Nanna Knits

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Hudson was having so much fun at  The Farm and doesn’t  he make my knitting look good?

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.

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As you can see, the blanket features a moss stitch border with a simple cable detail.
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Despite its thickness, the blanket was very soft and light.

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.

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My design worked out better than I hoped. I liked the textual feel of the cotton too.

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. 

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The bamboo cotton yarn was lovely to knit with. The stitch definition is great and I really liked how fine and how soft the finished cardigan is The yarn is thinner than 4ply  wool but has a lovely sheen and drape. Huddy has worn it a lot. It’s perfect for our mild winter days. This yarn would make a great spring or summer cardi in cooler climes and the cardigan only took one ball of yarn!
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This yarn from Bergere de France was also great to knit with.  I liked it so much that I wanted to knit a jumper for myself but alas, the yarn has been discontinued. This was a super easy pattern and again, a great weight for our winter.

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.

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Interestingly, the designer has used reverse stocking stitch to make the little cabled owls pop. I would like to try using stocking stitch as the right side next time to show off the beautiful stitch definition of this particular yarn. 

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.

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Little details make the difference. I learnt a couple of new techniques here. Thank goodness for Utube!

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.

 

 

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