It’s easier to love the rabbits in Hadley Fierlinger’s mobile than the ones living in our garden this spring. So far, the knitted bunnies haven’t eaten a single tulip bloom.
Fierlinger’s designs, including a baby bolero to pair with summer dresses, make it easier to love yarns from Scandinavia at this time of year, too. If tulips are popping up, we’re just weeks from the day when having a big sweater’s worth of wool in your lap suddenly sounds punishing. Tiny projects are good, at least in Minnesota’s humid summers.
Vintage Knits for Modern Babies, Fierlinger’s book, is filled with tiny projects that make comfortable warm-weather knitting and some of the sweetest baby gifts you could hope for. She includes an even mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced projects in the book’s 25 designs. Each one is based on vintage patterns from the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s.
Fierlinger, who collects knitting patterns from bygone eras, lives in New Zealand and started creating her own designs with that country’s merino yarns in mind. Dale of Norway’s Lerke, a DK weight blend of 52 percent merino and 48 percent cotton, knits up nicely for the baby bolero, and even the largest size (for a 3- to 4-year-old) takes just two skeins. Because of the fiber blend, Lerke can be machine washed in cool water and a gentle cycle.
For the bunnies, Dale’s sport weight Heilo wool has a great palette of vintage-feeling colors (so does Lerke). The bunnies in the photos are knit in natural and suited up in medium teal, blossom, sunglow, and cherry red. You’ll need one skein of each color you choose, though you might want a little extra of the natural when it comes to making bunny tails.
Building the structure of the mobile with yarn and the inner ring of an embroidery hoop is its own kind of creative fun. Who knew you could knit rickrack? And making the twisted cord that things hang from is a trick you’ll probably want to learn for adding button loops, handles, or trim to other projects, too. Here’s a quick video to get you started.