I just love knitting for newborns! There’s just something sweet about making something new for a little one. It doesn’t hurt that knitting for a newborn doesn’t take much time or a lot of yarn. A few stitches here and there, and before you know it, the project is done!
I also like the creativity that comes with knitting. I truly enjoy coming up with ideas, doing a little math, and having my vision become tangible. I do a lot of mental processing before I jot down my notes and it can take a few days or weeks before I actually cast on. Once the project is finally cast on, I usually have to do a little tinkering, especially if my model has grown since I took initial measurements.
The plan is that Wren is going to be a butterfly at this year’s Fall Carnival so I got it in my head that I was going to make a coordinating caterpillar costume for Chickadee. I scoured the Internet (i.e., Pinterest) for knitted caterpillar costumes, and then I settled on the idea of a cocoon.
With the generosity of my mother, I have a decent variety of yarn in my stash. Unfortunately, many of these yarns are discontinued so I have been swatching for gauge so that my efforts can be replicated (or improved upon even) with different yarns in the future. And with swatching and gauging comes note taking usually on scrap paper. And after that, the project gets blogged. See below.
For the cocoon and matching hat I used 2.5 balls of Gala Mix Fiber yarn. (That link is to all Gala yarn in the Ravelry database. If you read the yarn description in the details, it appears that the yarn is often mislabeled. What I used most resembled this yarn.) This is a designer yarn. The stitch gauge is 4 st/in.
For the matching hat, I also used Washable Ewe. The stitch gauge for this yarn is 5 st/in.
The following instructions are for a newborn whose general body circumference at the widest point is 16″. (This is a snug fit as I expected the yarn to naturally stretch.) The hat is also for a head with a 16″ circumference. (I made it a bit big for my newborn since I want her to wear the hat throughout this Winter season.) I used my trusty size 7 bamboo needles.
How to knit the cocoon
Cast on 60 stitches. Work is knit flat and then joined into the round later.
Row 1 (and all odd rows) : Knit
Row 2 (and all even rows) : Purl
Row 7 : Knit four stitches, cast off two stitches, continue knitting remaining 54 stitches in row.
Row 8 : Purl 54 stitches, using e-loop method, add 2 stitches, continue purling remaining 4 stitches in row.
Continue knitting in stockinette stitch for the next ten rows.
Row 17 : Knit four stitches, cast off two stitches, continue knitting remaining 54 stitches in row.
Row 18 : Purl 54 stitches, using e-loop method, add 2 stitches, continue purling remaining 4 stitches in row.
Continue knitting in stockinette stitch for four more rows.
Not pulling on the work, this flap section should measure 5″.
Row 23 : Cast off 10 stitches and start knitting in the round. Each row should have 50 stitches.
Continue knitting in stockinette stitch until you are ready to begin decreasing. I used a gentle decrease as for a typical hat (but don’t use the decrease method for the hat below).
Attach two buttons and done.
How to knit the hat
Using the lighter weight Washable Ewe yarn, cast on 80 stitches.
Work in 2×2 ribbing for one inch (7 rows) in the round.
Row 8 : ( Knit 7, k2tog ) * Repeat until end of row. 64 stitches remain.
Row 9 : Join Gala Mix Fiber yarn and knit for two inches (10 rows).
Begin decreasing as follows.
Row 19 : ( Knit 7, k2tog ) * Repeat until end of row. 56 stitches remain.
Row 20 : Knit.
Row 21 : ( Knit 6, k2tog ) * Repeat until end of row. 48 stitches remain.
Row 22 : Knit.
Row 23 : ( Knit 5, k2tog ) * Repeat until end of row. 40 stitches remain.
Row 24-25 : Knit.
Row 26 : ( Knit 4, k2tog ) * Repeat until end of row. 32 stitches remain.
Row 27-30 : Knit.
Row 31 : ( Knit 3, k2tog ) * Repeat until end of row. 24 stitches remain.
Row 32-35 : Knit.
Row 36 : ( Knit 2, k2tog ) * Repeat until end of row. 16 stitches remain.
Row 37-43 : Knit.
Row 44 : ( Knit 1, k2tog ) * Repeat until end of row. 8 stitches remain.
Row 45-56 : Knit.
Row 57 : ( k2tog, Knit 2 ) * Repeat until end of row. 6 stitches remain.
Row 58-64 : Knit.
Row 65 : ( k2tog, Knit 1 ) * Repeat until end of row. 4 stitches remain.
Tie the tip into a knot and done.