Good old garter stitch. It is the first stitch beginner knitters learn and often, as they progress, they move to more complicated stitches and patterns. I recently returned to the garter stitch to knit a baby jumper and a baby jacket for two of my nephews. I’ve decided garter stitch is fabulous for baby knits, it’s squishy and warm, just like babies. It’s forgiving and stretches out as the baby grows, giving the hand-knit more wear before baby gets just too big. Because garter stitch looks the same on the front as the back, it’s great for cuffs that are folded up when baby is little then folded down when they grow. Perhaps I should give you a warning…prepare yourself for cute, squishy babies dressed in hand-knits!
Pattern: Garter Stitch Jacket and Hat Pattern (leaflet) by Morris and Sons. Knitted in one piece with the only seams to sew are the underarm and side seams. Includes a collar, Archie’s mum turns up the collar when it is extra chilly to keep Archie warm around the back of his neck. The pattern also has cute and easy-to-knit garter stitch hat to match the jacket.
Yarn: Patons Totem 8ply in dark, emerald green.
Size: 0-3 months.
Buttons: Round wooden buttons from Buttonmania.
Alterations/changes: I omitted the bottom two buttons (the jacket has five buttons) as I preferred the look and the shape of the jacket without them.
Verdict: Winner! Archie has worn his jacket all winter and after many washes and wear it’s still looking lovely and fitting Archie well. I recommend this pattern; a fairly easy knit, looks great and you can make the jacket more interesting with the type of buttons you choose. I’d like to see this in a light/medium grey with different coloured buttons, think it would look really cute.
Pattern: Baby Reiby Tab Jumper Pattern (leaflet) by Morris and Sons. Another knitted in one piece. The underarm seams are joined by three-needle cast off. I had never tried that type of cast off, but it wasn’t nearly as hard as it sounded and gave a firm join. Front tab across the chest makes it easy to get the jumper on and off baby, and looks cute with the four buttons.
Yarn: Morris and Sons Avalon in 8 Ply; stone and red.
Size: 3 months
Buttons: Red plastic fish from Buttonmania.
Alterations/changes: I crocheted the red edging of the tab and the neck which I consider easier than knitting and looks better. I also added about 1.5cm to the length of the jumper because Malachi is a longer than average baby. I’d learnt from earlier knitting for him that I have to add a little length.
Verdict: Another winner. The cotton was perfect for the spring weather, and again the cuffs could be folded down has he grew. Malachi got plenty of compliments on this jumper. His mum, my sister-in-law, was happy too.
Whether you are a beginner or advanced knitter, I hope this has inspired you to give garter stitch a go. The stitch makes for perfect baby hand-knits.