Nanna knits are so very special. I clearly remember how thrilled I was when I received my first Nanna knits. I was 8 weeks pregnant with my first child and in the throes of terrible morning sickness when a box arrived in the post. Nestled within were 12 pairs of booties in four different colours featuring 12 different patterns. They were so small and so adorable! As I touched each one, I’m sure that baby Christian could already feel his Nanna’s love.
And so I’m following family tradition and knitting with love for the grandchildren. When it’s for little ones, there’s a real sense of anticipation when you cast on the stitches for a new project. You’re excited because you’ve found the pattern and chosen that special yarn and can’t wait to see how it knits up so your little one can wear your hand crafted creation. But there’s always a little bit of trepidation as well. Especially if like me, you’re not an expert knitter. Will the pattern prove too challenging? Will there be painful unraveling and re-knitting involved? And if I’m using a yarn I’ve never knitted with before, will I like it and will they like it when it’s finished?
I think that everything’s mostly worked out this knitting season. After all, little ones run here, jump there and shake it all around, making everything they wear look good. Luckily, the patterns I chose for my projects were also relatively straight forward so there wasn’t too much unraveling involved and my yarn choices pleasantly surprised me. Naturally, as I now have three grandchildren, there were three Nanna Knitting Projects.
Project 1: Francesca’s baby blankets
Baby Francesca arrived in March. Christian and Kelly wondered if I could knit her a super thick, closely knitted blanket. Normally, I would choose to knit a baby blanket in Australian merino wool but thought that a super thick woolen blanket might be too heavy for a baby. So for the first time, I put aside my prejudices about synthetic fibres and chose a super bulky acrylic yarn. I found a pattern on Ravelry that was free and sourced the yarn, Lion brand super bulky premium acrylic, from Loveknitting.com. As it was knitted on a big circular needle, it knitted up very quickly.
Because it was finished so quickly, I had time to knit another just for fun. This time, instead of an acrylic yarn I used a bulky cotton yarn, Elenna, which I found in my local Spotlight store. Deciding to experiment, I created a simple garter stitch, unisex blanket knitted on the diagonal. It too, was finished in no time. I could become a fan of bulky yarns and super fat needles.
Project 2: Huddy’s Knits
And of course I had to knit an item or two for Hudson who turned one in June. However, because we enjoy a mild winter here in Byron, I decided to knit in cotton. Again I sourced my yarn from Loveknitting.com. For his cardigan I chose King Cole 4ply bamboo cotton and for his jumper, Sonora, an 8ply cotton yarn by Bergere de France.
But then I saw this pattern online by an independent designer, Oge designs, and just had to knit it. (I fell in love with the owls) I knitted it in Paton’s superfine merino 8ply. This yarn is also a delight to knit with and I was really pleased with the result. And luckily, we have had enough cooler days for Hudson to wear it.
Project 3: Genevieve’s cardigans.
And I couldn’t forget Genevieve who dances her way through the day. Her cardigans are still a little big!!! Oops! While I did knit them to the pattern and yarns recommended, that’s the way of it sometimes. Hopefully, they’ll fit her properly next year.
Oh and I nearly forgot. I’ve knitted a couple of beanies for some of the grownups, reducing my stash of wool in the process. I might have to go shopping to replenish it. After all, you never know when inspiration will strike for next year’s projects.