Thursday, December 12, 2019

Nana Knitting: Pinterest Board, Vintage Patterns and Searching for Buttons

Previously I posted about my new project, Nana Knitting, here How this project began
The new mother-to-be, daughter Katherine gave me guidance - a Pinterest board she had loaded with the styles, colours and look she was after for her first born's knit wardrobe. She described it as 'Christopher Robin Chic.'

From the Pinterest board I could see vintage styles in low intensity, gender-neutral colours.
I started with a traditional wrap-around surplice (that's a really old word for this baby garment) worked in one piece.
In a past life when I taught knitting I was known to my face as The Swatch Queen because whenever anyone had a problem they needed help with I would first ask to look at their swatch. I began most workshops with a swatch. I suspect I was called other names out of earshot...
Now I must confess when working on Nana Knitting I don't make a swatch. Also, I continue with my habit of rarely ever working a pattern in the yarn it was written for. For Nana Knitting I make my choice of yarn, match the needles and make a bigger size the baby will grow into. It's then up to the parents to get the garment out of the closet at the right time. That is no problem with my daughter. She is an organiser.

The nursery in anticipation of baby's arrival.

I made a pair of traditional short rompers with crossed straps to go with the surplice. According to the the pattern it was for a 12-month size but instead because of my yarn and needle choices it ended up more like an 18-month size. This sizing was just as well because the combination of the all-over seed stitch and the high twist yarn made for a 'hard' fabric more suitable for an active toddler than a sitting baby. 

I found an amazing yarn for a cardigan using a 1960s vintage pattern. The yarn is Lang Magic Tweed Superwash, a soft spun, single ply that fluffs up after it is washed.

Blocking the garment pieces after the first wash.

Working the neck and front band edgings.

Another wash and block.

Christopher Robin Chic requires buttons with a specific understated look. None of those cute shaped Fimo plastic animal etc buttons will do. But I found Christopher Robin chic type buttons are hard to find. I have now added buttons to my shopping list when I travel.

The finely knit garment fabric itself does not provide much to secure buttons on safely so I add a circle of fulled wool on the inside to stitch the button securely to not wanting it to become a choking hazard.

Sewing on the button with a pad of fulled wool fabric at the back.

Finishing the cardigan with coconut shell buttons.

The finished cardigan fits age 6 to 12 months.
 Another characteristic I like about this Lang Magic yarn is it makes a very light and soft garment. This cardigan took less than 2 balls so it is economical too.
A note from the future: This cardigan was a favorite. It was worn and machine washed regularly until reluctantly it was retired when it no longer fit.
I am loving my Nana Knitting Project with reports on more results to come.


Judy Martin said...

I love your nana knitting project, Lesley. I am positive that your work will be cherished not only by the grandchild and your daughter, but for future generations as well.

Just today I bundled up 8 little sweaters that Ned's mother had made for our children - and which all were worn a lot. Pink and blue cardigans, pullovers in the same pattern made three different times in different colour ways - all tender. I wrapped them with strips of red cloth, calling the set "saved for the yet unborn". Maybe I will put them in an exhibition about memory and hope I am working on. maybe not - not sure... I will happily unwrap them if a new grandchild appears on the scene however....

Have a wonderful holiday season xoxo

Lesley Turner said...

Hi Judy, Thank you for sharing you lovely Nana Knitting family story. They are indeed such precious garments in may ways. Happy New Year. Wishing you many creative hours in your studio this year. Love, Lesley