The sweaters in the book were adorable, and the baby models were so huggable. Crochet in a Day for Baby by Candi Jensen, published by Leisure Arts, presents quick and easy projects. I was intrigued by the prospect of producing an attractive piece in such a short a time period. However, as my granddaughters are growing (2, 4, 5 1/2),0 I called a friend's daughter-in-law to make her an offer. I would crochet and gift her a sweater for her little one in exchange for a couple of photos of her toddler wearing the sweater. She understood that I was including the picture in my blog, but readily agreed. Since my daughter had already passed on a few of the sweaters that my granddaughter had outgrown, this delightful mom knew about the quality of the garments first hand, and was happy to accept. I should add that my daughter and the baby's dad had been friends since high school. Their baby is an engaging model, and I am proud to show her wearing my crocheted jacket.
Color was simple as I had plenty of a bubblegum pink yarn left over from my knitted hooded cardigan that I had made for my youngest granddaughter. The light purple was a large scrap from her oldest sister's hoodie. Directions for the sweater came in 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. My newest model is just 12 months old. The sweater is roomy, (size 18 months), but I wanted her to be able to wear the sweater for several months. While the directions called for an I hook (5.5mm), I found that the stitch was quite dense, and hard to monitor. The basic stitch is a Double Crochet followed by a Single Crochet in the next stitch. In the next row, we are told to make a Single Crochet above the Double Crochet stitches, and a Double Crochet above the Single Crochet stitches. After several attempts, I moved up to a J hook (6.0mm). The piece was softer and made for better draping on a baby body. The sweater was larger for the same stitch count, and that is why it is even bigger on this little girl. I did not have her exact measurements before I started, and decided to make the larger size.
The pattern contains a schematic diagram that helped me picture what the directions tried to tell me. While the written steps were clear, I still needed the extra hint. The sweater was crocheted from the bottom up. The entire body was made in one piece with separation for the armholes. Once complete, I sewed (single crocheted) the armholes together. The sleeves were made separately, and then the side seams were sewn to make a tube. As I had followed the directions carefully, the inserted sleeves fit exactly into the armholes without any gaping spaces.
For the trim, I worked two rows of Half Double Crochet from the midback (starting at the neck) down, the front, around the bottom, up the second side, and across to the mid back again. It is important to add a second stitch in the same stitch at the point where the body decreases to the side neck (on left and right front). Otherwise the sweater will curl and not lay flat. You also need to add 3 stitches to the lower front corner on each side. Pretty purple buttons completed the sweater.
So how long did I take to complete this baby sweater? Although I worked rather steadily and ignored most of my household tasks, I was sewing the last button at the end of the second day.
Was the project worth my time and materials? I would say "yes". I learned new stitch and construction techniques. Plus, the little girl is a joy to behold in my latest crocheted piece.
Many thanks to her mommy for the picture and permission to publish.
Please note, Crochet in a Day for a Baby contains 20 designs, including pullovers, vests, hats, booties, and baby blankets. For knitters there is a companion book Knit in a Day for Baby.
As always, I welcome your comments, and reflections. Thank you for joining me on my stitching adventures.
Pink and purple are my granddaughters' favorite colors, and now after months of separation, I was able to hand over their hoodies in person. Now that my husband and I are vaccinated, we could deliver hugs along with these comfortable, squeezable sweaters. We have been fortunate to have been able to include our Connecticut granddaughter as part of our Covid Bubble throughout this trying year. We eagerly await a reunion of all three girls and our families in the coming months.
The instructions for both styles can be found in Knit Hoodies for Kids by Jeannine LaRoche, published by Leisure Arts. The book includes 5 designs for patterns in sizes 6 months to 8 years. The camouflage and purple cardigans were in the "Buttoned Cardigan Design," using worsted weight yarn. Needle sizes were 5 for the ribbing and 8 for the sweater body. The solid and the variegated yarn yield dramatically different results with the same pattern.
The purple cardigan was made for my 5 1/2 year old girl who is tall for her age. While she usually wears size six, I knitted the sweater in size 8 so that she could wear it into the fall. I knitted the camouflage piece for my petite 4 year old and made it true to size. It is roomy enough wear for many months to come. Besides, when she outgrows this sweater, she can pass it down to her younger cousin for a second life.
The book portrays the sweaters in more masculine color camouflage combos of blue tones and the more traditional green and brown. The hooded cardigan style is equally appropriate for boys and girls. Just switch the buttonholes on the front bands. Directions are clear and easy to follow. Difficulty rating is medium.
To make the "Buttoned Hooded Cardigan," begin with hood. You will bind off and set this piece aside to attach later to the finished body. The body of the sweater is worked in one piece from the yoke down. When complete, sew the shoulder seams, right sides together. The sleeves are knitted separately. Then sew the side seams. It is easy to fit the sleeves into the prepared armholes. They went in evenly without any bunching or gaps. The next step is to attach the hood. Be sure to start 3 stitches in from the band edge and finish in the same manner.
