Friday, July 25, 2014

Sailor Bug

The concept for my grandnephew's first birthday present grew out of my plan for his older sister's birthday present. My grandniece Cauliflower (not her real name, though I do call her that) is getting an aquatic-themed birthday present, which I should be posting fairly soonish. Then when it came to deciding what I was going to give Bug (not his actual name, though Cauliflower calls him that), I thought it would be fun to extend the theme to him, and to use the same yarns and colours for both project. I thought something in a sailboat theme would be perfect, and accordingly searched Ravelry, where I found this Ships Ahoy sweater, designed by by Zoƫ Mellor, and published in her Adorable Knits for Tots: 25 Stylish Designs for Babies and Toddlers.

And here's the sweater I knitted for Bug, in size 18 months. He turned one this month, so it will fit him all the coming winter. As you can see my version is virtually identical to the sample featured on Ravelry. I used Smart Superwash yarn from SandnesGarn in teal, dark blue, and white, as well as a small amount of red yarn that was left over from knitting a dress for his sister last year. The gold yarn for the fish actually came from the tapestry yarns leftover from a needlepoint kit, as it seems I practically never knit with any tones from the yellow family and had no yellow knitting yarn whatever. But I always knew I was keeping those leftover tapestry yarns for a reason.

Then I decided it would be fun to make Bug a little sailor's cap to go with the sweater. (In Orange Swan speak, the words "it will be fun to" always translate to "I am going to spend many hours of work on".) I searched Ravelry for a little sailor's cap pattern in size 18 months. I didn't find quite what I wanted, but I thought this little Newsboy Hat, designed by Lucia Liljegren, would do. It's a free pattern.

Here's the hat I made. It would look better modelled by an actual little boy, but since I didn't have one of those around an old margarine tub had to suffice. I had wanted to put little anchor buttons on it to make it look a little more like a sailor's cap, but couldn't find the right kind of buttons. Then I thought about knitting an anchor on the front, only to decide I didn't want to add another symbol to the outfit given that I already had both a sailboat and a fish on the sweater. In the end I scaled down the sailboat image I'd used for the sweater and added it to the front, using the duplicate stitch technique.

The last component of the present was a toy, which of course also had to fit in with the theme. Toys R' Us didn't have a sailboat toy that I liked, so I went with this whale bath toy. It shoots water out the top.

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