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Important social events come in waves in my family and friendship group. A few years ago we had a first wave of marriages, a while later the first round of divorces – now everyone I know seems to be spawning. I seem to spend most of my time planning or making small things for small people. And, in fact, I love knitting for babies: the garments are small and take virtually no time to make, they elicit a disproportionate amount of praise for the effort and they allow me to experiment with new techniques without feeling like I’ve wasted a lot of time and materials if something goes wrong.

The only worry I have about knitting baby garments usually relates to colour choices. I wouldn’t hesitate to dress a baby boy in pink, or a baby girl in blue – although I detest most pastel shades and think they make newborns look more blotched than their unfortunate norm – but I feel very uncomfortable foisting my own gender politics on other people. I tend to opt for ‘safe’ colours with people whose views I’m unsure of, and gravitate towards deeper shades of purple or green, or muted neutrals with some interesting accents.

This vest and hat, made for a cousin’s baby, were put together hurriedly in February, so that they could be flown to her before the birth of her son.

Baby Vest and Bonnet

On the left, a baby vest based on the Pebble pattern by Nikol Lohr. Made with 3.75mm Denise needles, using just over one ball of Drops/Garnstudio Karisma Superwash in shade 37, and seven bronze-coloured mother-of-pearl buttons. (Newborn size).

On the right, a Top-Down Bonnet from Adrian Bizila’s pattern (I omitted the anime character stitching, and the ties). Made with a motley collection of dpns approximating 3.75mm, and using less than one ball of Drops/Garnstudio Karisma Superwash in shade 01. (6-month size).

A note on the yarn: this was my first time using Karisma, and I’m converted! The yarn is soft, springy, easy to work with, inexpensive, and available in a range of muted colours. It’s superwash (although I didn’t test this), and – I think – ideal for woollen baby gifts.

It’s just as well I enjoy knitting baby things, as I’ll have at least three small new acquaintances to knit for in the coming year – my cousin’s twins due in late August, and the spawn of some political friends who might be open to risky designs.

This weekend was a festive one here in Wales. Saturday was St David’s Day, and the streets were filled with people carrying daffodils or wearing tiny leeks on their lapels. The next day was Mothering Sunday, and although my family celebrates in May (along with the rest of the world), I used the opportunity to give my mother the completed pair of socks I’ve been working on.

Child's First Sock

I loved knitting these socks – the pattern was straightforward and easily memorised and the construction was logical and instinctive. The variegated yarn detracts from the pattern, and I would probably use a solid or semi-solid colourway if I were to knit these again. Having said that, these sock were so satisfying to knit, I barely thought about how they would look when worn. Luckily, my mother seems to like them!