stitch onto the left needle. *Insert your right needle in the space between the two stitches and knit a stitch from this space. Drop your new stitch onto the left needle. Repeat from * using the space between the two stitches on the left needle to cast on from until you have cast on enough stitches.
Garter stitch (E)
When working in rows, knit all stitches, both right side and wrong side. When working in the round, alternate knit and purl rounds.
Stocking stitch (F)
When working in rows, alternate knit and purl rows. When working in the round, knit all stitches.
Picking up stitches (G)
When picking up stitches along the cast-on or cast-off edge, with right side facing insert your left needle into the ‘V’ of a stitch in the row just below the edge. Loop the working yarn over the needle and draw the loop through to form a stitch on the needle. Repeat until you have picked up enough stitches. (G) When picking up stitches along the side edge, turn your work sideways With the right side facing, and working between the first and second columns of stitches in from that edge, insert a needle between the bars between two stitches. Loop the working yarn over the needle and draw the loop through to form a stitch on the needle. Repeat until you have picked up enough stitches.
These instructions are for a 6-stitch i-cord. Using a double-pointed needle, cast on 6 stitches. Knit these stitches, then slide them to the opposite end of the right needle. Bring the working yarn around the back of the needle, pull it tight then, instead of turning the needle, transfer it to your left hand and knit 6 from the opposite end of the needle. Slide the stitches to the other end of the needle and repeat. Do not turn the needle at any stage, and continue working in this way until your i-cord is as long as desired.
Magic loop knitting (I)
Magic loop is a technique that allows you to work in the round on a small number of stitches on a long circular needle with a flexible wire, rather than double-pointed needles. Some people prefer the technique to using double-pointed needles. None of the patterns here require an understanding of magic loop knitting, but it can be helpful.
Once you have cast on, slide your stitches to the centre of the flexible wire. Divide them in half then, at the half-way point, pull the wire out between them into a loop. Slide the left group of the stitches onto your left needle and adjust the wire as necessary to allow the second group of stitches to rest on the wire. Bend the wire as necessary so that your right needle is free to work. Knit across the stitches on your left needle, then transfer these stitches from the right needle onto the wire. Now slide the resting group of stitches onto your left needle. Repeat to work in the round. Ensure that each time you change from working one group of stitches to the next, you pull the working yarn tight to avoid the appearance of ladders between sets of stitches.
Knitting in the round
All the sleeves and trouser legs in this book have been written to be seamed – the pieces are sewn together after knitting. Personally, I find seaming is easier than knitting in the round, and makes for a neat, sturdy finished garment. However, not everyone likes seaming. Many savvy and dpn-loving knitters will want to work the sleeves in the round. If you want to do so, you may want to decrease the stitch count by a stitch or two, since the patterns are written to allow for a couple of stitches to be used for seaming. Also bear in mind that joining trouser legs that have been knitted in the round is a tricky (but not impossible!) business.
How you finish off your garment makes all the difference to the final piece. There are a variety of methods you can use to cast off your stitches, and to sew your knitted pieces together, each with its own advantages. Make sure you block your knitted pieces before sewing them together.
Knit and Nosh blog
"Brilliant!...If you know a knitter who is, or will soon become pregnant, What to Knit When You're Expecting will be a welcome gift.”
All Free Knitting blog
“This baby book offers a nice variety of traditional and modern patterns. This is a great find for both expecting mothers and those who are searching for the perfect handmade gift to bring to a baby shower.”
The Yarniad blog
“…seriously, how cute is this?!?!?...This would be a wonderful book to have if you are indeed expecting, but I also think it would be great to have on hand…for special gifts for friends who are.”
- On Sale
- Oct 9, 2012
- Page Count
- 144 pages
- Running Press