One of my coworkers, B, is going to be a dad for the second time, and we had a baby shower for him, his wife, and their son last Friday.  There were several of us scrambling to get gifts knitted and crocheted in just a week’s time, even though we’ve all know for months that B’s wife was pregnant.  I decided to go with my traditional hat, and something else.  Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I started surfing for free baby gift patterns, and found a whole bunch to choose from.  I decided that a bib sounded like a good idea, so I started looking at designs.  I came across a really cute pattern called Hippity Hop by Elaine Fitzpatrick.  During my search, I also stumbled across a pattern for a newborn adjustable hat by Frugal Knitting Haus, which sounded like a brilliant idea.  I started out by knitting the hat.

flat hat
cinched hat

The idea is, you knit a tube with three sets of eyelets at the top.  Then you thread a crocheted chain or an I-cord through the different sets of eyelets to adjust the size of the hat.  Pretty simple, but brilliant concept!

Well, as usual, I was working from my stash, so I had smaller gauge yarns than what was in the pattern.  When I tried to do the conversion, I realized that the hat circumference in the pattern was only 11 inches.  I cast on, and after one row it was obvious that 11 inches was simply way too small.  I checked out my go-to pattern book, and discovered that their preemie size started at 15 inches in circumference.  So I started over with the larger size.
I followed the rest of the pattern faithfully, cast off, made my I-cord, and then tried out the middle set of eyelets.  And then it became obvious that I should have adjusted the length of the tube along with the width.  Unless the lace was on the uppermost set of holes, the dimensions of the hat were all wrong.  Plenty wide, but much too shallow.  So next time around, I’ll adjust for the length too and I think it will actually be capable of adjusting.  But even with only one available size, I think the hat is pretty darned cute.
Then I went to pick up some cotton yarn for the bib.  I had already chosen light yellow, dark orange (I know, the pictures make it look red), and light pink for the hat, since I like color schemes that aren’t either all blue or all pink for babies.  I didn’t think the pattern on the bib would show as well on a variegated yarn, but the only options for solid yarn in those colors were bright orange or really hot pink.  So I went for a bright green — I figured, it’s not like you expect a baby to wear their hat and bib at the same time. 
Hippity Hop bib

Hopefully you can see the pattern — I had a hard time getting a picture where the texture would show.   It’s a super-cute little bunny with one ear up and one down.  The pattern has two ways of starting from the bottom, and I opted for the short row beginning, which was easy to follow.  The remainder of the pattern was flawless, assuming of course that I could keep track of exactly which row I was on and where I was in any given row, since the pattern doesn’t repeat. I opted for the all-cotton yarn, although the pattern recommends using a washable wool if you are planning on using the bib as a drool bib, rather than for food.  I knit it up in a single night, so even with a more complicated pattern, it was pretty quick to make.

I’m not sure that my little gifts were as impressive as the full-sized crocheted baby blankets made by my coworkers, but at least B’s wife is a knitter and understood the work that went into all the handmade gifts.  And hopefully their little girl will enjoy using them when she gets here!

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