This is the first wearable item that I have made for Iris. I bought the yarn especially for her: a yummy and soft undyed organic cotton that is perfect for brushing baby cheeks, inside and out (Sprout in natural from the Verde Collection by Classic Elite Yarns, if you must know). The original plan was for a baby sweater, but she already has a couple of those and sometimes it’s rather annoying to stuff her plump little arms through the sleeves, so a capelet seemed like a nice alternative. Ideally, Iris can wear her capelet while she’s wrapped up in a down stroller bunting that I’m making for her out of a down comforter. That way her shoulders will stay warm without dealing with wriggling arms syndrome first thing in the morning.
Iris was also recently gifted the most adorable hand-crocheted baby hat from my friend Anna. While Anna can’t remember exactly what yarn she used, it looks identical to the organic cotton I used for the capelet, making them an entirely accidental matching set. Yes, those are tiny bear ears and teeny ear flaps! Basically Iris is a polar bear cub.
I somewhat followed the free pattern for the Baby Gaga Capelet by Gina Bonomo that I found through a search for baby capes on ravelry. To ensure that Iris could wear the capelet for a while, I increased the number of cast-on stitches to 72 on size 8 double-pointed needles (18/needle), followed by just over an inch of 2×2 ribbing, before starting the suggested pattern for increasing the number of stitches gradually (add two stitches at four even intervals around the cape every other row). Since I wanted the capelet to be a bit longer than the Baby Gaga version, I started increasing the number of rows between stitch increases, first to two (after ~2 inches, when I also switched to size 9 circular needles) and then three (after ~3 more inches). The shape of the capelet was just what I had in mind: it starts off getting much larger and then tapers down to follow the shoulders with enough room for flailing baby arms. By starting from the neck (unlike many of the baby cape patterns I looked at for inspiration), I could just knit until I used up two 100 g skeins of yarn.