>The Melon-Color Baby

>OK, I think I did this stream of consciousness thing backwards. What set off the entire chain of thought was a comment from a reader here a couple of weeks back. She asked if I could design children’s wear and I stated, flatly, no way.

I lied. Over a decade ago, before crochet, there was knitting. I knitted tons of baby things before I discovered that crochet was the better way to go. In fact, it was a pattern for a knitted baby set that started me on the way to my current crochet MO of top-down, seamlessness.

I still have the Winter 1996 issue of Knitters Magazine from whence came this gem. It is the Baby Delight on page 46, designed by Irene Kublius, a hat and sweater set that could be sized for a baby or a little kid, depending on your choice of yarn and gauge. Already that was a revelation to me. But the most appealing feature of this design was that it was…. wait for it…. top-down, one piece, no seaming,  from the teeny garter stitch collar right down to the cuffs. I knit literally dozens of these tiny sweaters in a range of yarns and gauges, learning along the way what happens to the proportions of the fabric when you do this. These were valuable lessons in garment non-construction that I would lean on in years to come when setting out to create my own designs.

By the time I had the skills and experience to really design cool stuff, my own chicks had flown the nest and for a long while there were no occasions for making baby things. I don’t think I’d know how to start. It’s a whole different process from designing women’s fashions. I sort of forgot how small real babies are, how big their heads are in proportion to their necks and bodies.

Which brings me to the point. A few years ago I actually did design a crocheted sweater set for a little girl, as yet unpublished. This is the original Melon-Color Baby, the design that was the answer to the reader’s comment that set me to thinking about the name that prompted me to write the previous blog post that is the backstory to this design. Does that make sense?

I didn’t have a kid handy to serve as a model, so I used a doll.
Which reminds me, once and only once and by accident, I designed doll stuff. While experimenting with gauge I extrapolated that a small human sized vest in worsted weight if crocheted in sportweight, fits a bear; in size 30 thread it fits Barbie. For the record, I did not personally crochet the thread version.  That was done, completely voluntarily, by my friend and other half of my brain, Karen Manthey.

 Why are you not surprised that I never went there again?


1 thought on “>The Melon-Color Baby

  1. >It would definately be a great time to create the top down designs for children. There is a big gap in designing for girls (and boys) from age 4 to 12. With todays empire waist more lacy and flowing designs, girls are being left out. I find myself having to adapt many patterns and frog many projects to try and get the right look so that my daughter can still be “hip” and not look babyish, she’s 5. It would be nice to get a template of top down tops and sweaters in todays yarn, rather than trying to modify some of the older styles that use more bulky yarn or sometimes only baby fine yarn.

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