Friday, July 07, 2006

free pattern friday: organic baby wrapper


This baby wrapper & hat set makes a great new-baby gift. I especially love using organic cotton for newborn items. Blue Sky Alpacas organic cotton is about the softest yarn you've ever felt, and of course it's grown without pesticides and other nasty chemicals - good for the environment and a delicate new baby. The openwork pattern used here is also easy to memorize, so it looks fancy but is simple to work.

I made a little wrapper like this on a whim last year for a friend who had a preemie. Organic cotton seemed like a must for him, and his small size inspired the small blanket. As it turns out, a little wrapper is just the right size to toss in the stroller or the carseat, and as he has grown, he loves to drag it around with him. His mom tells me he enjoys using it to play "peek-a-boo" with his toy monkey.

Size: 0-6 mos.

Materials:
  • Blue Sky Alpacas organic cotton. 3 skeins sage (MC), 1 skein bone (CC)
  • Size 7 (US) needles for wrapper
  • 16" Size 6 circular needles and Size 6 DPN's for hat
  • Stitch markers in 2 colors
  • Tapestry needle
  • Size G crochet hook
Gauge: approx. 4.5 st/inch (in stockinette stitch)

Openwork pattern (17 st repeat over 4 rows):
Row 1 (RS): Knit all stitches
Rows 2 and 4 (WS): Purl all stitches
Row 3: *[P2 tog 3 times]; [YO, K1 5 times]; YO; [P2 tog 3 times]. Rep from *.

Wrapper
CO 85 st in MC, placing a marker after every 17 st (you will have 4 markers dividing 5 sections). The markers divide up 17-st sections to make the openwork pattern easier to see and knit.

K in openwork pattern. The openwork pattern is a 4-row repeat. You will repeat this 4-row pattern 13 times (for a total of 52 rows) using the main color (MC).

Change to contrast color (CC). Repeat openwork pattern one time (4 rows) to create a narrow stripe of contrasting color.

Change back to main color (MC). Repeat openwork pattern 4 times (16 rows) to create a wider stripe of main color.

Change to contrast color (CC). Repeat openwork pattern one time (4 rows) to create a narrow stripe of contrasting color.

Change back to main color (MC). Repeat openwork pattern 13 times (52 rows) to finish wrapper in MC.

Next RS row: Knit all stitches.
Next WS row: Purl all stitches.
Last RS row: BO loosely.
Weave in ends using tapestry needle.

The top and bottom edges of the wrapper will retain the scalloped shape from the openwork pattern.

Hat
Using circular needles, CO 68 st in main color (MC), placing a marker after every 17 st (you will have 3 markers; make sure they're all the same color). Place one more marker of a different color (to mark the start of the rows) and join work to knit in the round, knitting in openwork pattern.

Repeat openwork pattern 4 times (for a total of 16 rows). Change to st st, removing the 3 markers used to divide openwork repeats as you knit along (keep the marker that denotes the start of the rows). Continue knitting in st st until the hat measures about 5 inches from the bottom edge.

Begin decreasing:
Change to DPN's.
Dec row 1: * K2, K2 tog. Repeat from *.
Dec row 2: *K1, K1 tog. Repeat from *.
Row 3: K one round without decreases.
Next row: K 2 tog, repeat to end.
Continue K 2 tog every row until 6 st remain. Using a tapestry needle, pull yarn end through rem 6 st and gently pull tight. Knot on the inside.

Finishing:
Using contrasting color (CC) and crochet hook, crochet a DC border along the bottom edge of the hat. Weave in loose ends.

To size up the hat for a larger baby (6-18 mos size):

Follow the same instructions, but use size 8 needles and a size H crochet hook. Repeat lace pattern 5 times (instead of 4), and do not begin decrease rows until hat measures 6 1/4 inches from bottom edge).

important notice: This is a free pattern and you are welcome to use it for all the non-commercial purposes you like. However, you may not reproduce this pattern to sell, and you may not sell what you make with it. You may donate what you make with it to charity, and you may use it for charity fundraisers only if 100% of the proceeds are donated to the charity (and by charity I don't mean your kid's college fund). Thanks for understanding!

8 comments:

  1. I love this pattern. It is so very pretty -- or handsome, if that's what is warranted. And I, too, am a fan of "smaller" blankets, for the very reason you have described!

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  2. What great patterns! I love how they turn out! I'll have to try some of that organic cotton yarn. :-)

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  3. I love it!! I know a couple of babies coming up, so I will definitely use your pattern. Thanks!!

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  4. i think that
    i may have
    to make one.
    knitting
    with organic cotton
    sounds like
    the perfect
    summer project!

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  5. I keep forgetting to comment to say I used your pattern and I am very happy with the results (and I think the recipients are too)!

    I've posted some pics on my blogs here and here.

    Thanks so much!

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  6. May I ask the final measurements of the blanket?

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  7. Ashley, what a good question. I wish that back in 2006 I'd had the sense to measure the finished blanket. I can tell you that it's a small stroller-sized blanket. I'm going to guess recklessly and say that it was about 24 inches square after blocking.

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  8. What a marvelous blanket. I was searching for lacey blankets to make to donate to my charity through Bella's Babies . org and stumbled across your beautiful "wrappers". Thank you for keeping it free for those of us that do donate and sometimes look for something that has that little something extra to it instead of a plain SS or a plain granny square.....this is great!!

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