Shadow Pets Hat & Mitt Set

Most Adorable Baby EVAR!

Shadow Pets - K

The proposal for the Shadow Pets set published in Knit Now #44.

Thai Shadow Puppets
Thai Shadow Puppets

The inspiration was mixed: Thai shadow theatre, a dress I had as a toddler, and a dull evening when I entertained myself by figuring out how much detail I could pack into a 1″ square. The high contrast is much more interesting to babies than the usual pastels, and helps to develop their vision. Neuroscientist moment: babies are born colour-blind, and only able to distinguish (blurry) high-contrast shapes. Colour vision develops through accidental firing of neurons associated with retinal cells (again, kinda accidentally) responding to colours in the environment. In theory, it may be possible to cause total colourblindness by preventing access to colours! What a horrible idea! (Shame on me for thinking it).

Then, moons later, Knit Now put out a call for a Designers’ Challenge – a time-limited mini-project with minimal instructions, using a small quantity of a specific yarn. I opted for JC Rennie Supersoft Lambswool, having discovered even more moons ago that 4-ply is great for knitting babywear: you can use an adult pattern in, say, Aran weight yarn to produce a wee version! NB: great fun, but not an exact science – always knit a gauge swatch (tension square).

You’ll note the inclusion of the ugly-botty back of the swatch. I thought this was important to show that there needn’t be any floats to snag on babies’ uncooperative fingers. The proposal called for a long string connecting the mitts, to be run through the sleeves – ah, the memories! However, the pattern ultimately did not feature this saviour of maternal sanity, opting for a closure instead. And the most adorable baby EVAR!




Ahaha hey…

I’ve been selling some patterns, or at least trying to, on eBay. The first one, a Santeenie, just sold, and the cash arrived straightaway. Hoorah!


It’s bought by someone in Spain. A man. Who has no record of purchasing anything knit-related.

And even though the listing states very clearly off the bat that it’s a pattern, not a knitted item, I am concerned. Concerned enough to butcher the listing through Google Translate, which tells me that he may be under the impression that I am auctioning off my nephew, Reilly. Though, to be fair, this guy has no record of buying babies either, not even creepy reborn dollies like Reilly. The bit about the printed out pattern does survive the GT transmogrification, though, so I am hopeful that he’s at least read that bit.

But but but. I’ve a smidge of experience at translating knitting patterns (including those supposedly already translated – ~cough~ DROPS). It’s not easy. Am I going to be getting emails in Spanish about my estupida patruna?

Is Santa Claus even a Spanish thing??

Are the shops going to be full of Hispanic Santeenie knock-offs this Christmas (well, let’s be realistic, by the August Bank Holiday Weekend)???

Well! Time for my annual post!

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And the big news is (1) I’m a qualified teacher – but no job yet because (2) I’ve moved back to Ireland; and (3) I’m re-branding myself as Thorn Maiden Designs, (4) have opened an Etsy shop, and (5) I have finally got a pattern for sale!!! I’ve also (6) begun self-publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing, but only have a couple of test patterns up atm.

The pattern is Santeenie, ab0ve. It’s a fully-featured snowsuit, also known as a onesie or all-in-one, for a 19″ reborn doll. It is constructed as one piece, except for the hood trim which is picked up, with raglan/saddled shoulders. It has the proper babywear pleating and buttoning down the legs, the little pouchy back for the nappy, attached scratch-mitts (which look HUGE, just as they should), and a long hood featuring icord embellished with a pompom. There’s a smidge of intarsia in creating a buckle on the ‘boots’, which are created as toe-up socks with a short-row heel.

I hope to resize it for real babies in time for next Christmas, and I have a range of other outfits planned.

Heck, I’m doing a tension square right now for my next pattern!

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