Knitting for Babies: Fun and Functional

First, the fun part!

Monkey Business Marionette by Stacey Gerbman, from Knits Weekend, 2011

Ever since I first saw The Sound of Music, probably 40 years ago (!), I've been intrigued with marionettes. They were so amazing, with their moving parts, and I wanted one in the worst way. I never did get one, but I got to play with them in grade school music class, and it was just as much fun as I thought it would be.

The other day, I was looking through Interweave Knits Weekend 2011, and what do you know—a knitted marionette; and it's a monkey. How wonderful! I've actually knitted from this magazine, and I never noticed the Monkey Business Marionette. How is that possible?

Well, I've seen him now, and I'm in love!

The monkey part of the marionette is a striped cutie, knit from whatever colors you or your child like. You can knit him in a solid, too; whatever your heart's desire. You could stop there and have a darling stuffed animal, but why not add the marionette manipulators and make a fabulous toy for your child?

Designer Stacey Gerbman provides complete, easy-to-follow directions for adding the strings and wooden handles to make the marionette come to life. She even makes it possible to remove the strings to untangle them and then put them back in place. She's obviously road tested this project!

I'm labeling this next knit baby pattern as functional, but I think it's also lots of fun, not to mention absolutely darling!

It's the Parker River Vest by Elinor Brown, and it might be my favorite baby vest ever! How cute is this?

The Parker River is knit from worsted-weight yarn, so it's a quickie project. It features a sort of fleur-de-lis colorwork pattern, and it has a button at the back neck to make it easy to put on baby.

The Parker River Vest by Elinor Brown,
from Knits Weekend, 2011

The main yarn used is a semi-solid yarn that changes from very light green to dark green. The pink contrast color also changes from lightest pink to medium pink. Designer Elinor offers a hint for knitting colorwork with these types of yarns: " When you use variegated or semi-solid yarns for colorwork, make sure that every shade in the contrast color is either much darker or much lighter than every shade in the main color." This ensures that you'll get the contrast that you want, just as Elinor did in her Parker River Vest.

Your babies (and older children, too) will love these projects. There are many more in Knits Weekend, too, so get our kit today and receive all three Weekend issues for one low price!

And have a great weekend (is it Friday yet?!?).


P.S. Are you knitting for baby? Leave a comment and tell us what's on your needles!

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