Designing New Girl was a challenge for me as a boy mom! I don’t think I realized just how boy-focused my aesthetic has become over the past few years. I lost count of the number of stitch patterns and edgings I swatched attempting to get the perfect combo of feminine but not over the top girly girl. I texted photos of these swatches to family and friends with little girls and incorporated their feedback as well. The entire process definitely involved way more do-overs than I am used to. It was all totally worth it as each piece meticulously came together in the end. I thought it would be fun to share with you a few of my designing bloopers.
Welcome Mocs from New Guy have been fairly popular so I had an idea to tweak that design so it was the same basic construction but ended up more like ballet slippers that wrapped up baby’s leg. Well. This was a GIANT fail. I’m not saying it can’t be done and maybe one day I will come back to it but I am telling you, I knit these suckers almost 10 times and in the end I still felt like they were a sloppy mess. This is one of the only times in my knitting history that I have ever totally frogged a project. And I do not regret it. They ended up being replaced with the Cuddle Socks which were just a perfect complement of the rest of the collection. They were definitely meant to be!
Stripey No No
I knit the Petite Wrapper twice. The first time, I was working with similar front shaping to the Hello Kimono, but neglected to take into account that the Wrapper was significantly shorter, which led to almost no overlap. That was problem number 1. But stylistically, the first version had stripes on the sleeves. It was cute. Nothing wrong with it. Eliot loves it! Ha! But he isn’t exactly the intended audience…
But one of my girl-mom-friends stopped by and I was showing it to her and she commented that stripes were not super girly and maybe I could try something a little more delicate. I am so glad she made that comment because this was when I decided to use the pindot colorwork, which turned out to be integral to the collection! The pindots were not only more delicate than the stripes, but they almost looked like tiny little hearts which was just infinitely more endearing to me. I still have the striped version and I think it would look really sweet with a frilly dress or something. It’s definitely not boy-ish at all but I totally agree that the pindot was more of the look I was going for this set.
This was the big one! The first piece I designed and the one that drove me most crazy. Probably not where you’d think though. The neckline construction is something I’ve done in several other projects, so that part was fine. I worked the front and back, performed the join, did the colorwork strip, continued with the skirt and finished the entire thing. Unfortunately I had this nagging feeling the entire time that something was just not quite right and that was the colorwork strip. Now, when you’ve knit almost 20″ of stockinette in fingering weight yarn, you really don’t want to think about frogging it, even if it is baby sized. But alas I couldn’t settle with the stitch pattern. More swatching commenced and finally I decided on the replacement motif. I performed some surgery on my gown by placing lifelines above and below the colorwork portion, cutting straight through the middle of it, ripping the top half back to round 1 of colorwork, knitting in the new motif, and then using kitchener stitch to graft the two pieces together in the end.
It worked perfectly! Instead of having to reknit for a couple of days, it was fixed in just a matter of hours. If you have never tried it, cutting your knitting and then getting it back into shape is pretty fun and empowering.
Hope you enjoyed hearing about my designing mess :) I assure you, there is still lots of trial and error going on depending on the occasion!
From the moment the New Guy collection came together, I knew I had to create a counterpart for little girls. Though my household has not been graced with the presence of a tiny Her, I just recently got my very first niece. I finally have the opportunity to make dainty wee things whether she likes it…
… or not!
Like New Guy, the designs are sized from Preemie to Toddler with a variety of options. For example the newborn bunting can be knit like this for the tiniest recipients:
Or, finished like this if they are ready to rock it all over town:
And maybe you want to make it with long sleeves, directions are included for that too. Or, pair it with a delicate little cardigan:
The cardi is very versatile, it even looks good with no pants! Bahahaha.
There are 3 accessory designs in the collection and they are sized even for older little ladies past the toddler designation. I feel like these warmers need to be knit in every size so she always has a pair.
The colorwork included is whimsical and minimal and any of it can be simplified by working duplicate stitch after you knit, replacing the stranded work with stripes or even leaving pieces solid, the better to match everything in her wardrobe. I used scrumptious Plucky Knitter Plucky Feet for my samples and the colors were just perfect.
The New Girl e-book will be released in early October and the hard copy booklet will follow a few weeks later. You can get the booklet at your local yarn shop while you are snagging your New Guy. Friends will call you the baby shower Queen. You can also pre-order the collection from me through my website. If you choose to pre-order, for the price of one version of the booklet ($12) you will receive:
• E-book as soon as it is released
• Booklet as soon as it is available
• Custom Tot Toppers stitch markers
• Custom New Girl gift tags
The pre-order offer is available only up until the e-book is released, as early as October 1. After that, both versions of the booklet will be sold separately at their regular prices. To get the package, place both the booklet and the e-book in your cart on TotToppers.com and apply the code NEWGIRL at checkout.
