The pitter patter of tiny feet has never been louder in my small circle of friends. I’m having a job keeping up with the booties production required. Ok, I could make other things for new arrivals but nothing beats a teeny tiny pair of handmade booties for cuteness.
My latest makes are for my friend Stacey, who starts her maternity leave this week to await the arrival of her first baby in December. These woolly wellies seemed just the thing as a little gift to wish her well. Most of my mums-to-be have opted to find out if they’re having a boy or girl but I admire Stacey for taking the old-fashioned approach and keeping it a surprise for everyone including herself. So a neutral colour of wool was required.
Last weekend I settled down with a ball of cream Rowan ‘All seasons cotton’, a pair of 3.25 needles and a copy of Erika Knight’s Natural Nursery Knits. A few hours – and a couple of DVDs – later, I’d created two rather odd-looking flat shapes that thankfully stitched up into something cute. I love the leap of faith of following a pattern, not quite being able to figure out how something will work, and finally the magic moment when those strange shaping rows make perfect sense.
I’ll definitely use this pattern again but not before delving further into a new book, entirely dedicated to bootee patterns. Made in France: Baby Booties by Caroline de Hugo has 18 different styles to choose from. Below you can see my first efforts for my friend Liz who had baby Claudia almost two months ago. You actually do the shaping when you stitch them up rather than while knitting, which made them so speedy I even had I had time to make a little shoe bag to present them in.
I do wonder if French babies have unusually large feet – just look how big the newborn size bootie looks in my hand. I may have gone rather over the top with the size of the pom-poms but I couldn’t help but get carried away with my new pom-pom maker. It’s a revelation to anyone like me who was brought up to wrestle with two circles cut from a cereal box.