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I’ve written up a knitting pattern for a newborn baby hat. It’s a simple top-down beanie knit from about 100 yards or meters of fingering weight. I’ve done the increases in such a way that there is very little counting or marker placement which makes it easy to memorize and fast to knit, good qualities for gift knitting! You can download the pattern here or on Ravelry. I’d be happy to hear from you if you knit it! I handpainted the wool for the sample myself with acid dyes.

Countless – newborn baby hat knitting pattern

hand dyed hand knit baby hat countless knitting pattern

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Sometimes I get an idea and even though I know it’s crazy, I can’t get it out of my head so I do it anyway. This was one of those ideas. Not only is the skirt of this baby dress made from fabric, the bodice portion is both knit and crocheted. I’m not an expert in either knitting or crochet but I’ve done enough of both that there are certain usages that feel more comfortable in one or the other. So it was easier for me to switch back and forth between knitting and crochet rather than to make the whole bodice in one or the other. I’m not explaining this very well am I? Anyway, I’m pleased with how it turned out and you can see a picture of the dress modeled by the recipient on my Ravelry project page. There are also some more pictures and detailed notes there.

fabric skirt knit crochet bodice baby dress and bloomers

This is sized for 6-12mo. Making baby clothes for a baby you have never seen is always risky business so I poured over clothing measurements and knit and crochet patterns to figure out the right dimensions. I remember that when my girl was that age you didn’t want a dress that was too long because it got in the way of sitting up and crawling. It was also mostly useless to have any dress that didn’t have matching bloomers or tights because by the time you found something to cover the diapered bum that didn’t clash, she’d grown out of the dress. So the matching diaper cover was made from a Simplicity sewing pattern.

back of knit and crocheted dress bodice showing buttonhole straps

I’m rather proud of the little detail I thought of for the straps. I crocheted them with buttonholes along the entire length. The smallish buttons are on the inside of the back of the bodice. This way the straps are fully adjustable and can be worn crossed or uncrossed without looking like overalls. Don’t misunderstand, I love overalls on babies, but the regular overall style closure on the front wouldn’t have been suitable for this dress.

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I realize it has been a long time since I last posted. An obvious reason is my preoccupation with a certain little boy. It’s hard to craft or cook with one hand while bouncing up and down. There have also been times when we have been crafting but I haven’t taken step-by-step pictures because that does take a bit more time. Having two children who really enjoy “making” means that most of my projects are done with their “help”. And sometimes it’s not worth interrupting the rhythm of their creativity just because I might want to post the results to my blog.


This seems like a good time to remember why I keep this blog. This is mainly a personal record of the things I make with my hands. I used to make thing and then give them away without having taken pictures or adequate notes. Because I rarely follow instructions, I found it difficult to reproduce my creations, or even to remember even vaguely what I had done. So now I try to make a record of most projects. I also try to add links to references or pictures I might have found inspirational or helpful. I often refer to my own blog to remind myself how to do something I’ve done before, or to get started on a new project with roots in a previous project.

I’ve made this journal public because sometimes people ask me how I made something or when or why and it’s nice to have all my notes in one place to refer to or even pass on a link to a post. Because the blog is mainly for my own use, my pictures are not perfect, descriptions may be sketchy on one project, lengthier on another. Some projects may include patterns or tutorials, others may just be a photo reminder. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have questions about something in particular. I do try to answer all e-mails and I do like to provide more information when I have the time and know there is interest. I am constantly surprised and touched that people are interested in my creative process. And I am always happy to hear that you are motivated by a blog post to try something new yourself. Thank you all for reading and thanks especially to those who take the time to leave me a note!

Some pictures of the yard in spring bloom—the perfect sprig of lilac flowers, a chive blossom complete with spider silk lines, Solomon’s seal bending over the hostas on the north wall.

lilac in bloom chive flower edible

Solomons seal and variegated hosta foundation planting

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I started with some handpainted Blue-Faced Leicester wool I received in a trade.

Spun it into a single and then chain-plied it to preserve the colors.
handpaint BFL spinning wheel chain plied navajo

Knit the yarn into these baby socks, based on Cat Bordi’s pattern.
hand spun knit baby socks

And this sweet hat, based very loosely on the Munchkin Hat, pattern by Jeanne Kubricht. See my project page on Ravelry for notes on my version.

newborn hat handspun hand knit

This hat does a great job of staying on our little gnomey’s head and keeping him warm!

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I’ve been trying to write this post for two weeks. For some reason I don’t know what to say. So, I suppose, without further ado . . .

May I introduce Gareth Warren, born November 29th at 10:05pm.

Day 1 here.

And at two weeks, just after rolling over for the first time. Obviously that is hard work!



