I’ll be honest, I didn’t think finding a few cute cardigan patterns for a baby boy would be too difficult, but I’ve spent the last few days going round in circles and coming out in the same place, namely, this pattern from Drops, called Little Hadrien. I’ve knit two baby jackets already this year, the first for my niece’s baby, the other being the one I posted about last time, but both were for baby girls. (The last pattern I knit is a unisex design, but is still more of a matinee jacket than a cardigan, I think, and as well as that, it’s always nice to try something new.)
I was getting pretty frustrated until I widened my search to include 4ply patterns. The yarn I have is Drops Safran, and so I was just putting sport weight into ravelry’s pattern search, and adding 4ply opened up my choices a little. I only had a few criteria, in that I was looking for something that would work in a cotton yarn, and most importantly, something in the smallest size; this one, for instance, caught my eye – Sunnyside, by Tanis Lavallee. The cable detail is lovely, but sadly, it only starts at age 3 months (I’ve queued it for future reference though!). Still, by the time I’d sifted through the rest of the results, the only other real contender was this little jacket, which has an interesting stitch pattern, and is part of a set that includes a hat and trousers – Heim, from a Danish company called Filcolana –
I sent the two links to my cousin’s daughter yesterday, and this one is the pattern she’s chosen. I’ve already swatched twice in preparation, but one swatch has come out very slightly too big, and the other too small (the larger one is only off by 1 stitch and 1 row, but as well as that, the fabric’s just not right). I knit the first with a 2.5mm needle a couple of days ago, as at that point I wasn’t sure which of the two patterns I’d be knitting eventually – the first calls for 2.5mm, and the second for 3.0mm, so that was my second swatch.
This means that despite this yarn apparently being a sport weight rather than a 4ply, it looks like I’m going to have to use 2.75mm needles to get my gauge right (probably down to the fact I’m using a cotton rather than wool yarn, I suspect). I don’t think I actually own a 2.75mm circular needle – hard to check for sure when you don’t know where your needle gauge has gone, and a fair number of needles are wedged in UFOs, but I have no recollection of ever buying one, anyway.
Now, at this point I have to say that I as I typed that last sentence, I mistyped the word don’t as dpn’t, which made me smile, and also nudged a braincell or two into action. I quite possibly have some small 2.75mm double pointed needles (charity shop sweeps have left me with random collections of sock needles), but – more usefully – it reminded me that I might have a pair of straight needles in that size, somewhere in my tins of hand-me-down needles, and being a cardigan, it’s not going to need circulars (or DPNs) until I reach the sleeves. So I ran upstairs and had a rattle about, and found these little beauties –
All of which means I can cast on straight away, hopefully get gauge this time, and get cracking (and have a look for my needle gauge so I can find out if I actually do have any DPNs that size, or if it’s time to go shopping when I get to the sleeves).
Now, all my hand-me-down needles were passed on to me by my mum, who came into possession of them when my (and also my cousin’s) grandmother passed away, and as she said to me ‘you have these, I’m not much of a knitter’. It was my grandmother who taught me the basics of how to knit – and this little cardigan will be for her great-great-grandson, which is lovely, and heartwarming, and precisely the kind of situation that springs up when you’re carrying on family traditions. I honestly believe it’s this feeling of connection that keeps a lot of crafts going, and a lot of knitters knitting. Myself and my brother and sister spent a lot of time with her when we were little, as did our cousins who lived just round the corner from her (though we called her Mamma – pronounced ‘Mamm-ar’ or ‘Momm-ar’ – which is a Derbyshire thing as far as I know). It’s going to be very satisfying to use her needles to make this little cardigan, and I reckon the fact that I’m using Mamma’s knitting pins to knit her grandson something is my cousin will appreciate, too*.
Incidentally – this week’s blog title is brought to you by another song, which popped into my head as I finished this post, possibly as it’s also similarly unashamedly sentimental, but being around new babies can have that effect (it’s what brought about Hucknall’s penning of the song in the first place, by all accounts). And, in a bout of universal symmetry/spookiness, it’s just about the same age as my cousin’s daughter. Just in case anyone hasn’t heard it, unlikely as that seems to me, or in case you have and you fancy hearing it again – here it is (with a big shout-out to baby R, and his mum and dad and grandparents!) –
*Of all her grandchildren – and I’m sure she probably let us all have a go at knitting at some point, if only to keep us amused while we were round there! – I’m pretty certain I’m the only one that’s a knitter now. When I met little baby R a week or so ago, his mum told me that ‘she wouldn’t know how to go on with knitting’. Maybe next time we meet up I’ll bring some needles and yarn along – I suspect, though, she’s going to have her hands full for a while.