Thursday, September 23, 2010

Baby Bib - Modified Pattern

I picked up a copy of Easy Baby Knits by Claire Montgomerie at Half Priced Books a couple of years ago.  It is a compilation of patterns for clothing and accessories for babies up to 3 years old.  The designs are lovely, basic, and elegant with a classic/vintage feel.  The only negative comment that I have is that you have to be very aware of gage and double check it against the intended size of the pattern.  Of course, this could just be an issue idiosyncratic to my knitting.  I had the sizing come out a bit funky on the Overalls pattern, even though I have met gauge, and have had to frog back quite a bit to make some adjustments to get it  back on track.  Of course, it could be the yarn I chose too - Caron Simply Soft, which I am beginning to hate.  Once it is used up out of my stash, I'll never buy it again.

The second to the last pattern in this book is Special Baby Gift Bib (page 116).  It is a basic, fast, very easy knit and I love it.  It would be a wonderful first pattern for a beginner knitter.  Most people would not think to knit a bib for a gift so you know that it will be a unique handmade thing to give.  Also, if made with a standard cotton yarn like Sugar'n Cream or Peaches & Creme, this is a nice absorbent dribble catcher that covers most of baby's torso, which is the whole point.  Speaking as a mother of two, I can tell you absorbent is nice, especially during the teething phase when my little ones wore their bibs every waking moment.

Me, being me, I did not like the pattern's original hook & loop closure arrangement.  This is, strictly, a personal preference.  I am tired of having hook & loop items go through the laundry and come out stuck on to sweaters and fleece, regardless of prewash prep.  The pattern as it is looks great and the original design would cover baby's shoulders, but I just can't get past the hook & loop.  I suppose you could use a button or a snap instead but then you might loose some of the "grow-with-me" potential.  A good bib is something baby can use from birth to preschool. So I chose to get rid of the hook & loop by altering the original pattern to include I-cord ties instead.  Below are my alterations. 

I cannot, nor do I want to, reprint those parts of the pattern that I did not modify.  So you have to get your own copy of the original pattern. 


Hynek's Handmade Alterations for Claire Montgomerie's Special Baby Gift Bib

Work as directed by original pattern until you get to Row 5 of the Shape Front Neck Section.  This is the place where the front neck edge bind off is complete and the stitches for the right and left shoulders are still on the needles.  I work both sides at the same time instead of putting the right side onto stitch holder as directed.  I also used an ombre yarn instead of working stripes. 

Work both sides as follows:

Row 5 - Seed Stitch 4, K7, Seed Stitch 4
Row 6 - Seed Stitch 4, P7, Seed Stitch 4
Row 7 - Seed Stitch 4, Sl-K-psso, K3, K2tog, Seed Stitch 4
Row 8 - Seed Stitch 4, P5, Seed Stitch 4
Row 9 - Seed Stitch 4, Sl-K-psso, K1, K2tog, Seed Stitch 4
Row 10 - Seed Stitch 4, P3, Seed Stitch 4
Row 11 - Seed Stitch 4, K3tog, Seed Stitch 4
Row 12 - Seed Stitch all
Row 13 - K, P, K2tog, P2tog, K, P, K
Row 14 - Seed Stitch all
Row 15 - K, P, K, P2tog, K2tog
Row 16 - Seed Stitch all
Row 17 - K, P2tog, K2tog
Row 18 - Seed Stitch all
Row 19 - Seed Stitch all

Place one side on a stitch holder.  Switch the other side to 2 DPN needles and work a 3 stitch I-cord until it is 15 inches long and bind off.  Then work the other side in a 3-stitch I-cord for 15 inches and bind off.  Weave all ends.

I need to test knit it one more time to be certain of the stitch counts.  However, I think you'll get the general idea once you get it on the needles.  I tried to maintain the integrity of the seed stitch pattern border.  It turned out pretty well I think.

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