A former coworker of mine recently had a baby. But back when she was still pregnant, I knew I wanted to make something for her and her baby girl. I knew it couldn’t be too big, because I wanted to use more of the yellow/white/pink yarn to dwindle my ball, and I wasn’t feeling like a hat, mittens or booties would do it. You can’t make a scarf for a baby. And I wouldn’t have enough to make an entire blanket, so I decided to start with the blanket idea, and go a little smaller. At the Oscar party, my knitting friend Em called it a “lovey” – something that can cover a small baby, but once she’s a little bigger, she can hold onto and cuddle. Or eventually it gets turned into a bath rag or something, but up until that time, it’s something personalized and cozy.
I had no pattern. I was flying blind. I started out by making a knitting pattern for a pretty letter “F” (which is the first letter in the baby’s name), and dropped it into a pattern wizard. I don’t remember the first pattern generator, but the one that I used later was Stitchboard, and really liked how I could customize it based on what I needed. In any case – this is the pattern for the “F” that popped out and informed the rest of my decision-making.
I then decided that since the the middle pattern was 48 stitches wide and I wanted the lovey to be roughtly 100 stitches across, that I would need to have a border on each side of the pattern, and that pattern would need to be 26 stitches so as to balance it out around the edges to make 100 stitches. I decided for 8 rows/columns wide of garter stitch as the furthest out part, 7 rows/columns of stockinette inside of that, 4 rows/columns of seed stitch, 4 more rows/columns of stockinette, a row/column of purl, one of knit, and a final row/column of purl stitches, as seen on the pattern above (generated using Stitch Fiddle).
As I knit, I figured out that my “F” was slightly too flat, and that it would be nice to have a little something above that “F” (and if I’d been smart in planning, below it too…) so at the last minute, found a simple black and white flower image, and incorporated three of those across the top of the monogram for a little added flair. They look vaguely like fat crosses, but I told the mama what they were, and hopefully no one cares too much. I don’t. Baby won’t. So I think that’s what matters.
Finally, after adding the border to the top and binding off, I blocked it to remove some of the pulling in unintentional ribbing. It may not stay perfectly pulled flat forever, but at least for the presentation, it should be nice. I popped it in a mailer and sent it off to Mom, Dad and Baby this past weekend. No news yet on it’s arrival, but when I get a reaction, I’ll let you know. As for me, I think it’s nice. It was my first time making up a pattern as I went along, and while it’s not perfect, I’m fine with it. It’s cute, it will be useful, cute and cozy and was made with love. And in the future, I’ll know what works and what doesn’t as far as borders and shaping of DIY patterns.
Has anyone else made up their own pattern on something like this before? Be it a knit hat, a crochet blanket, anything crafty. How do you account for mistakes that may pop up along the way? Has it ever been so bad that you didn’t gift an item that you made? Or did you assume that the only one who would notice the imperfections was you? I’m curious as to how other makers and crafters get things done…
Project details: see above, knit with Bernat Baby Sport in “Sweet’n Sunny”.