Sophie Kingo Blogs

Insight into Sophie Kingo's African-Scandinavian inspired clothing and accessories

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Baby knits – pom pom beanie

If there’s one thing babies need (there isn’t by the way – babies need shed loads of stuff), it’s lots of hats.

Finlay received a lovely 6 month sized hat and cardi combo from the mum of one of the kids at the hubby’s school when he was born. But other than that, he’d grown out of his newborn hats well before the cooler weather struck. With autumn really setting in, a warm hat is a must for Finlay’s walks in the buggy and swings in the park.

I bought Max and Bodhi’s Wardrobe pattern ebook from Tin Can Knits, which included the lovely cardi pattern I shared last time. I was planning on making the Bumble beanie. However, after realising I would need to go and buy myself 3.75mm and 6.5mm 40cm circular needles and 6.5mm double pointed needles (plus extras a little larger in case my gauge came out small as they often do) I decided against it. I couldn’t be doing with the expense. But more importantly, with no decent knitting shop in Walthamstow and the desire to get going with the knit as soon as possible setting in, I didn’t want to wait for an online delivery or make my way to John Lewis in Stratford City hoping they had the right sizes in stock.

Instead, I reclaimed a lovely little baby knitting book from my sister – Sarah Hatton’s 10 Simple Projects for Cosy Babies – so I could knit the Moss Stitch Hat. I love this pattern. It’s quick and easy and leaves you with a great little hat. I have made this hat a few times now for various babies, including Adam and Oliver, two lovely little boys up north in my hometown of Hull. And I think it’s always a hit.

I bought yarn from Drops again. I think Drops merino yarns are great value, great quality yarns. And with no synthetic fibres, they’re warm and cosy and lovely to knit with (Just an FYI – I hate synthetic yarns. I just don’t get the appeal. They’re scratchy and shiny, look cheap and are just not as warm. I don’t wear synthetic fibres, so why would I use them for my baby? They’re also not enjoyable to knit with.)

This hat required a double knit yarn, rather than the 4 ply Finlay’s cardigan required, so I bought Merino Extra Fine in mustard and north sea.

I knitted the main body of the hat in mustard and added an oversized pom pom in the contrasting teal, made using a cardboard ring like this one, to avoid the annoying, time consuming stuffing yarn through a hole over and over again method of days of yore. Boy, did that use a lot of yarn?!

I think it works. And Finlay loves it too!

Next up – switching the colours.


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Rainbow baby blanket

In August this year, the hubby and I discovered we are expecting a baby due April 2015. So out came the yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles, etc. to start making. I’ll be sharing everything I make for the baby as and when I complete them.

First up, a crocheted rainbow zigzag blanket, inspired by this crochet ripple baby blanket, made with Rico cotton dk.

blanket 1 blanket 2 blanket 3 blanket 4 blanket 6




AKBK and his duffel coat

In December, my third nephew was born. Welcome to the work AKBK.

I had knitted the obligatory newborn hat, but come the new year I wanted to knit him something else. Some time ago, my sister gave me Essential Baby from Debbie Bliss and I had, of course, fallen in love with so many items. One piece I particularly loved was the duffel coat. So, I bought some very fitting green (AKBK is half Irish, half Ghanaian) double top cotton from Texere Yarns and got to knitting.

I found the tension difficult to get right and ended up having to knit tightly using 3.25mm needles to get the right gauge. So, after enduring a few weeks of knitting away, the tendons in my hands were pretty sore and achy. I didn’t end up adding pockets – what 3-month-old has anything to put in their pockets? – and I added lovely purple and green west African print fabric covered buttons to finish it off.

This was my second small-person knitted proper item of clothing (the first being a cardigan for my niece L2) and I’m not sure I’ll make another in a hurry. I love Debbie Bliss designs, but I often find them hard work to complete, much prefering Sirdar or Rowan patterns generally.

But, this duffel coat’s gorgeous and AKBK looks adorable in it, so I’m happy enough. I just hope he doesn’t grow out of it too quickly and my sister-in-law keeps hold of it for future BK/ Hostick-Boakye kids 😉

AKBK and his duffel coat

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New baby knits

It’s been a while since I last blogged on knitting and craft. In my last two posts I took time out to talk about the state of racism in Denmark and some songs I was enjoying listening to. Shamefully, the last knitting I blogged about was back in January when I showed you pictures of my friend Emma in her Christmas knits.

Compared to my craft successes of 2010, being creative this year is slow going. But I have my excuse – wedding planning and wedding crafting. I have made save the date cards and am finishing off our official invitations while knitting and sewing lengthy projects which won’t be posted either till they’re finished or until we’re wed.

But luckily I today have some knitting to share with you, thanks to the lucky recipient being born yesterday. I’m very chuffed with these items; this was the first time I did some more frequent cabling and the first time I took on repetitive lace work, which set me up nicely for my wedding knitting.

All three patterns are from Sirdar Tiny Tots Essentials, knitted in Debbie Bliss eco baby cotton yarn (I don’t like Sirdar’s range). I do like Sirdar patterns though as I find them nicely easy to follow but, as always, too big for brand new babies, despite choosing the size for newborns and doing a swatch. But hey ho. It’s spring now, so by the time autumn comes round the hat and booties will feet perfectly.

Here they are:


On and on I knit

Last time I blogged, over 2 weeks ago, I reported my growing desire to knit due to the impending autumn and the increasingly autumnal weather. Today that feeling of autumn is a little more realised, and with it came the time to put away the summer clothes and replace them with the winter clothes. This was depressing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the change from summer to autumn. I couldn’t live without the seasons we are so lucky to experience in the UK. I got very excited yesterday at the sight of conkers, the chance to wear my new home-knit beret, and the busting out of the opaques. But today, in the swapping of the wardrobes, I realised how little decent AW clothes I have. A trip shopping is on the cards for next weekend I reckon. And then maybe I’ll find myself a decent jumper/cardi pattern in John Lewis, buy some lovely yarn, find confidence in my ability to take on such a task and get going. I cannot, after all, get enough of knitting at the moment it seems. Just need to get past the cramp.

In the meantime, while it’s been windy and rainy outside, and post jewellery making, I thought I’d share some more of my knits. Since knitting the baby booties I’ve knitted two baby beanies for the as yet sexless expected twins being induced in the first week of November. And I finished the beret for the second born SA clan, L2’s 2nd birthday WITH crocheted flowers! We didn’t get to try it on said cutie yesterday, but hopefully I’ll have a photo to share soon. And, just as a teaser, here’s also the third-of-the-way-there beret for L1 for Christmas.

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The knitting bug

We’re almost two weeks into September and the nights are well and truly drawing in again. It seems that with September came autumn – the inevitable cooler nights, cloudier skies and rainier days – and I’m not holding out that summer’s returning somewhere along the way this month, like it did last year.

Of course, with this new autumnal feeling has come the desire to knit. I started knitting a column of leaves scarf from green silk and cashmere yarn way back in January this year and then lost the knitting bug in early March when spring was shooting.

But I am now well and truly in the knitting spirit and have knocked out a cream merino wool beret and two pairs of baby booties for my fella’s sister who is expecting twins in November. The parents won’t divulge the sex of the non-identical pair, so I chose to use purple and yellow organic cotton. I think they’ve come out wonderfully. I’m not too sure of the size, as, to me, they look rather large, but I guess they’ll grow into them if that’s the case. Next up, to knit, is a beret for the impeding birthday of said parents’ second born girl, L2. Better get down to John Lewis to buy some more yarn. Then, following that I think I’ll have to get back on the column of leaves scarf.

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