This wee new pattern is one that has sat with me for quite a while since a conversation with a lovely knitter almost a year ago. She told me she wished some of my designs went down to premmie size. She talked about how tough it is having a tiny wee bub in a special care nursery and the need, as a knitter, to dress that baby of yours in something handmade; something that you've poured your love and heart into. The problem, however, she said is that many knitting patterns for teeny bubs lack a bit.
This is a conversation that I've had a number of times with different knitters and the need for smaller size baby clothes that have a bit of style and are easy to knit seems to be a real one. But how to go about tackling this need? I had a couple of ideas bouncing around in my brain about making a wee ebook with some premmie versions of some of my popular patterns. I thought about the teeny size of these babies. Well, I tried to imagine as best I could; my last baby didn't even look like a newborn when he was born. And then, earlier this year another knitter made a request for a 4ply/fingering baby dress pattern (which I happen to have in the works); and it dawned on me. Teeny babies need some teeny yarn. Yes you can dress these babies in 8ply/dk weight yarn but I'll be honest; my babies were mostly dressed in 4ply/fingering as newborns, except for their longies.
These teeny babies needed 4ply/fingering.
I've had a lot of fun knitting up all these wee milo bambinos. The process of rummaging through my least-knit 4ply stash has been an interesting one, and I've found some yarns I'd forgotten I owned. In knitting the samples I tried to capture a range of colours from the traditional to the more unconventional. The 4ply really gives the milo a different feel. Whereas, the original milo has rustic sort-of almost rugged charm to it; it looks like a real rib and belly warmer; this milo bambino is far more delicate and almost fragile. The size of the smallest size possibly reinforces that notion. When I hold it in my hands it seems so ridiculously tiny it is hard to imagine a baby that small.
milo bambino has been completely regraded for the smaller tension required to knit the 4ply weight yarn.
The size range covers 12" to 19"/30.5cm to 48cm chest which caters for a premmie of about 34 weeks gestation right up until about one year, most likely a bit older. It has five new cables included. I maintained the heart cable that I engineered for the milo pattern as it has a special significance for me.
The four smallest sizes have the option of a button shoulder to cater for hospital tubings.
Cables have both charts and written instructions.
After knitting all these teeny baby vests I am really feeling the love for 4ply and once I wind my giant hank of Cormo 4ply, I think there's a new cardie in the works for me. I might also ponder creating some smaller versions of a couple of other of my patterns in 4ply, but as you well know, there is so much to knit already and so little time!
I have five copies of milo bambino to give away.
To enter all you need to do is leave me the name of your favourite 4ply/fingering yarn (I promise I'm not shopping for more yarn!)
I'll draw the winners randomly on Friday evening.
P.S. Just in case you haven't heard, Milo May has been extended by two weeks and will now end on Saturday June 13th 2015.
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Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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