I chose a bubblegum pink for the "Mock Cable Cardigan." The 4 row repeat replaced the typical ribbing at the sweater bottom, on the sleeves, and at the hood opening. In all there were 12 rows. The mock cable also extends from the bottom of the sweater to the neck in two parallel columns. Since there is a small space in the center of each cable, there is no need to make button holes. Just attach 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch buttons at evenly spaced intervals. I used six buttons for a size 3. The pearly hearts were a perfect accent.
I found myself in a size quandry when I planned the pink "Mock Cable Sweater." When I had made this sweater previously, I found that it ran on the narrow side. My two year old is starting to grow out of the other 2T sweaters that I have made for her, but I knew that she was not tall enough for the next 4T size. Therefore, I decided to make the following adjustments:
I used the 4T size for the chest measurement stitch count. I made the length between the 2T and 4T sizes. Since I find that most patterns have sleeves that are too long, I stuck with the 2T sleeve length. However, I had to be sure to add enough stitch increases so that my decreases for the raglan sleeve would fit into the body. My calculations proved correct. The sweater fits now, and will be roomy enough for the next several months and into the fall.
All of my girls were delightful models and were eager to pose for me. I look forward to having them pose together before long.
This three sweater project for one blog article has been a big undertaking. Before I contemplate future articles, I need to stick to a single garment or a simpler project to highlight. I want to keep my stream of blogs coming. The maxim "less is more" should be a guiding principle lest I succumb to exhaustion and lose my stitching and blogging mojo.
As always, I appreciate your insights and reflections as you follow me on my stitching journeys.
Hello, My Readers! After a hiatus of so many months, I find myself drawn back to Lil Creates. I hope this crisp, sunny day finds you folks healthy and safe. An important advantage to being a crafter during Covid is that I am rarely bored. There is always one more project to start or another technique to learn. Fortunately, I am gifted with family and friends, large and small, who are pleased to receive my pieces. Crocheting and knitting have truly been a blessing for me. You may have wondered why I paused writing and posting. While I have have completed many projects, both simple, and more complex, I underestimated the appeal of my articles. I felt that I did not have significant ideas and themes to share. Also, I felt pressured to produce the pieces that formed the basis for my written work. As I develop a more workable schedule, I hope to publish on a more regular basis.
Then two events took place. First, I received an e-mail from my blog host, Weebly, alerting me to renew my blog. While I had stopped writing for some time, I realized that I did not want to give up Lil Creates. Later the same day, I was scrolling through the internet to locate some of my favorite crocheting and knitting blogs and websites. Top 100 Crocheting Blogs and Websites and Bloggers to Follow in 2021 (https://crochetpenguin.com/crochet-blogs/) caught my eye.
Happily, I ran down the list of websites, copying down my favorites in my phone list. When I was about 1/3 down my mouth gaped open in surprise. The words Lil Creates by Lillian were before me in bold print. My photo, cuddling my preemie granddaughter, gazed back at me. The author of the 100 Blogs post caught the essence of my blog. "Lillian loves experimenting with new designs, colors, and yarns. Crocheted flowers or a cuff with button are a feature of her designs". In the What we Love section, she stated, "Lillian loves to share her crochet projects, and she clearly loves to write. Her posts are engaging." It couldn't have been more complimentary had I written the words myself.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Jodie Morgan. You have given me a wonderful present and have renewed my blogging inspiration to write about my crocheting and knitting adventures.
Where am I now? I have already photographed many of this years projects and plan to upload them to my website gallery. You will find several pictures of my work throughout this article. I have not been idle.
I am going back to my original theme list as I add new titles based on current and future design trends. I am lucky to have 3 granddaughters 2, 4, and 5 1/2 for whom I can create garments , accessories, and toys. Once I decided that I preferred to crochet and knit for pleasure, for gifting, or for charity rather than for sale, I became much more relaxed and creative. During 2020, I have crocheted about 60 hats for homeless shelters. I also created about 75 comfort dolls or Peace Pals to add joy to children who needed a doll to hug. The Power Nighttime Fairy keeps my 4 year old granddaughter company at night and holds back forces that might frighten her. (You can see her wings if you turn her over.)
was My teenage grandsons haven't been neglected. I made a striped afghan / throw in navy, gray and off-white for my college bound boy, He was polite when he received the piece. However, I later learned that his dorm room was cold at times, and he was quite happy to wrap himself up in his personal cozy blanket. I used a half-double V stitch to construct the blanket, and I felt that the project would never end. When I decided to make a blanket for his high school age brother, I went back to my favorite extended granny square. However, I chose masculine navy, medium blue, and white to feature a dramatic, but cozy piece fit for an adolescent boy. I can not wait to give it to him.. We are on hold because of covid social distancing.
I filled my time with several crocheted and knitted matching sweaters. Some even had matching hats. I even persuaded my 4 year old grand daughter to modele me. When asked to chose between a flower or pompom for the hat, she chose "pompom."
Currently, I am knitting hooded sweaters for the three girls. I have completed 2 out of the three. When I am done, I will photograph and apply my experiences toward a theme for a
I look forward to communicating with friends in the crocheting and knitting worlds. As always, I welcome your comments and reflections.