Snips & Snails
Doesn’t springtime make you love babies and the littles more than usual? They’re outside and running around with unabashed enthusiasm and it makes me feel super happy. While I delight in being a selfish knitter, I can’t help but want to knit for my little friends (and my own little ones) when a special one enters the world or for no other reason than that children are awesome.
This is the first part of a double-whammy blog post celebrating our favorite little people and the sweaters we can knit for them. I’m a big believer in making things gender neutral, but I’ve split this one into two separate posts anyway: one for boys and one for girls. Many of these sweaters are great for boys and girls, and I’ll be sure to make note of those that easy swing either way, and this post is geared toward the boys.
I’d be neglecting good judgement if I didn’t mention that Baby & Child Sophisticate is my go-to pattern for baby boy patterns. That little shawl collar screams “little man” and it knits up in a snap. I’ve made countless Baby/Child Sophisticate sweaters, and my favorites are in Spud & Chloe’s Sweater, which softens with every wear and wash. The designer came out with a paid version of this pattern a handful of years ago and I think it is well worth the price. Now the pattern comes with sizes ranging from newborn to age 10. We even have some intrepid knitters who have been able to modify it up to adult sizes. With summer approaching, I think it’d be wonderful to consider making this in Juniper Moon’s Cumulus, a super-soft cotton that is also wonderful on the hands. It’s chainette construction makes it incredibly easy to work with, making it different than so many cottons. We have some great new dappled versions of this yarn, which create a nice striped pattern to your knits! For so many of these worsted weight yarns, I’m going to suggest both Sweater and Cumulus, because they are easy to work with, easy to care for and beautiful natural fibers.
Sagano is a new pattern by Lisa Chemery, a simple raglan pullover with a great textured detail running down each sleeve. Chemery brings us so many of our favorite baby sweater projects, including the Tiered Baby Jacket/Coat (for the girls) or the Latte Baby Jacket (and I’ll reference her designs a few more times in these two posts. Sagano is knit up in a DK weight yarn, so check out HiKoo’s Simplicity, Creative DK from Eurobaby or 365 Yak from Trendsetter, to name a few. Chemery always brings us designs that are relatively easy to knit, and this is no exception. Expect straightforward, top-down construction with a little attention required for that sleeve detail. I’d say this isn’t your first sweater project, but it definitely could be your second! By the way, Sagano is equally appropriate for girls and boys. I kind of wish I could make one in my size!
Bowline is a simple pullover from the fabulous ladies at Tin Can Knits. A simple texture of knits and purls along the chest of this sweater makes gives this turtleneck its guernsey aesthetic. One of the cutest things about the designs from Tin Can Knits is that they size their patterns from baby to adult, meaning you can make this sized for almost everyone in your family, and a father-son duo would be SO CUTE! At this gauge, definitely consider working with Cumulus and sweater, but also consider something like HiKoo’s SimpliWorsted, Malabrigo Rios or Madeline Tosh Vintage.
King of the Castle is a design from Jenny Wiebe, another knitwear designer who brings us oodles of adorable projects for little ones, so please check out all of her designs. King of the Castle is a simple pullover with some fun color-blocking, and one row (on the body and each sleeve) of the simplest color work as you transition from one color to the next. This cute little sweater is equally appropriate for the Queen of the Castle – just pick the color that suits your royalty. I’m seeing this again in Vintage or Rios, but also consider Sueno Worsted, Sweater, Cumulus or SimpliWorsted.
I love a good vest for the boys, especially for baby boys because I think a little vest makes them look like tiny old men! Pepo Pie fits this aesthetic perfectly, with its little v-neck and tiny pockets – it’s so cute I want to squeal. I’m hatching a plan to make this for my soon-to-be-six-year-old, who is so sweet he’d wear anything I make for him. Everything I suggested above for King of the Castle would be a great choice for Pepo Pie.
One more vest that I can’t get enough of is the Auto Vest by Hannah Fettig. This simple project gives you just a bit of intarsia and unlimited cuteness. My grandmother made tons of this sort of thing for my son when he was a baby and I loved them. First of all, the fact that they were made of wool (super wash wool even!) made them repel his drool (and there was a lot of it) and they also didn’t seem to absorb stains either. It was the perfect armor over his little white onesies. The Auto Vest is written for a sport weight yarn, and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino is perfect for it. It has the colors and easy care made for this yarn. Also consider Sublime’s version of this yarn, or even HiKoo’s Sueno as other alternatives.
These are a few places to start looking for great projects for kids. I’d just like to reiterate that designers like Tin Can Knits, Jenny Wiebe and Lisa Chemery are great designers to explore when looking for kids clothes and I’ll mention a few more in the next post!