A useful striped cardigan for a new baby

Stripey cardigan (Debbie Bliss’s classic cardigan from The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits, Quadrille Publishing, 2011)

Oh I do love knitting little items of clothing for tiny people. You whiz along and can complete a front or a sleeve in an evening. Reward is almost instant and I find it hard to put the knitting needles down until the whole thing is done.

Stripey cardigan (Debbie Bliss’s classic cardigan from The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits, Quadrille Publishing, 2011)

When I had my babies I preferred white for tiny babies and my husband’s grandmother obliged and knitted a wonderful collection of featherweight matinée jackets and cardigans, which I washed with care and no little enjoyment. (The shawls she knitted for my little ones are being nurtured back to utility right now and the first one is laid out on bath towels to dry on a spare bed as I write. More of these later.)

Stripey cardigan (Debbie Bliss’s classic cardigan from The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits, Quadrille Publishing, 2011)

Today, however, few have the time or desire for delicate hand washing and patting little garments back into shape – which I rather enjoy doing. Now yarns must be more robust and colour is helpful in making a bit of grubbiness less visible. I may have taken the anit-grubbiness notion too far for at least one of my recent little jumpers is quite a dark shade of grey – which I think I like and which I suspect will be incredibly useful but I have caught myself looking at it a time or two and wondering if it weren’t a bit too gloomy.

The small person is his stripey jumper

So, back to colour for my next piece of knitting and – with too little time to work out whether a Fair Isle design would work with this cardigan pattern – I opted for a rainbow of random stripes. The time consuming bit with multiple colours is weaving the ends in and I did consider leaving the side and underarm sleeves with neatened off fringing. Fortunately the bank holiday weekend spent with family in Yorkshire gave me plenty of time to finish things off while we sat around chatting.

Colour coded babygrows -see sizes at a glance

As well as knitting I seem to have washed hundreds of babygrows and vests, the hunt for whose labels gave me quite a headache. Why can’t manufacturers put the sizes clearly at the back of the neck instead of somewhere deep inside the garment. (Some do this, though few are clearly legible.) Thoroughly irritated – and mindful of future hours to be wasted in such searches – I spent a couple of evenings embroidering little dots of colour, a different one for each different size, on the neck of every item that passed through my hands. Now we just need to be sure the key to the colour coding doesn’t get lost! We are all slightly amazed at how many little items of baby clothing have appeared – one advantage of completely clearing out  one’s house before having a baby – there should be nothing lurking in a box in some clever place only to make its reappearance in 20 year’s time when you have no baby, just strapping university students!

Colour Coding for babyclothes (If I put here, we won’t lose it):

Newborn:  yellow

0-3 m:       red

3-6m:        green

6-9m:        blue

9-12m:      acid yellow

12-18m:    mauve



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  1. Posted May 3, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    What a cheerful looking cardigan.

    I like your idea for colour coding the baby clothes – I use a similar system for bedsheets as I can never tell the size when they’re folded.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted May 6, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Kind of you to say so, Anne.
      I used to do something similar too with bedlinen but then the innovation of fitted sheets floored me as I could never find anywhere visible enough to put a mark!
      You have a wonderful blog – I’m going to read more when things settle down and the notion that time can actually be spare emerges – I hope!

  2. Posted May 3, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Colour coding the baby clothes is a brilliant idea!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted May 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Rachel, especially when storage space is at a premium – can’t think why I never did it with my lot.

  3. Posted May 9, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I LOVE your colourful Cardigan. I am tempted to try knitting one for my Grandson who is due to be born this month. I found your blog when I was looking for an embroidered Cockerel. Your Embroidery is beautiful Mary. Take care now. Marion

    • Mary Addison
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for leaving such a nice comment, Marion.
      Re the stripey cardigan, do beware of its undergrowth of loose ends – I was tempted to leave them as an internal fringe but in the end just couldn’t and spent hours over a bank holiday weekend weaving them in!

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