I offered to barter my tie dye for knitting needles on a Ravelry forum and a kind knitter responded with an offer of her extra needles in a great selection of different sizes (all small sizes) and materials. Clockwise from top: two sets of long metal dpns, faux tortoise shell casein (milk protein), bamboo, nearly clear nylon circulars and birch in the middle. This will be great for trying out the feel of different needles with different yarns!

assortment of narrow gauge double pointed knitting needles dpns

And in return I sent several tie dye outfits for her granddaughter. One long sleeve onesie stamped with little flowers, a sleeveless romper with hand colored butterflies and a skirted onesie with a watermelon green stripe. I sewed the gathered skirt on before I dyed the onesie. I think it turned out pretty cute and it wasn’t hard to do thanks to the serger.

pink tie dye baby outfits with socks embellished with rubber stamps

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Who wants tie dye?

blank white baby onesie purple tie dye dress embellished with rubber stamp butterflies

Since I have some requests for tie-dye, I’m open to doing a batch if there is enough interest. So if you want something get the word out! Leave your comment here or convo me through my Etsy shop: randomcharm. Purchase details, colorways, available blanks/sizes, etc. at randomcharm on Etsy.

ETA: for my personal notes:
Mel: VLSD6 and LEL6 √
Nik: CH032 times 2 in seaglass frogs √
Mar: PINK 6mo onesie, 12mo ruffled onesie, 12mo dress √
Kel: 18mo froggie onesie √

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All of the pink/purple was done this week, other colors were done previously. I did all of the stamping/embellishing last night, heat fixed by Rich. These baby clothes are going out all over the continent (literally) to his friends. There are a few more but I’ll save those for another post.

baby onesie tie dye with butterfly and matching socks

butterflies stamped on tie dye baby onesie and matching socks in pink and purple

detail of stamped butterflies on pink and purple tie dye baby onesie

twinkie rompers:
pink and purple tie dyed baby rompers with matching socks

baby gown:
pink and purple tie dye baby gown with matching socks

and my favorite seaglass colors:
green and blue baby boy onesie with little frogs

with frog detail:
stamped and colored frogs on blue/green tie dye baby boy onesie

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techno geek baby girl onesies

A baby shower was held at my husband’s office this week in honor of a new baby girl soon to arrive in the household of my husband’s cohort in all things computer. The theme was appropriately “techno geek”. My husband and I tossed around some ideas for decorating onesies—the staple of the newborn wardrobe.

ASCII flowers on a baby onesie hexadecimal color for pink on a pink circle on a baby onesie

We ended up firing up the heat press and using transfer paper to embellish the first onesie with a colorful garden of ASCII flowers. Those of you my age or older may remember making similar pictures on a typewriter in typing class! The second onesie sports a large pink dot with the hexadecimal (web) color number used to specify that particular shade of pink to computers. Apparently one of the adults wanted one of these in her size. We may need to oblige as I am thinking I might want one for me as well! It could very easily be made for boys too of course.

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The PTO at the boy’s school is having a fundraising evening including a silent auction. They called especially for handmade items! I haven’t felt able to really help out so I was excited about being able to do something at home. I’m donating a few tie dye baby items and also these lightweight nap blankets. They are generously sized, I wouldn’t call them baby blankets. Fabric is from my stash. I bought both of these fabrics a while ago but realized that I probably wasn’t going to use them. The boy isn’t into baseball and the floral turned out to be a larger scale than I had thought looking at the swatch online. But I’m pretty pleased with the way these turned out and they were quite simple to do, based on yet another spin-off of the technique originally developed for lined shoe bags, which of course, I have yet to show.

Hmmf, I just realized the picture of the girly blanket is upside down. Oh well! I’m having a hard enough time trying to figure out how to photograph stuff. There are fewer blank walls in this house and they are all plaster!

Robert Kaufman nostalgic baseball print cotton with brushed brown cotton twill back. Medium blue topstitching.

Robert Kaufman nostalgic baseball print nap blanket with brown brushed twill back

Robert Kaufman nostalgic baseball print nap blanket with brown brushed twill back

boy's baseball print nap blanket detail

Robert Kaufman mod floral corduroy in merlot backed with grey brushed twill (Don’t ask why I have 300 yards of brushed twill in my basement unless you want to buy some.) Pink topstitching!
Robert Kaufman mod floral corduroy with gray brushed twill, nap blanketdetail of girl's mod floral and gray nap blanket with pink stitching


Speaking of my friend Jan, she taught me how to tie dye. We get together every so often and do a batch for fun and for gifts and sometimes to revive stained kids clothes that still have life in them. We get most of our supplies including clothing blanks and dye stuff from Dharma Trading. I tried out a new colorway here: red/tangerine/blue. I like it quite a bit. The itty bitty socks were dyed to coordinate. Aren’t they cute?

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