Vintage Baby Knits

We tracked down a copy of Vintage Baby Knits: More Than 40 Heirloom Patterns from the 1920s to the 1950s and it was fantastic. Our little ones are getting to be too big for the patterns (the patterns are for 1-24 months). However, our Henry has just grown into this sweater, started last summer — lucky thing, too.

He wasn't happy that I stopped to take a picture (although, even though it's not such a good picture I am terribly fond of him in it), so I had to put the camera down and try again a few months later when he was distracted. It still fits.

The Jasper hoodie is a seamed, hooded sweater. It is knit in Rowan Purelife organic cotton (DK). It is a bit nerve-wracking doing a seamed sweater, since you can't tell how it will fit until you've finished knitting. However, it came together very easily and the diamond pattern is easy and handsome.

Here's a tip: use the Zimmerman trick where you make a buttonhole on each side instead of just one side. At the end you have 2 matching rows of buttonholes along both button bands. Then you use the buttonholes on one side to place the buttons, so they match up perfectly with the holes along the other band.

While searching for the book title online, we came across a site with free vintage baby patterns, like this little pony vest. Looks nice!

Sock fish

Miyako Kanamori: Part 1

Sock and Glove: Creating Charming Softy Friends from Cast-off Socks and Gloves by Miyako Kanamori is a very good book! (Phew...out of breath from that last sentence.) As you might guess from its descriptive title, this book gives you patterns for making little softies from socks (mostly long socks) and gloves. The patterns are quite simple and you can use a machine or hand sewing for the projects. This is a good book for your bookshelf; it has a lot of easy, fun projects.

One little note: most of the patterns involve a pair of gloves or a pair of socks, and they need to be in fairly good condition (toes and heels are often part of the pattern), so this won't help you use old socks. However, all you need is a pack of work socks and you're off. The gloves in the book are mostly rough work/gardening gloves, which you can find in Vancouver for about $2, so that's quite economical.

Anyway, we'd like to show a couple of projects from the book, beginning with sock fish. These fish were not the very cutest project, but they are very simple, quick, and they only use one sock (and they are great for baby socks, which often lose their mate and remain in good condition even after wear).

Kanamori's fish has a button eye and uses a sock with a contrasting colour for the toe, which looks very cute. However, we didn't have any socks like that, so we tried adding a little blanket stitching to separate the head from the body (and to make a little fin). Because these are for babies, we stitched on felt eyes which are safer.

Hello Baby

So, we are going to try doing a weekly arts + crafts post. Either a project from us, or a review of a craft book. Friday is a good time to gather up your materials for the weekend. Our production company is called "Little Quick" so you can tell already that we like projects that are little and quick.

Today's post is about a pretty well-known book: Baby Stuff (or the Japanese title is Hello Baby which is a much better title) by Aranzi Aronzo. Now, reviewing a very well-known book has the advantage that you can probably find this in the library or your local bookshop right now and you don't have to wait for it to arrive by post!

The number one thing we like about this team are their biographies:

Mr. Aranzi
Mr. Aranzi has a Mexican father and a Japanese mother. It's been 10 years since he started creative activities in cooperation with Mr. Aronzo. He lives in the U.S.A. and works at a securities firm.

Mr. Aronzo
Mr. Aronzo is a Norwegian Vietnamese-Indian. He lives on the street and travels all over the world. His main occupation is playing the tambourine.


OK, so we tested out Baby Stuff (we both have babies). This book has very clear instructions (so clear, that you can actually follow directions in the Japanese version without being Japanese). It comes with photocopy-able templates. One nice feature is that several of the projects could be easily sewn by hand. Although we both have machines, we like to do things by hand. It's fun. The projects shown here were about 50% machine and 50% by hand.

The other good feature about Baby Stuff is that the projects are actually good projects for babies. So, if you don't have a baby of your own, and you're not sure about these projects as gifts: go for it. We've done 3 projects and they've all been useful. And they are mostly very fast. (For real fast, not the kind of project that promises to be 2 hours but takes you all night.)

Pictured here are two of the projects we tried: Baby Bandana and Lil' Friend. (These are copies of projects in the book.) The only thing we didn't do according to directions is trace the sashiko-like embroidery of the fish from their template with special chalk. You can just lightly draw in your shape with a pencil freehand and stitch over top.

Both these projects are well-used and well-loved. There were originally two Lil' friends and one was passed to an 11-month old, who loved it, too. Something about the size and texture is really baby-pleasing. The bandana bib is a nice way to add texture and colour into your baby's wardrobe.

Review Summary
· Aranzi Aronzo's Baby Stuff
· We liked it!
· Mostly projects for adults to make for babies. (Children could try some of these patterns with felt, glue, needle and thread, but the end project may need some help to be baby-safe.)