Friday, June 13, 2014

Tiny shoes for tiny feet

 Let me tell you, it has been a long time since I completed a knitting project. It's not that years go by without knitting a stitch-- like any good knitter, I have some unfinished pieces that I pick up occasionally before abandoning them again, sometimes after knitting just one row. I have made a couple of simple berets during grad school, which I have used often in the winter (it's a revelation to live in a place where lace knits aren't out of the question in cold weather). Sadly, those berets were both knit pre-thesis, so it has been a few years since I really finished a project.

Above you can see what I knit up last week, start to finish! Yes, they are very, very small and the pattern was very simple, but it felt really good to knit something up and I had forgotten how nice it is to knit on a long road trip or in the evenings after the day is done. I think I need to bring knitting back in to my routine. There's something about the clacking of the needles, watching the fabric grown... it's almost meditative, and I have missed that. I also really miss my knitting group back home; I think wherever I end up next, I need to make joining a knitting group a priority.

I returned to knitting because a dear friend is having her first baby and I think that a handmade gift is nice when someone reaches a life milestone like this. Of course, I got her some practical things, too, but I like to think her baby will wear these little booties for a bit and then they will be stored away as a memento from this special time. Obviously, the yarn is easy to care for so when they are in use she can just toss them in the wash with the rest of the laundry.

Here's a close-up on the stitches, after I blocked the booties. For non-knitters, that just means I washed them gently by hand and when they were still quite damp I shaped them into a nice boot shape. Once blocked, the stitches look more even and the finished product looks more like a bootie and less like an oddly shaped sock.

....cables! I just love cables, which is why I chose this pattern in the first place. The booties are also super simple to knit. You knit them up flat, increasing to shape the bootie, then working the cabled portion before finally adding eyelets and knitting up the cuff. It doesn't look like it, but the cuff is actually the portion that took me the longest. If you're like me and love a project with some variety, these are great because they have a lot of different techniques but you only work on any one portion of the bootie for a few rows, so the project moves quickly. The booties are finished off with a tie; for these, I used a simple crochet chain, but you can also use i-cord or ribbon. Personally, I like having the tie done in the yarn, but a simple grosgrain ribbon could be nice, too. Either way, it's a cute little project and is just the thing when you want to a little something special to celebrate a new baby.

Project Details

Pattern: Two Needle Cable Baby Booties by Barbara Breiter
Yarn: Filtura Di Crosa Dolce Amore in color 48 (it's like a lime green, see the picture on Ravelry)
Needles: Brittany size 7 double pointed needles (DPNs), plus one medium cable from the Brittany cable needle pack

Please note that DPNs are totally unnecessary for this project; I just couldn't find my smaller needles when I wanted to start knitting and they seemed like a good substitute. I usually go up one or two needle sizes because I knit a bit tighter than some, but you know your knitting best so choose the needles that are right for you.

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