Last week I had the privilege of attending my friend’s home birth. Well…she wasn’t born, but giving birth at home. (I think you get the idea.) There was quite a bit of sitting around waiting so I went prepared with needles, yarn and a free knitting pattern for newborn vest that I would knit for my baby if I had one (a newborn baby). The newborn vests are just so cozy and core hugging, and soft! I think it could practically be the baby’s sleeper blanket. I used a blend of merino and cashmere from a sweater I found at a thrift shop and recycled.
I have always admired this little vest on Ravelry called the Pebble. It’s a free knitting pattern you can find if you are a member there, which I highly recommend. Ravelry will change your life, I told my knitting friend about it a few years ago and she told me later that it changed her life…so there.
Pattern: Pebble by Nikol Lohr
Source: The Thrifty Knitter
Yarn: Recycled wool cashmere blend, worsted
Needles: US 6 – 4.0 mm KnitPicks Options Harmony Circulars Started and Finished: November 27 – December 1, 2013
The original pattern is knit flat with buttons but I would much rather knit something in the round for a few reasons in this case.
- Buttons and babies seem to be unnecessarily fiddly.
- Knitting in the round makes a seamless piece of clothing. Therefore, no having to piece all the work together at the end.
- Knitting in the round is SO much easier! Less purling, just nice, mindless knitting.
If you would like me to expound on knitting in the round please leave your questions in the comments section. I have ALOT of thoughts on the idea. My knitting hero is Elizabeth Zimmermann. She was an adorable woman who has now passed away. I learning so much about knitting and how to knit without patterns from spending many nights watching Knitting Around on VHS (yep), and The Knitting Workshop DVD. These were my knitting classes. I learned to knit about 7 years ago. Knitting classes at my local yarn store (LYS) were just too expensive and I couldn’t just leave my kids at home during the day to pamper myself with knitting classes. So I bought the videos and hung out with Elizabeth and her daughter, Meg Swansen. I defy any of you to watch and learn from these gals and not secretly (or openly if you like) believe you know them and that you are actually friends. I love them…because (ahem) we’re friends.
So back to the Pebble.
As I said, the pattern calls for buttons and flat knitting. The original pattern calls for DK weight yarn on US 4 needles. I wanted to use this super soft wool cashmere blend of grey yarn worsted weight yarn. I read a bunch of the “helpful notes” on Ravelry (will change your life as mentioned above) I decided to use US 6 and cast on 80 stitches as the original pattern recommended.
For the newbies: using larger needles means a bigger finished item. I didn’t know what my friend would have so I wanted to use a color that would look nice for a boy or girl. Her babies are usually on the bigger end (this was her 10th babe) so didn’t want to go to small.
My hope was a nice cozy, sweater-like, blanket type garment that would be soft and warm (but not too warm). Something you could put on your baby to keep their core warm during winter or spring days and nights.
PEBBLE IN THE ROUND
- CO 80 sts, join for working in the round (place marker)
- 16 rows of garter stitch (knit one round, purl next round, repeat) This will give you 8 ridges.
- Round 17 – P8, pm, knit 32, pm, P8, pm, knit 32. You should have a total of 4 markers. *pm = place marker
- Round 18 – Knit
- Repeat rows 17 & 18 until piece measures 10″ or so. (without adding markers each time)
- Bind off 8 stitches (side garter stitch area), K32, Bind off 8 stitches (side garter stitch area), K 32
- Rejoin yarn on the wrong side (this will be the front of the vest), begin working the front back and forth as original pattern indicates.
- Row 1: Sl1, k to end
- Row 2: Sl1, SSK, k to 3 st from end, k2tog, k1
- Repeat row 1&2 three more times (so you’ll have 8 rows/4 garter ridges)
- Row 9-19: repeat row 1, ending with a wrong side row
When ready to knit shoulders, knit two seamed shoulders.
Proceed with back as original pattern indicates.
Seam both shoulders with kitchener stitch. Weave in ends.
(Honestly, I really don’t have my notes, it was pieced together during blurry nights of staying up during the labor. I will have to knit another one and record better notes. I hope this helps!) Please ask a question if you have them.
I think I would make the straps a little longer to ensure the head opening was plenty large.
The birth went on for 2.5 days. It turned into a big ole’ girls slumber party. I brought my sleeping bag and we slept when it seemed appropriate. The midwife and I knit together and talked about knitting, babies and home births. I had 3 of my kids at home.
I finished the vest and gave it to my friend and told her the baby could come out now. It reminded me of one of kids books called Baby, Come Out! So he did. Baby Aaron was born into water a few hours later, at 1:36 am weighing 10 pounds on the dot!
So, if you need a quick baby gift, and you’d like something a little different, try this pattern. It was fun and fast!
You may also be interested in a similar newborn vest I knit called the Milo HERE.