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My Favorite Things: wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

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"Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings" is a very whimsical lyric from the musical The Sound of Music, and it brings about images of childhood bedtime stories and fantasy. Today's My Favorite Things is dedicated to knitting for children, which is a great way to pass the time during the holiday season because children's knits are portable, usually simple, and quick because the items are small. Beat the Christmas stress by knitting something small for a child, and go ahead and knit something silly; kids look cute in anything.

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

Baby sophisticate: This top-down cardigan, designed by Linden Down, offers a shawl collar, garter and stockinette stitch, simple increases and decreases, and buttonholes. It is the perfect pattern for someone who does not want to think too much when knitting. Since it is knit up on size US 8 needles, it is also a relatively quick knit and leaves your invant looking like a little grownup when complete. The pattern is available as a free download on her blog.

Knit hedgehog: The Purl Bee at Purl Soho brings us this free pattern for a knit hedgehog that finishes approximately six inches from nose to backside, making it ideal for a child-sized toy. The body and face are all in garter and stockinette stitch, and there are a few strategic increases and decreases to shape the toy, so it is easy enough for a newer knitter. The link to the free pattern can be found here.

Toy hammock: After the holidays, the kids will have too many toys to store in the usual places, so how about knitting a hammock for the stuffed animals? The pattern is free, knit on very large needles, and can be made in pretty much any yarn that can hold weight. These quick yarn hammocks, brought to you by Browneyedbabs, also make great gifts for friends with children, and for the office gift swap.

Child's solid socks: The Lion Brand Yarn website offers this free pattern for child-sized socks, which teaches all of the elements of sock knitting without the investment in teeny needles, thin yarn, or large feet. Knit using Wool-Ease on size US 5 double-pointed needles, one pair can be completed in a day or two, and the foot size can be adjusted as necessary. They can be made for every little member of the extended family as silly gifts, or they can just brighten up the holiday photos with kids padding around in the house in their stocking feet.

Enormous stripey snake: Originally designed as a Rikki-Tikki-Tavi-style play rope for a child's play group, this snake, found for free on the Instructables website, can be made in any durable yarn in any size. Once the head is completed, the body is just knitting in the round with no increases or decreases, for as long as you want the snake to be, and you can change yarn colors whenever you feel like it. Add some poly-fil, and your snake is complete.

Ladybug hat: Designer Donna Sires created a hat to look like a ladybug sitting atop the adorned head, and the original was made out of washable Lion Brand Vanna's Choice, making it an ideal child's hat. The sizes range from newborn to eight years old, and there is enough yarn for two hats of the same color, in most sizes, with the minimum yarn purchased. The pattern can be purchased for $5.00 on Ravelry.

"Squishy" toy set: This three-toy set pattern, with each toy measuring between three and six inches across, is a great not only as a portable knit. This project, designed by Doreen L. Marquart, is also portable as a finished project to entertain very small children wherever the mood strikes. The pattern is only $3.00 on Ravelry, and since each toy takes such a small amount of yarn, this project can be a good stash-buster. Just add some poly-fil and you will have a room full of small-child toys at your disposal.

Monday's My Favorite Things installment will be dedicated to the lyric "Girls in white dresses," or knits typically associated with being girly.

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