I have one other little incentive for you. If you’ve not snagged your copy of New Guy yet, and you choose to purchase it in the same transaction as your New Girl pre-order, I’ll follow up with you and send you a 25% off coupon for the pattern of your choice from my shop. I’m also able to apply this to previous purchases of New Guy that were placed on my website but please do drop me a note about it after you purchase New Girl.
Yarn shops, I have an offer for you as well. NNK Press will be offering a 10% pre-order discount on your wholesale purchases of New Girl until they get the booklets in stock in October. You will also receive a complimentary e-book as soon as it is released so that you can whip up some samples for your shop. These projects are so tiny and quick that it will take you no time at all. Click here to view my books at NNK Press.
I hope you’re ready to create a delightfully squishy ensemble for a very special little lady. No matter whether you’ll get to hold her every day or see her in pictures from afar, she’s sure to feel the love in every stitch. Pamper that darling for as long as she will allow it.
Photography by Erica B. Studio + Design//Graphic Design by Mary Joy Gumayagay
It’s no secret that I am a boymom. Today I am super excited to present my latest collection which focuses on the newest of little guys. Creating knit layettes for my children was one of my great joys during pregnancy. This particular set includes favorite pieces inspired by my youngest.
He will be turning two next month (ahhhhh!) and it’s so bittersweet for me knowing that he is my last. It just made sense that I should finally get around to the patterns I drafted way back then, even if some of his little pictures do get me all teary eyed.
The designs are sized from Preemie to Toddler and they also include a variety of options for versatility, such as differing sleeve or pant length. Knit the colorwork as shown, or simplify any design by working it in a color changing yarn or replacing the stranded work with easy stripes. Eliot had a little help with the modeling, check out precious Sawyer below! He was only about a week new when we took his pictures.
New Guy is available from your local yarn shop (shops click here to purchase wholesale from NNK Press!) as well as here in my store. The e-book is available now, and comes with your pre-order hard copy package! Pre-orders are $12 and also include a couple of custom Tot Toppers stitch markers and even adorable gift tags. Place both versions in your cart and apply the code NEWGUYDROOLS at checkout to receive the pre-order discount.
There are five designs total including the Hug Me Hat, Kiss Me Romper, Welcome Mocs, Hello Kimono & Wee Hat. The book provides yardage estimates for knitting the entire layette or you can just pick your favorites and go one at a time. Just make sure to choose the recommendation for the right options (sleeves/pants).
I used Shibui Staccato to knit my set. It is a beautiful fingering weight yarn available in a wonderful array of colorways. I purchased it at a wonderful yarn shop called A Good Yarn Sarasota. I actually was knitting and designing the Kiss Me Romper while I was in the shop for a teaching trip! I considered calling it “A Good Romper” ha! All of the projects feature the same gauge of 30 sts over 4″. You only have to swatch one time for 5 projects! Bonus.
No matter which outfit you work up, you cannot skip the Welcome Mocs. They are such a fun treat to knit and I should know because I had to knit a whole lot of them in order to get them exactly how I wanted. They go so very fast and I love the funky fringe accent.
OK now I’m going to get a little sentimental. You’ve already got the pertinent info so feel free to skip my sob story :) But the good news is that is has a happy ending!
Though Eliot’s was my shortest pregnancy by a couple of months, it seemed to last the longest as it was fraught with complications that threatened both our well beings. Most of these pieces were originally knit in the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist’s waiting room prior to my bi-weekly appointments. The reason I initially knit two versions of the Kiss Me Romper was because we didn’t know just how preemie he would be and I wanted to be ready no matter what. Not only did knitting calm my nerves during a very tenuous time, it also was my outward sign of choosing joy despite the uncertainty. These pieces lent me peace, brought me comfort and ultimately happy tears when he finally was safe and well enough to wear them, not to mention squeals from hospital staff as I became known in the NICU as “the knitter.” I wanted to share some real life photos of the set in action keeping my munchkin warm in his earliest of days.
Whether you’re a pregnant mom, anxious grandparent, ready-to-spoil aunt or uncle, or the best friend ever, I hope this little layette inspires you to create something cozy and sweet for the new guy in your life, no matter if he is on the way or settling in during his first few years.