A colleague at work is just commencing parental leave for her first baby. Yesterday we had afternoon tea with her and gave her a number of presents for the baby. I love the opportunity to knit baby clothes and had fun choosing pattern and yarn for a little jacket. She'd commented many times that almost everything she's been given so far for the baby is pink (she's expecting a girl) and lamented the current pinkness of everything for girl babies. So it was easy to decide to knit in soft green yarn. I also wanted a pattern that wasn't aggressively girly as it was clear my colleague prefers plainer, less sex-specific designs.
Knitting designer Laura Chau (Cosmicpluto) has produced a very cute baby cardigan she named Sweet Bunting; a simple, bottom-up seamless design with a natty pattern of bunting at the base of the yoke. It would be equally suitable for a boy or girl.
I'm not a very experienced or very expert fair isle knitter and would like to have done a better job of controlling the tension of the simple fair isle patterning in the yoke. It's a little bit loose; though that's better than being too tight. Fair isle in a highly processed superwash yarn (such as the Morris Empire Superwash Merino 8 ply which I used for practicality with this jacket) does not sit as neatly as fair isle with catchy yarns. Still, I did learn to weave in the floats of yarn as I carried them across the longer stretches of the pattern, and I think I'm developing a desire to improve my colourwork knitting.
I decided to use up the remainder of a ball of green yarn by knitting a hat. Whit's Knits from Purl Bee often has simple but very effective free patterns. I used the size and shape of the hat from the Little Fair Isle Hat pattern, omitting the attractive fair isle design and substituting two row stripes of the contrasting colours. I'm very happy with the outcome.
I seem to be on a bit of a bunting kick lately, having made bunting for a Christmas gift swap and now knitting the bunting pattern on this jacket. I like simple, geometric, repetitive patterns, and bunting fits these characteristics.
I also liked the gentle pun in the name of this pattern. Bunting originally was the word for a rough fabric made with a glazed surface, ideal for flags and ribbons. Over time the term has transferred from the fabric to the flags themselves. But it has another association. There's the rhyme I remember from my childhood as a chant for rocking or jiggling babies
Bye baby bunting
Daddy's gone a-hunting
Gone to get a rabbit skin
To wrap the baby bunting in.
The internet informs me it's also a lullaby, though this is not part of my association for it.
So this is a playful pattern rich in associations. My colleague was surprised and delighted by the gift and I've had a great deal of pleasure making it.